How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
One of the important strategies for growth you can implement immediately is finding ways to grow and manage your database of customers.
The real health of your business starts with your database of customers. Even with no other improvements in sales and marketing execution, an increase in the number of real, accurate and well-maintained contacts in your database will help improve your revenue. Simply selling the same products to more customers will increase your revenue.
Unfortunately, your database may not be in as good of shape as you might think.According to data from Marketing Sherpa, contact databases degrade by about 22.5% each year. Who is in that 22.5%?
- People who left jobs
- Employees who transferred branches
- Employees who left their company
- Employees or owners who retired
- Businesses that closed
These are all things that cannot be controlled. That means that even with the best sales techniques, without careful stewardship of your contact database your sales and marketing effectively suffers similar declines by more than 20% each year.
Simply put – you have to grow your database just to keep up. If you lose control of your database, you have to sell 22.5% more every year just to make up for the loss of contacts to whom you sell.
Gain Control of Your Most Important Intellectual Property
Many distributors are at a disadvantage because their sales reps keep their contacts to themselves – believing they own the data. This is completely the wrong way to think about your customer data. Your customers, prospects and contacts — and all of the information you collect about them — are some of the most valuable intellectual property in your business.
SMP allows you to take control of this important asset by providing you with one place to manage all of your important information — customers, prospects, vendors and more. Everyone on your team will have the information they need to track important activities, tasks, notes, and more.
No more random spreadsheets, no more data loss, no more confusion…. and the customer data stays with you if a sales rep leaves.
Managing New Contacts
You get new info from many sources. Referrals, educational events, walk-ins, online advertising, your e-catalog and other digital investments. But many distributors have a hard time connecting those new leads to where the rubber meets the road: real selling.
SMP makes it easy for you to integrate all of that into a single, centralized database.
Whether you seek to increase your database through vendor assistance, live events, pay-per-click (e.g., Google) ads, blogging and social media or other inbound content marketing, you will know that your investment will be maximized with by a centralized contact hub.
Most importantly, your database will be growing. And the more new, clean data your reps have to work, the better their sales calls will be and the more sales they will generate.
Centralized List Management
SMP gives you one place to manage your lists as well. You can build marketing lists and segment them based on buying behavior, customer type or any other attribute.
With SMP you can:
- Create and upload lists
- Utilize all of your transactional history including open orders and quotes as part of a customer targeting strategy
- Segment your customers and contacts based on profiling data gathered internally and/or externally
- Manage opt-ins, opt-outs, subscriptions and CAN-SPAM Act compliance