Showing posts with label implementation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label implementation. Show all posts

Buying Cycle – What happens after you close the deal?

Continuing the customer buying cycle series, this post explores what may be the most perilous phase of the buying cycle for customers – what happens after the purchase is concluded.

Regardless of what type of product/service/solution the customer has bought, the next phase is to install/implement the solution in their business in a manner that meets the customer expectations of why they bought the solution. From a customer perspective there are two distinct steps of implementing and implemented in this post-purchase phase of the buying cycle.

During the implementing step the vendor delivers the product/service/solution and the customer commences with implementing the solution as part of their business. Depending on the type of solution this step may be a few days, several months or years. B2B Buying CycleMarketing and sales have typically moved on to finding the next deal and the vendor or third party services/consulting team is in control of the account. While marketing would not engage with a customer in regular marketing activities during this step, it should still closely monitor the situation:

  • Welcome the customer to your community – get them plugged into available resources, services, newsletters, forums, etc.
  • You want all customers to be referenceable – stay in contact and monitor progress
  • Things can and do go wrong in this step – keep a close watch on forums and social media outlets for any signs of dissatisfaction
  • Competitors may still be trolling around – it’s tough to win a deal, stay engaged to make sure you keep the deal.
Once the solution is actively running in an operational mode as part of the customer’s business without outside assistance, it’s considered implemented. Vendor engagement with customers typically shifts to support services as the primary point of contact. Every customer should be a prospective buyer for more:
  • Define what ‘more’ means in your business – product, add-ons, users, services, up-sell, cross-sell, etc.
  • Run specific marketing campaigns and sales programs to sell more to existing customers
  • Get the customer into your reference program
  • Stay in contact via newsletters, forums, customer groups, etc.
  • Ensure that support services are trained to recognize opportunities for selling more.
Staying engaged after the sale in an appropriate manner correlated to the buying cycle steps is the first step to harvest the potential lifetime value of each customer.

How do you stay engaged with customers after the sale?

The next post is the last in this series covering the Achievement and Loyal Customer steps of the customer buying cycle.

The next post explores the

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