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    Should you chase customers? Or understand them?

    Posted by Venu Gopal Nair on Apr 5, 2021 6:05:12 PM

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    Aggression is outdated

    Sales stories follow a familiar formula. The client who refused to take calls finally grants a couple of minutes to the persistent sales person. And those two minutes stretch into hours as the sales person reels off feature after feature to the wide-eyed customer. Before he walks out of the room, he’s got the advance check and made another sale.

    This may as well be a fairy tale in today’s business world. Customers who refuse to answer calls have a few simple reasons – they aren’t convinced about the product or the price being charged. For the problem it solves, they have a certain cost in mind – and they’ve done their homework.

    A couple of decades ago, clients willingly met with sales people because information about some product categories was scarce. They needed to know more. And that’s exactly why they would spend the time. But in today’s world, information is everywhere, if you decide to do some digging. And benefits alone are not enough. The customer wants to know much more – and some sales people can be caught napping with well-informed clients.

    Let customers dictate the engagement

    That sounds like a really bad idea. Should the customer be the one calling the shots? In which case, wouldn’t they dictate the prices as well? Look at any consumer product category today. There are over 700 companies in India manufacturing soaps.

    And customers know exactly what they want to buy. They decide if they want to pay the premium price or get more soap for the same value, no matter how hard the luxury soaps advertise. For most customers, the choice takes exactly a couple of minutes in a supermarket. Or even less at the neighbourhood shop.

    Price and feature discovery was a problem earlier – but for the determined client, finding information is no longer the problem it once was. Unless it is a Greenfield area with limited expertise.

    All the more reason to provide value clients recognise when they need it. Brochures, leaflets and personal meetings were the way to dispense information. But that has undergone major changes.

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    Download NowHubSpot CMS provides clear information on the information searches and the volume. That’s what clients will respond to, not product benefits. When you provide accurate information consistently on the company website, it breaks entry barriers. And sets up the opening for conversations.

    You’re not chasing clients anymore. They’re coming to you willingly – and the equations change

    Teamwork needs integration

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    If teams work separately, effort is duplicated. Everyone must have the same access to leads, funnels and the conversion rate – at least the sales and marketing teams. The earliest lessons from history showed us that we succeeded when we hunted in packs, not separately.

    But the system should allow collective functioning without finger pointing. There is no sense in generating leads that aren’t followed up or those that remain in the funnel with no progress.

    HubSpot integrates Marketing, Sales and Services – the points customers come in contact with at various stages during the journey. It should be less about “Who sells well?” and more about “How do teams function together?” If they operate against each other, it is counterproductive to company objectives and frustrating for clients.

    Flip the equation

    Get the whole company to work in the customer interest. The best performing companies do all customer touch points well. They aren’t merely sales or marketing or service-oriented. They are customer focused. And what it means is not that they go after customers aggressively. They solve customer issues aggressively. And that earns both, goodwill and sales.

    With HubSpot, every customer who gets in touch is encouraged to stay in touch. The process of handing over a lead from marketing to sales and then to service is streamlined. Customer journeys within the company website and then within the purchase cycles are visible.

    Not every interaction or lead results in a sale. That’s flawed thinking. Customer requirements have so many nuances it isn’t possible to fit them all. But customers remember how they have been treated. And whether companies have done their best to meet expectations. That in turn leads to closer connections – and a possible business requirement over time.

    Depending on the business, the pool of prospects may be small or large. There are infrastructure projects where the qualification of a company could take months – and the sale even longer. In the interim, simply sending out a query or asking clients if there is any progress means that no value is being added to the client requirement.

    New call-to-action

    Let’s take a case where a client is looking for an HRMS system to upgrade the current configuration. Maybe a tender detailing requirements is put out and over 30-40 companies who have a product that fits the need send in a proposal.

    Now, instead of asking whether a decision has been made on the proposal, one of the companies involved begins to send information on how the transition can be smooth – and what the client will have to consider when making a decision. No sales pitch, but something only the client is worried about.

    Who do you think moves to the first position? No prizes for guessing! That’s exactly what HubSpot helps you determine – how your existing clients and prospects can be helped.

    To learn more, please speak to a consultant, or get in touch with us.

     

    Topics: Hubspot CMS, customers

    About The Author

    Venu Gopal Nair
    Venu Gopal Nair

    Advertising and Branding Specialist, CEO - Ideascape Communications, A professional journey through the tumultuous years of advertising and communication, starting in 1984. Started out in the age of print, saw the changes with the entry of satellite TV and the momentous transition to digital. Advertising and branding today is vastly different from its practices in the 20th century and the last two decades have seen dramatic changes with smartphone domination. As a Creative Director turned CEO, making the transition personally and professionally has been a tremendous experience.

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