In this final blog of our 10 part series on Top Tips for Progressing Your Sales Leads, our VP Sales, John Macleod explores the next step in maximising the returns from your marketing efforts, and progressing ‘sales ready leads’ through the sales pipeline. The tenth step: Delight.
Yes that’s right, the final step is to delight. To be honest, this is not really a step at all, as much as it’s a methodology, a mind-set, a culture, a way of engaging with your customers’ pre- and post-sale.
At its core, the delight methodology is a customer-focused way of doing business that is centred on helping people and solving their problems in the ways they want them to be solved. Now you may be thinking that as a salesperson, your job is to close, not to delight. Surely that’s the role of the account manager, or customer services?
Well, not quite. In a truly successful customer centric organisation, “delight” is everyone’s responsibility. Not just those people your customers may come into contact with after buying something from you.
At this point, you may be thinking “Wait, what? How can I delight customers if they’re not my customers yet?” And you’d be right! By definition, we can’t delight customers if they’re not customers. But the concept of delight - providing a remarkable experience to individuals that focuses on their needs, interests, and wishes that leaves them so satisfied, they can’t help but go out and sing the praises of your brand - isn’t just limited to customers. Companies that wish to enhance their customer engagement; retention and experience focus on delighting existing and potential customers from their very first interaction with the organisation.
Salespeople Need to Delight, Too
It’s time to stop thinking of delight as a responsibility for only customer service team. Why? Because every single interaction a person has with you, your inside sales team, your marketing team, and your lead generation provider, feeds into their overall experience - and overall impression of your organisation as a whole. The better that experience is, the happier your customers are, and the more likely they are to stick around and tell their network about the great experience your brand provides. Delighted customers equal customer referrals, which equals more great leads feeding in to your pipeline.
The goal in providing and accumulating these positive interactions throughout a customer’s lifecycle will help you stand out from your competitors and improve your bottom line. Creating a customer experience whose goal is both pre- and post-sale delight can make a big impact on your organisation’s bottom line and serve as a hefty competitive advantage: happy customers stick around longer than those who have a neutral or negative experience.
So how should go about making sure you are giving an experience of ‘delight’.
1) Are you solving peoples’ problems?
The first (and perhaps most important) thing you need to do as a salesperson is solve the problems your potential and current customers bring your way. Offering your customers a solution to the problem they face or a way to achieve the goal they’re working towards is, after all, why they’ve come to you in the first place - so don’t leave them hanging! Offer your customers the solutions that most align with their individual wishes, needs, and preferences.
Even though they aren’t paying customers just yet, it’s also important to solve your prospects’ problems. There are multiple reasons for this and it gets back to the golden rule: help people and they’ll help you. If you can prove to your prospects that you’re trustworthy and effective when they’re not yet even paying, they’ll be much more likely to want to do business with your organisation down the road. All that goodwill generated pre-sale goes a long way towards easily transforming customers into promoters post-sale.
2) Are you providing recommendations and being helpful?
Solving your prospects’ and customers’ problems is great in the short term, but what will happen next time they encounter a similar problem or are looking to accomplish a related goal? Going beyond just solving peoples’ problem and handing over information helps them deal with similar challenges down the road.
Empowering both potential and existing customers with education, making recommendations, and helping them succeed are essential to building a dedicated customer base within your organisation. The benefits of enabling people to reach their goals and solve their problems instead of just arming them with facts are far reaching for both your organisation and the individual themselves. If your prospects and customers get a constant, positive reminder of your company each time they use your advice and recommendations, your company will become known as a helpful, remarkable organisation that customers want to do business with.
3) Are you enthusiastic, engaging and passionate?
Make sure that in every interaction with potential and current customers, your company’s voice is enthusiastic, fun, and welcoming. Precisely what ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘passionate’ mean for your organisation depends on your particular business and industry, but the take-home message is this: if you want to create a customer experience that truly delights, don’t just provide information, instead provide a real, warm, personalised, human interaction that respects your customers time and leaves them happy, satisfied, and educated.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this series and found some helpful tips on how to get the most out of your leads, and will convert more delighted customers as a result. Before I finish up, let’s recap on the steps so far:
- Agree a Lead Qualification Criteria
- Create a Lead Handover Process
- Read the Lead
- Research the Lead
- Diarise the Appointment
- Engage and Qualify
- Update CRM
- Feedback to Lead Source
These steps and other information to help you delight more customers are detailed within our free eBook, 10 Top Tips for Progressing Marketing Leads through Sales, which you can download below.