Bad news: You’re probably losing current and future money right now.
How? Through inaction on your most important business asset … relationships.
Business people pay lip service to relationships all the time.
After all, the R in CRM stands for “relationship.” But to most people, a relationship really means merely a contact.
With the right attitude, you can transform your business relationships from depreciating assets into compound interest that pays you over and over.
Getting your business in the right relationship mindset is the business of Zvi Band, CEO and cofounder at Contactually, a SaaS-based intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) platform for relationship-oriented industries that helps users develop and strengthen authentic, long-lasting relationships.
Band is also the author of the upcoming book Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals (publishing May 17, 2019).
Business Relationships: The Asset, Some Insights, and The Quiz
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Here’s the full conversation with Zvi Band …
Relationships = Assets
You first need to figure out what you really care about. How will you measure the value of relationships?
“Are you maintaining that customer relationship at the same or a higher level than before, month in, month out, year in, year out?” asks Band. “Net dollar retention and churn are unsexy, but that’s truly what gives us the indicator.”
Professions such as realtors, brokers, consultants, financial advisors, and lawyers are all selling high-priced services. Their reputation and relationships are their most important assets.
Unfortunately, making the time to keep up with old clients falls by the wayside of the daily whirlwind.
Band’s company Contactually is designed to be the nexus to help them identify which customer relationships they should be engaging with, and which ones they’re falling short on because they haven’t engaged within a period of time.
The software can help the professionals answer questions like:
- Are my customers coming back to me?
- Are they referring me?
- If someone wasn’t ready to ready to work with me six months ago, are they ready to now?
What Sales Gets Wrong About Relationships
When salespeople are solely focused on the current quarter, they lose sight of the insights that they have gained in closing their previous contracts last quarter.
“Sales needs to understand the customer and understand their pain points,” says Band. “They need to ask themselves if this is the type of customer relationship where we can really add ongoing value?”
The hand-off from sales to customer success teams needs to be focused on how you further the relationship so that they trust your company with more of their hard-earned dollars.
Here’s a short video clip about the balance of humans and technology in managing customer relationships in their software company …
Relationship vs Contact
There is one point that too many people miss. Is this person a relationship or merely a contact?
These days, with one visit to LinkedIn, you can fill out lots of fields about a contact (title, industry, company size, etc.), but that information is practically worthless.
What matters is the sentiment between you and the contact.
The contacts who pass the $20 test are the only real relationships you have.
“It’s pretty disturbing when you see there aren’t really that many,” says Band.
How To Prioritize Relationships
So with a CRM filled with hundreds (or thousands) of contacts, how do you prioritize which contacts you need to upgrade to relationships?
“You only have so much time on this earth,” says Band. “Who are the people that I want to proactively build and maintain a relationship with? Who am I going to follow up with? Who am I not going to focus on? Who am I going to let slip?”
You could look at:
- Current customer value
- Potential future customer value
- Are they strategically important within the larger company?
- Are they well-known in their industry?
- Is their company a top performer in their industry?
Intelligence and Relationships
Your company’s relationship with a contact isn’t usually done by just one person. Everyone who comes into contact with that client should be adding to the customer record so that everyone can stay up to speed on what’s going on with that client or prospect.
Here’s Zvi’s rundown on prioritization and intelligence …
Different Relationships = Different Customer Experiences
Everyone is an individual. They have preferred modes of contact. Communicate with the method that works with them.
Some people like personal hands-on service.
“The customers tell us in testimonials that 50% of the reason they choose us is the software and the other 50% is the team that we provide,” says Band.
Some people will want to interact with your company in a variety of ways:
- Webinar (one-on-one or with a team)
- Search our knowledge base
- Live chat session
- On-site visit
- Using the BombBomb video recorder and video library as a way for people to reach out to their contacts through Contactually
“We have customers that we visit onsite, once every quarter or two,” says Band. “And then there are some people that have worked with us for five years and we’ve never seen each other’s faces.”
This post is based on an interview with Zvi Band, CEO and Co-Founder at Contactually.
To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Customer Experience Podcast.
Coming Soon to The Customer Experience Podcast
- Customer Success professionals like Nick Hart (Outreach.io) and Rachel Ostrander (Brooks Running)
- Marketing leaders like Joseph Jaffe, Ann Handley (Marketing Profs) and Randy Frisch (Uberflip)
- Branding experts like Kurt Bartolich and David Brier
Email your guest requests or guest recommendations to: Ethan (at) BombBomb (dot) com
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