Finally, the sale to that customer you’ve been trying to land for months is completed. The product or service is delivered and the money is in your bank account. Time to sit back, relax and move on to the next customer…right? Not so fast. If you don’t have a plan for conducting post-sale follow-up with your B2B customers, your business is missing out on one of the best ways to boost sales (not to mention improve customer satisfaction).
Following up with customers after the sale offers a unique opportunity to reach out when the memory of their interaction with your business is still fresh in the customer’s mind. By reaching out at this time, you can cement your positive relationship—and possibly upsell additional products and services. Here’s how to develop a post-sale follow-up plan that works.
Assess satisfaction. Follow up with customers, first and foremost, to see if they’re satisfied with your product or service. This will give you the chance to address any questions, concerns or problems before they affect the customer’s opinion of you. Make sure the customer knows how to use your product or service and is getting the most value from it. Depending on your customer base, products and industry, you should be able to determine a time frame that will be most effective for follow-up. Two to four weeks is generally a good range, giving customers enough time to have started using the product or found any problems with the service.
Take the next step. If the customer is having a problem, make sure you solve it to their satisfaction before moving on. (When done correctly, dealing with complaints can actually improve a customer’s opinion of your business.) Once the customer is happy with what you’ve done, then and only then should you suggest additional products or services that will improve their experiences or boost their results even more.
Follow the procedure. For best results with post-sale follow-up, it’s important to create a system that all your salespeople should use. This includes how long after the sale to follow up; the best way to follow up (via email, text, phone call, etc.); and creating standardized templates salespeople can use to reach out to customers. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a great tool for implementing and tracking your post-sale follow-up program—the software can generate reminders when it’s time to follow up and even automate some stages of the process.
Of course, don’t let the system take precedence over any personal relationships that your salespeople have with their customers. The goal is to ensure that follow-up doesn’t fall through the cracks, not to make salespeople into robots, so empower your salespeople to tailor the follow-up program to their individual strengths and their customers’ needs.
By regularly conducting post-sale follow-up and tracking the results, you’ll see a boost in revenues, increased salesperson effectiveness and, most importantly, loyal customers.