How To Become More Customer-driven

June 28, 2010

Companies cannot afford to ignore the changing nature of business in the information age. More than any other commodity, information and its dissemination have changed in inalterable ways in the past decade. Where in the past information required diligent research to uncover, now there’s virtually unlimited amounts of information are available at the push of a button on a mobile phone. Or, as Michael Betzer of Oracle Corp. puts it in his article Surviving and Thriving in the Customer-Driven Age:

In the customer-driven age there are no secrets. Compared with just 10 years ago, information is plentiful and easily accessible online, and customers can learn more about an organization or a product in one day than previously was possible in a year …both the positive and the negative…when organizations fail to meet or exceed customer expectations, alternatives are only a Web search away. The ability for marketers to present offers has exploded with the advent of new channels and new media. Offers arrive on cell phones, are posted on street corners and airports, are interspersed within movies and television shows, presented on every Web search – and everything is sponsored. Media is pervasive and customers are immersed in opportunities to find new alternatives to products and services that don’t live up to expectations.1

In no sector has this had a greater effect than sales. With the level of sophistication that can now be expected from customers, sales teams have to work harder than ever before to ensure that they have the customer-driven approach that will ensure long term success with their leads. Smart sales managers have started turning to Lead Management Systems like Leads360 to ensure that their organization is truly customer-driven and create long-term, loyal relationships in this new, hyper-competitive market.

In the same article, Betzer states that one of the most important ways that an organization can become more customer-driven is through consistency. With information about the organization being available almost everywhere, it’s essential that your company can provide a united front to meticulous customer research. When different people give a customer different answers to the same question, it immediately raises red flags. A hot lead can be torpedoed if the customer doesn’t get consistent information from every front, meaning that even a minor miscommunication can lead to the loss of a sale. As a result, a consistent, automated approach becomes all the more important to your sales process. A LMS can be used to create a universally applicable approach to leads that will ensure that your sale won’t be killed by conflicting information coming from different sources. A LMS creates a customized, automated approach to every lead that, while flexible, ensures that all of the information you’re providing to your customers is consistent.

Solid memory of customer details is also an essential element of becoming more customer-driven. With the wide availability of different options, customers are drawn to those companies that prove that they can retain crucial details about the customer. Keeping track of your customers’ information and having that information available to your sales team can be an invaluable tool for a sales team, proving to their leads that they are invested in each individual customer. A LMS can be a crucial to this battle. An automated sales process can and will make all of your customers’ information available to any member of the sales team at the click of a mouse. By utilizing an automated system to record and distribute key details about each customer, your sales team will close more leads and avoid missing out on sales because of a lack of information.

Finally, perhaps the biggest crucial change in the sales sector brought on by the digital age is in the death of old-school spin. Customers in this day and age aren’t going to fall for the age old sales pitch and it’s important that sales agents have the resiliency to adapt to the new culture. Again, Michael Betzer:

With the wealth of information now available on the Web, customers are wary of being “sold.” Gone are the days when the lack of public knowledge about a product or service could mask design shortcomings… In many cases, customers will know more than the salesperson. Before they even speak with the organization, they are likely to fully understand the product or service – what options are available, what colors it comes in, whether it can be used in their neighborhood and coexist with their existing equipment, whether it can be upgraded, extended or traded in, and what price to expect. If the organization does not extend the dialogue from this new benchmark, customers are likely to be dissatisfied.2

It’s essential that sales teams focus on those elements of the sales process that can close leads and don’t rely on their customers’ ignorance. With better informed customers, sales teams have to make up the difference by focusing on every element of their sales process and efficiently investing their time and efforts. A LMS will allow your sales team to contact leads faster, track follow up calls, and ensure that every level of the process is working as quickly and efficiently as possible. The potential results from sales automation are undeniable. For instance, Leads360 data has revealed that 78% of buyers close with the first company that contacts them.3 What’s more, contacting a lead within the first five minutes allows a team to convert those leads 22 times more often.4 Solid follow-up has tangible results as well. A second call attempt alone increases the chance of contacting a lead by 87% and making six attempts gives you a 93% chance of contacting that lead.5 There are few better ways to improve your ROI and become more customer-driven than to simply work your leads with the efficiency and data that a LMS can provide. Rather than making futile efforts to try and sell people who know better, you’ll be lapping the competition by working leads harder and smarter than anyone else.

Times have changed for the sales sector and the competition has grown fierce. In the digital age, it’s essential to any successful organization that they take a more customer-driven approach to win over the new, savvier customers of the information age. A LMS system offers the crucial support necessary to any company to turn its organization into a customer-driven enterprise that maximizes its ROI by getting the most out of every lead. By investing your time and effort into winning customers over with efficiency and a smart, automated sales process focused on the best ways to get results, your organization can become more customer-driven and increase revenue while decreasing costs.

1 Surviving and Thriving in the Customer-Driven Age; Michael Betzer; pp. 1;

2 Surviving and Thriving in the Customer-Driven Age; Michael Betzer; pp. 1;

3 First to Call: Why You Can’t Afford to be Second; Leads360 Whitepaper; pp. 2; June 2008;

4 Leads360 Study on Click to Dial Effectiveness; Leads360 Whitepaper;

5 Six Calls Equal Success: The Surprising Impact of Call Frequency on Lead Conversion; Leads360 Whitepaper; November 2009;

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