𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: 𝗗𝗼𝗻'𝘁 𝗦𝘂𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝗮 𝗣𝘆𝗿𝗿𝗵𝗶𝗰 𝗩𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆
Updated: May 4
A Pyrrhic victory inflicts such a devastating toll on the winner that it is tantamount to defeat.* In business, a Pyrrhic victory occurs if new customers leave soon after closing them. All the efforts and costs of marketing and sales are wasted.
Landing a new deal hopefully begins a long and prosperous relationship - don’t treat the close as if it’s the end.
The risk of losing new business quickly and the opportunity to grow your company exponentially are substantial based on how effectively you handle implementation and follow-up with service clients and product users. Here’s why:
You don’t want this deal to be canceled soon after signing. If the client wants to end early, you will be in a tough position financially and reputationally. With products, you want users to be engaged and decision-makers to realize the value of your product.
You want customers to stay with you for years. Retention is crucial for exponential growth because the client’s long-term value is largely found in retention; retention also influences your reputation in the market. For some companies, especially SaaS businesses, retention is more financially valuable than acquisition.
You want to be able to explore future opportunities with clients/users to upsell or cross-sell. It’s so much easier to sell within an existing relationship.
You want to be able to rely on clients/users for referrals to other companies and social endorsements, like testimonials, case studies, or references.
“Smart companies have realized that customer loyalty
is the most powerful sales and marketing tool.”
– Bill Price
So how do you keep ensuring the client is “still sold” on you?
In the closing process for service companies, you set expectations around deliverables and timelines. In the first few months, you want to check with the implementation or client services team to ensure those expectations are being met from the client’s perspective.
With service companies, sometimes your client services team and the actual client users first meet only after closing. So, initially plan to be in contact weekly with both the decision-makers and the main users since their perceptions may vary, but you need them both to be excited. If there are concerns around implementation, respond quickly. Discuss any issue before it becomes a serious problem.
For product users, design satisfaction and user surveys and find other ways to get their opinions, such as by email or text.
Ideally, you can provide the client with reports or information showing how they compare with themselves before working with you and how the company is faring against competitors. The discussion should focus on improvement.
Another approach is to share with the client any progress made with your product or service. Offer to share white papers, case studies, lunch-and-learns, and industry and networking events. Adding strategic insights will position you as a long-term partner and may open up new opportunities.
Keep finding ways to get buyers’ and users’ input. If the buyers and the users are different people, you may have separate approaches for acquiring this information. For instance, you may set up a quick chat with buyers a few months after purchase and then quarterly or a few months before renewal. For users, you may offer tools in the application, set up monthly reviews, and ask them for recommendations to enhance your product or service.
After the first few months, you may reduce your cadence for feedback, but do keep asking for it.
For any feedback, consider both objective and subjective measures. Objective measures may include usage—time logged in, the number of users, or reports pulled. Subjective measures may consist of quantifiable metrics, such as giving a rating or sentiment score and comparing results quarterly, or providing anecdotal evidence, such as that gleaned from talking with users and decision-makers to gauge reaction.
Some questions to consider:
o How are things going?
o What could we be doing better?
o What are your department’s/company’s pain points now?
o How do you see your business growing in the next twelve months?
o What product features or services could we offer that would be helpful?
o Can I tell you about our plans for the next twelve months?
Consider forming opportunities for clients/users to learn and network. For instance, you can host a half-day event with a couple of instructional sessions—avoiding self-promotion because everyone already knows you hosted the event—and networking before and after.
Some companies create a community to exchange learning and ideas. The community often needs to be curated but can be incredibly valuable for branding, reinforcing usage, and spawning opinions. This platform becomes a fantastic way to keep people thinking positively about your brand.
Pro Tip: User communities can generate low-touch and low-cost opportunities. A group of passionate ambassadors who have a platform can generate new interest with their enthusiasm.
Key Takeaway: An efficient implementation and ongoing engagement create a strong first impression. Once customers are onboarded, continue to provide new benefits, survey opinions, and create a community to retain, upsell, and fine new customers.
* To learn more about Pyrrhic victory, visit here.
Picture is King Pyrrhus of Epirus. Several of his victorious battles caused him unacceptably heavy losses, from which the term "Pyrrhic victory" was coined. Source.
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