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Boost profits by picking the right customer engagement strategy

Posted by Carol Mahamedi

August 3, 2021    |     3-minute read (906 words)

In order to boost client retention and revenue per user, executives continually seek out new methods for enhancing customer engagement. This article explains the five customer-engagement archetypes, accompanied by the compound annual growth for profits and sales for each one. The comparison shows the most beneficial archetype is the "growth champion."

Why is a customer engagement strategy important?

Businesses must make every effort to engage with customers throughout the purchase journey. This not only fosters customer loyalty, but it also helps you glean insights about your customers.

Every time a customer or potential customer interacts with you in a positive way, it enhances their regard for your brand and boosts the likelihood they'll request your services again. In short, a good customer engagement strategy increases close rates and helps you fulfill client expectations.

While entrepreneurs are keenly aware of the importance of customer engagement, most are unsure how to effectively foster it. For example, some adopt a hands-off approach while others might go rogue and ignore any input from account managers Below is an explanation of the behavior of the five most-common archetypes and how each one affects customer engagement. 

  • The hands-off archetype
Around 28% of executives adopt a hands-off approach. This archetype tends to view sales as the sole responsibility of the sales team. Consequently, they rarely interact with customers. 

Hands-off CAGRs: profits 1.2%; -0.3%. 

  • The loose cannon archetype
About 21% of executives fall into this category. The loose cannon meets with key customers without any briefing from the respective account manager. This archetype often makes promises the business can't keep, leaving account managers to fix the damage they've caused. 

Loose cannon CAGRs: profits 2.7%; sales 1.7%.

  • The social visitor archetype
The social visitor deftly builds relationships with customers. However, during lunches, expos and other events with clients, they don't talk a lot about business. 

Social visitor CAGRs: profits 6.9%; sales 4.7%.

  • The deal-maker archetype
The deal-maker focuses on closing deals and is good at letting customers know exactly what the business can do for them. They often enter the process at the last stage, when the client is almost ready to sign.

Deal-maker CAGRs: profits 7.7%; sales 4.1%.

  • The growth champion archetype
The growth champion is well-prepared for inevitable change, with businesses nowadays constantly needing to reinvent themselves or risk being left behind. They push business forward by asking questions to understand client needs. Not only are they highly responsive to customers, but they also listen to account managers and share ideas with them.

Growth champions go further to ensure customers are satisfied. But they don't promise more than the business can deliver. Intimately acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of every department, they know when their business has a strategic advantage. They confidently offer clients what they need because they understand the complexities of each situation.

As capable communicators, growth champions are not afraid to confront issues or discuss problems, but they do so in a manner that encourages team members to value their abilities. They're good coaches and high achievers with strong track records.

Growth champion 5-year CAGRs: profits 9.7%; sales 8.8%.

All executives should be involved in sales

All non-sales senior leaders should be involved in the selling process and aspire to be growth champions. The B2B game has changed. It's become more competitive than ever, and all star players need to participate. Particularly when the team is pursuing large or complex deals, the involvement of executives is highly advantageous.

Senior leaders have knowledge that can be invaluable in such cases. The networks that they've established over time can be leveraged to build stronger relationships with clients. They can also offer insight into each individual's needs, allowing your entire business to serve clients better.

Sometimes potential clients are wary of anyone they see as a salesperson. Senior leaders aren't associated with previous experiences these individuals may have had in dealing with salespeople. Since they are perceived differently, they are able to approach clients with a greater degree of flexibility, even if the ultimate goal is to make sales.

Non-sales leaders also bring a fresh perspective that lends itself to innovative solutions. Over time, salespeople may lose the ability to see things from the customer's point of view. As an executive, you may share the same needs, concerns and questions as the client.

Ultimately, you'll attract and retain clients when they feel that they're understood. Who better to help a sales team strategize for meetings with the CFO of another business than the CFO of your own business? 

Similarly, if your firm is approaching the health director of another company about the service that your business offers, your own health director's involvement in the process can increase your chances of getting a profitable, long-term contract.

You don't always have to get involved with accounts that are an exact match for you. If you're the marketing manager, you may still be the best person to engage with a legal team. The most important thing is that you do so in a way that establishes a good relationship with clients while opening up a new world of sales possibilities. 

Takeaway: Growth champions help their businesses attain CAGRs that are about double that achieved through any other customer engagement strategy. If your business can convert even a few of your deal makers and social visitors to growth champions, it will significantly improve your bottom line.

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