I need more customers

John Eben
John Eben
John Eben is Vice President of Business Operations at Hunter Business Group.  Jo
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Jan 05 Revenue Growth 0 Comment
A common statement. To grow, most businesses need to increase the number of customers year-to-year. This is a function of both keeping the customers you have and acquiring new customers. The math for year over year growth in number of customers is:



   Number of customers last year

+ New customers acquired this year

- Customers lost that bought last year

= Number of customers this year



Certainly, keeping customers loyal and retaining customers from year to year is very important for growth in number of customers.  Customers that are lost need to be replaced with new customers in addition to adding more new customers to create growth.  See these blogs for more information on loyalty and retention:

http://www.hunterbusiness.com/blog/voice-of-customer/two-fallacies-of-customer-satisfaction

http://www.hunterbusiness.com/blog/customer-retention/an-organic-revenue-growth-protocol



But what about acquiring new customers?  How is that done for business-to-business customers?  Certainly the use of social media to drive inbound marketing is an important part of acquiring new customers, but to proactively acquire as many customers as possible, particularly for a market that is limited in size, an outbound effort is often the most effective.  In fact, email and other outbound marketing have been predicted to grow in 2015 for this reason.  Following are 5 key elements to an effective outbound marketing campaign:



1.       Integrate email.  Email allows you to target customers and prospects and provide them specific messaging.  It also allows you to track responses both for data on the impact of the email, and for specific information on the individuals that opened or clicked through the email so that they can be contacted for further dialog.

2.       Include phone.  Calling names that you determine to be high potential (e.g. those that clicked through an email, those that meet defined profile criteria) allows you have a person-to-person dialog regarding needs and other information about these buyers.  It also allows you to reach buyers that may not have opened emails due to spam filters and preference to having an in-person discussion.

3.       Work in concert with other channels.  Ensure your CRM or other systems make your dialog with customers visible to other channels such as customer support and field sales. 

4.       Track results by program.  Each campaign (e.g. series of emails and phone calls with a consistent message) should be tracked so that you know the investment made relative to the return and can make good decisions in the future to guide campaign design and messaging.

5.       Manage volume by stages in the process.  Each stage needs a consistent volume of activity and needs to be tracked: obtaining enough names to “feed the funnel”, routine contacts made to those names via email & phone, a sufficient number of qualified leads generated, follow-up touches to ensure the leads are pursued until closed to a win or loss.

What other elements have you found effective in outbound campaigns to acquire new customers?

About the author

John Eben

John Eben is Vice President of Business Operations at Hunter Business Group.  John is responsible for Hunter staff that deliver results to clients, including ensuring a comprehensive Customer Asset Management solution that delivers measurable ROI for each client.  John’s experience includes over 25 years in sales and marketing consulting and operations and over 10 years of experience in financial management.

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