Creating loyalty at every step of the sales process

Repeat customers provide the steady revenue organizations need to sustain growth. Expanding the pool of loyal promoters makes it possible for businesses to capitalize on effective social media marketing campaigns to generate more leads and reach a wider audience.

However, many organizations fail to consider customer loyalty within the sales process. It is not until a transaction is complete and the client is handed off to an internal customer relationship management department that repeat sales even come into focus. Business 2 Community states that organizations looking for stronger customer loyalty need to take a longer view of the relationship.

Often, the first interactions a client has with a company can determine his or her overall experience. This means marketing and sales departments have a disproportionate effect on the overall loyalty of customers. Altering incentive compensation management strategies to account for this factor could boost loyalty levels throughout the organization.

When it comes to building loyalty, many businesses rely on their net promoter scores. These metrics help companies determine which consumers are most likely to use products and share their experiences. However, research by Forrester shows that many firms fail to understand exactly why promoters praise or pan them based on these interactions.

Technology consultant Scott Klososky told Business 2 Community that many organizations are unable to collect the data necessary to fully understand the audience. Capturing customers' histories or preferences is easier than ever, but businesses often don't attempt to collect this information at the right touchpoints.

"Today, for instance, in a lot of cases all you know is [the customer's] transaction history—name, address, phone number, email address—that's it," Klososky told the source. "In the highly social world where there's all kinds of information freely available online, where people are not as nervous about giving answers to your questions, customer care groups should be trying to gather 20, 30, 40 fields of information on the customer. Because the more they know about the customer the better they can serve them.  A lot [of companies] make zero attempt to try to learn more."

The lead nurturing process marks an ideal time to capture more information about the audience. Developing a sales process management strategy that incorporates capturing additional information can assist companies in providing the necessary support salespeople need to close deals and win loyal customers for life.