The long-term success of your sales team is directly related to their ability to build strong customer relationships. This is especially true for the most profitable accounts you have. Existing customer relationships are an invaluable source of revenue. This is true during the initial relationship, and through the referrals they can provide. Remember, if you have a sales team that isn’t working to build and maintain these strong connections with valuable clients, the competition may move in and do it. Since building relationships is an important part of the sales process, your sales team must learn what to do and how to do it. Learn more about this below.
Build Trust and Rapport
Customer rapport needs to begin before a sales rep picks up the phone to initiate a conversation. It begins with research, both personal and professional and will continue through the life of the relationship. Be sure to teach your salespeople to take time to cultivate and establish various common interests with customers. A good place to identify these interests is through social media. It’s also smart to encourage sellers to understand and research company needs and the prospect’s pain points. Sales reps need to practice active listening to understand and ask intelligent questions while being able to respond empathetically. It’s important for your team to be as transparent as possible with clients and to follow through on any commitments to build trust and loyalty.
Engage in a Responsive and Structured Manner
Customer relationships that are nurtured in a responsive and structured manner will grow in value and strength as time passes. Be sure to provide coaching for your sales reps that will help them establish consistent communication cadence so clients feel supported and know what to expect from the brand and the rep that they are working with.
Effective communication includes scheduled touchpoints and responsive communication that is triggered by events like customer complaints, content engagement, customer celebrations, and customer questions.
Offer Value Consistently and Frequently
Having strong, long-term relationships is only possible if they are rooted in mutual value. A good rule of thumb is to ensure your sales reps value the customer every time they interact with them. Make sure your team fully understands the value to the customer by differentiating the brand from the competition in the customer’s mind. With the proper tools and skills to communicate value, your salespeople can continue providing value during the customer lifecycle.
Building customer relationships and putting in the effort to maintain them is something that requires energy and time. It isn’t possible to maintain all customer relationships on the same level. Make sure your sales reps understand which customer relationships are the most valuable to the company and which customers they offer the most value for. These are the relationships that should be prioritized. Your sales reps need to spend time reviewing their accounts and organizing them into segments to prioritize. With this exercise, your sales reps will see where they are spending their time now and what changes they should make to be as effective and efficient as possible.
Build Relationships with Several Stakeholders
Developing one-to-one customer relationships is essential when it comes to maintaining large accounts. However, relationships based on just one person are weaker than those developed with several people in an organization. Teach your sales reps to learn who all the key stakeholders, champions, decision-makers, and influencers are. This is going to help them establish and maintain relationships throughout the organization.
Improving Client Relationships
When it comes to improving existing and new client relationships, there are more than a few things your sales reps can do. A good place to begin this process is with the tips above. These will help ensure your sales reps understand your clients and that they develop the best relationships possible with them. Remember, you will close more sales if your sales reps learn how to develop these all-important relationships with clients.