How to Increase Customer Acquisition When You Have Too Many Competitors to Count
If your business operates long enough, you’ll likely reach a point where your new customer acquisition begins to slow down – and that’s not great for the bottom line. Your market is a dynamic space, and both new and firmly rooted competitors will innovate to keep customer procurement humming along.
How do you get the old spark back and expand your clientele? Start by revisiting your customer acquisition strategies.
Most businesses find that overhauling some of their perceptions, increasing buying opportunities, and reaching out for outbound and inbound sales support can revitalize their customer acquisition process.
Improve Your Outbound Acquisition
Even in the digital age, where consumers can be reached passively online through Google Ads and remarketing campaigns, outbound agents have a part to play. In our experience, improving outbound sales is still an integral part of an effective customer acquisition strategy.
Here’s an example. One of our clients in the media and entertainment sector wanted to rapidly grow their customer base in their increasingly crowded field. Using our expertise building outbound sales programs, we led the hiring and training of an exceptional sales support team. Additionally, we laid the groundwork with a compelling script, crafted convincing responses to customer objections, and connected with stakeholders on actionable tasks and metrics. Through an evolving process, we were able to double their customer acquisition in a year’s time.
How you approach your outbound acquisition may vary. But whether you’re training your own sales people, providing them with outbound sales support, or outsourcing your sales team for specific campaigns, you have the potential to grow your slice of the consumer pie even as your competition grows fierce.
Building Perceived Value
Before you can get to an effective outbound program, it might help to refresh with some of the basics. For starters, the value of your product or service is not intrinsic. It all depends on proper framing. Need an example? Daniel H. Pink, business and behavioral science author, illustrates the point with two yard signs. One sign said “We Are Watching. Pick Up After Your Pet.” Another said “Children Play Here. Pick Up After Your Dog.” Both desire the same outcome, but not surprisingly, the sign that gives a higher perceived value (i.e. preventing kids from slipping in dog droppings) will yield more compliance. Though not a straight business example, it shows how perceived value can motivate human actions.
People’s buying habits are influenced in the same way. In fact, studies show that perceived value is strongly linked with ongoing CSAT and profits, and that an organization can influence the perception of a brand’s quality, benefits, related sacrifices, and price. To alter brand perception, you likely need to rework aspects of your sales messaging and framework.
Before you can influence how your customers perceive your brand, you need to identify what they value. The best way to achieve this is a fresh evaluation of your buyer personas. What are your customers’ challenges? What motivates them to make a purchase? What do they value most in your products or services? Review your most common objections and reverse engineer a customer motivation you’ve yet to adequately address. Audit customer testimonials in search of any overlooked pain points they discuss. Most importantly, assess your buyer personas with fresh eyes to ensure no reasons escape your understanding.
Additionally, building perceived value goes beyond selling the boilerplate solution. Advertising value-added services isn’t only for the media and entertainment industry. Sales agents who effectively identify which secondary or tertiary features have the greatest influence on a buyer’s perception will have more success expanding your customer base.
Simplifying the Buyer Process
Prospects are not known for their patience. When the mood strikes, anything less than a streamlined buying process erodes the sale. That’s why, no matter how your business interacts with prospects, the entire process should be simple and gratifying.
Let’s start with ecommerce. Inbound prospects want an effortless, almost unconscious buying experience. A long and confusing checkout process is one of the fastest ways to reverse a buying decision. Smashing Magazine (in a great article) points to issues like a lack of detailed product information, requiring an account to buy, and poor customer service as other sales deterrents. Avoid these problems in your ecommerce process and you’ll remove a big barrier to increasing your customer acquisition.
What about your customer contact channels? When a consumer is ready to make their purchase, active inbound and outbound agents and sales rep close the deal. This means agents who can efficiently and securely take payments from new and loyal customers. Furthermore, these transactions require PCI-DSS compliance to ensure sensitive cardholder data is subject to secure storage, encryption when transferred across open networks, and regular security testing. That way, you avoid pesky fines and spikes in customer churn (70% of consumers consider stopping business with companies that allow data breaches to happen).
Want to learn how outbound sales support can improve your customer acquisition strategies? Read our case study “How a Media Giant Doubled Outbound Sales Acquisitions in One Year.”
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