Who isn’t worn out from people complaining about how bad the economy is, how tough it is to make a healthy profit and aren’t we all working twice as hard as we ever have? Until business leaders realize that everything about their companies needs to change, they’ll continue to miss the mark, and sadly, fall far behind.
I have seen many businesses fail from not recognizing the need for an organizational or cultural revamp. Often they are not taking advantage of tools that their competitors may be already using.
Is it a harsher, more fast-paced world? Yes. But in this new world culture and organization must change from the very root of a company. As a C-level executive, you cannot afford to continue running your business by betting on building a product, then selling it.
Your company needs to build a team responsible for the long-term success of clients and customers. This team needs to stay on top of trends, listen to and answer customer responses and think ahead about what people will want or need next. This is why forward-thinking organizations are designing customer success teams.
The biggest consulting firms in the world got on top of this trend and are integrating success teams into their clients’ companies and their own. One CEO said to me, “So it’s about being on pulse of things, right? I answered, “No, it’s about being the pulse.” In the first case one observes. In the latter case, one is actively involved.”
Then there is culture. Culture affects sales and all of your customer relationships. Long gone are the days of your sales hunters being all-important. The initial sale is just the kick-starter, or the blossoming of a fresh new relationship. Think of it like a plant that instead of getting watered once or twice, needs to be constantly nurtured, and if it’s well taken care of, may grow into a garden.
You need to resell your customers constantly, or some else will. All of those people in your organization beyond the initial sale need to be equally appreciated. I’m talking about the people who answer your phones and chats, the ones engaging in online media, those packing your customer’s boxes and the employees in R&D and marketing who are thinking of better ways to improve your products, services, promotions and communications. Today, each moment beyond the sale is important. In fact, the branding programs we build start from the inside out of the company.
Looking at metrics, you can also no longer get by just measuring new sales. Measuring customer retention and lifetime value is essential, especially in this subscription-based, pay-as-you-go pricing world. There are more opportunities than ever for building matrix-based analytics and conquest strategies and a myriad of methods to engage with customers. From email capture, landing page optimization, retargeting, social media, blog outreach, search engine optimization to many other techniques, I am an optimist about the abounding opportunities to connect.
To wrap up in 1,2,3 points what I have experienced thought leading successful companies doing: employment of sweeping cultural change; whole organization customer focus; and utilization of metrics.