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Making loyalty a sustainable advantage

In complex sales, retaining existing customers may be TOO hard

If we have complex sales and/or business relationships, our salespeople may find renewals and upgrades of the existing contracts so difficult, they prefer signing up new customers. Typically, businesses which have this problem also have many other productivity problems relating to siloed business processes, lack of digitized contracts, etc.  IStock_000021848870XSmall

Even in small businesses, the founder may unconsciously hoard information about the oldest customers that cause sales people and customer service reps to avoid supporting them. Creating a CRM system is about establishing a place to share information so that the entire organization can help to customers from a unified position. 

Amdocs: What NOT to Do for an Effective Sales Process, 2015-Jun-15 by Anat Ben-Yaakov

Amdocs Research: Automation and the Salesperson: Pushing the Pipeline, 2015

While it may seem absurd, in many cases salespeople find that starting a new sales contract is far easier than up-sell. This is a direct result of working across multiple and overlapping systems, and the ensuing inability to trace the contract and pricing terms. Ironically enough, this could potentially contribute to the loss of existing customers....

In the ethos of sales as a whole, it is hard to believe that a salesperson would risk losing existing customers simply because the methodology and processes are so complex, and require so much extra manual work. However, this is the reality. A high turnover profession at the best of times, dissatisfaction in salespeople is well documented. Add to this cumbersome multiple processes generating unnecessary quantities of “grunt work”, and the likelihood of salespeople making such short-sighted choices as choosing to sign up a new customer rather than maintain and take care of an existing one, grows exponentially.

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