Business usually slows in summer when customers and prospects trade their offices for the beach, so sales reps tend to get a lot of “Out of Office” replies in the hotter months.
But because of COVID, most prospects, customers (and the rest of us!) will begrudgingly continue to stay put.
The current environment is not awesome for summer plans, but times like these present a unique opportunity to build better customer relationships, according to Clari’s VP of Customer Success, Amy Johnson, and Director of Customer Success Operations, Jessica Starr. Check out their video below!
During this time, it's hard to tell whether your customers will have the budget when it comes time to renew, but you should be doing everything you can as a revenue team to maintain the relationship and actually begin to find even deeper relationships that might not have been possible before.
Johnson and Starr constantly strategize and execute new ways to become closer to customers. These five activities are their most successful
Reach Out Exec to Exec
Having the right connections is extremely important, no matter what industry a person works in. As a sales or customer success account manager, helping you customers grow their network can deliver a huge value to them. By creating in-roads between executives, you create deeper relationships that allow for greater adoption and potential expansion.
Deploying an executive to executive outreach program allows your C-suite clientele to exchange ideas and share how they navigate similar challenges. Your team will better understand the top priorities of your customers, where your product may fall short, and how you can add value to the current solution in order to become essential to your customers. To create such a program, identify the executives at your customer’s companies and then connect them to your peer executives for a virtual coffee or virtual lunch.
Run Creative Webinars
Consistently running free value add webinars offers a touchpoint to keep your product or company top of mind for prospects, while also increasing adoption.
As you speak to your customers, they’ll often mention their pain points and you might notice similar themes on LinkedIn posts or in group events. Use what you’re hearing to increase your value in the eyes of your customers.
Hosting virtual events about a “hot topic” is a great way to get customers together to see more avenues for using your product. By making sure that they are maximizing the product and using it in their everyday routine, you increase your chances for a successful renewal. Webinars can also be a good place to share new use cases for your platform.
At our recent webinars, we’ve shown participants how Clari’s platform can support the Customer Success team with deep insights on churn forecasting. While our main audience may typically be sales teams, our customers really appreciated how they could extend the same value to other areas of the business.
After the event, we received a lot of requests to partner with customers to implement the new ideas they heard in the event—which we’re always happy to do!
Hold Intimate Roundtables
Webinars are certainly an efficient way to help customers and prospects solve immediate and specific problems, but roundtables present some uniquely different benefits.
By holding intimate roundtables, your team can bond with customers by discussing innovative ideas around specific topics of interest, such as how CROs and CFOs should be collaborating during uncertain times, how to maximize top of funnel initiatives, and how to maximize business process rigor.
This two-way conversation not only strengthens your relationships, it allows both sides to learn from one another. Roundtables also help position your company as an authority and deliver trust, therefore, they should never come with a CTA. It is not a forum to talk about your product, but purely an opportunity to network and learn.
Host Tune-up Programs for Your Product
The last few months have been financially taxing for many businesses. Show your support for your customers by offering them free, value added services that support their business goals during this time. This ensures customers are getting the most out of the product and you're proactively handling any frustrations they might have.
The ultimate goal is to become so essential to their business that they can't afford to not renew.
For example, Clari is offering a free tune-up for our customers to make sure they were getting exactly what they needed out of the product. We took this time to help configure new settings or optimize old ones so they were getting the most out of the product. One popular tune up initiative was to help our customers navigate uncertain times by providing data that helped them understand where their deals were going to land in this new post-COVID world.
Running programs like this spreads goodwill and deepens your relationships, certainly. But also, when you help your customers be more successful in the long-term, it only makes sense that they’ll bring you along for the ride.
Engage Your Company
The mark of an excellent company is when your customer feels that you are part of their internal team and they feel like they are a part of yours. Increase the likelihood of creating this feeling by getting more people in your company involved in the success of your customer.
Deploy other departments to help solve specific problems for your customers. For example, product and engineering can help articulate nuances of how the most complex parts of your platform work and create unique solutions based on the customer’s individual needs. Note: this can take significant resources, so a qualification process may be necessary.
Join Our Community
More insights like these can be found in our Clari Customer Community, which was designed to help our customers connect directly and share the fascinating ways they are driving revenue. If you’d like to join or visit, sign up here!