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In the past, businesses were extremely sales-oriented. Once a deal was closed, customer were left in the dark without proper customer service. This often resulted in high churn rates across the board. Nowadays, SMEs are tyring to put customers first. Customers loyalty is the new currency.

Why have customers become the focus point? An overwhelming majority of companies say it’s much cheaper to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one. Invesp even states it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep one.
Customer-centric selling: costs of sales

Unfortunately, many sales reps believe the job is done after closing a sale. In their eyes, it’s up to the customer service department to manage the relationship.

But what you do after the purchase is just as important, if not more, than all steps leading up to that point. Providing a great customer experience is the way to winning your customers’ loyalty (and their hearts).

You have to make your customers want to come back for more. These days, there's so much competition that standing out from the crowd has become as difficult as it is important. The best way to do so? Giving your customers the best possible experience. That's why sales reps and customer support should walk hand in hand.

Make your customers the focus point of everything

What is the difference between traditional sales and customer-centric selling?

  • Traditional approach: Land - Close - Expand

In this approach, it’s all about selling a solution. Once the sale is made, it’s up to the customer success team to build customer loyalty in hopes of expanding business in the future. Unfortunately, customer success is all too often just an afterthought.

  • Customer-centric approach: Educate - Commit - Assist

The focus lies on educating customers and getting them to commit to your company. Throughout the sales process, you have to provide a customer experience before, during and after the purchase. Why? First and foremost, to drive customer loyalty and profits.

But customer-centric selling is more than just offering good service. These days, customers have more power and choice than ever before. You should understand and acknowledge their needs to make an impact.

"Knowing your customer helps you personalise every interaction and experience. Build brand loyalty by providing a smooth and pleasant experience for each customer."

Go for customer-centric, not company-centric

What does it really mean to be a customer-centric business? It involves offering a great customer experience, from attracting a lead to building a relationship after a sale is made. The customer-first principle is about putting your customers at the core of everything you do.

Customer-centric selling: customers at the core of your business
  • Find out what customers want and how they want to buy it

Ask your customers what they want and how they want to purchase it. Real customer interviews are a good approach because customers will reveal things when being interviewed that they will never tell you while you are selling to them.

  • Adjust your offer to better match your customers' wants

Use the information you gathered during the customer interviews to adjust your offer and give the customer exactly what they want.

  • Keep in mind how your customers want to buy

Some customers prefer to do their shopping online, some people prefer paying the full amount upfront, others prefer subscription models. Find out your customers’ buying habits so you know how to best cater to their needs.

  • Align your customer support to your customer's buying process

How can the support team provide your customers guidance during the customer's buying process? Decide which parts can be automated. Which parts need people resources? Where should the customer service points of contact be?

“It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in – improving customer experience is key in increasing retention, satisfaction and sales.”

Why start with customer-centric selling?

Stakes are high: customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that apply traditional sales models.

- 55% of consumers are willing to pay more if a great experience is guaranteed
- 66% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service
- 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience
- Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers

Ready to start with customer-centric selling? Learn about sales management with Teamleader and discover how to keep up with each potential clients and follow your progress in every stage of the sales process.