Research says 71% of businesses don’t have a plan to increase revenue per customer after a deal is closed.
In simple words founders and business owners are rejoicing over a small transaction and in the process walking away with lots of cash lying on the table.
The closest analogy is that of a marathon runner stopping at the quarter stage mark and jubilating.
Imagine how silly that can be!
Also in simple words means being blind to the fact that there is a big layer cake right across the table however we are busy eating the crumbs off the plate.
You should try putting in the keywords “celebrating too early” in YouTube– it will make your day.
The money funnel, is what I like calling it starts once the sales funnel ends.
Imagine this to be an elongated steel pipe connected to the bottom of the funnel at one end and the other connected to your bank.
These strategies are not only for the big boys. Any business (especially services based) can use these strategies.
Let’s see how we do it.
For decades sales gurus and internet ninjas have been selling the Sales Funnel so much that all that we could imagine is taking leads through a constricted, claustrophobic funnel and dropping them at the end like a drop of gasoline.
The sales funnel has suddenly become the holy grail which is sacrosanct and sanctitious.
A closed deal isn’t actually a big deal.
What you do after you have on boarded the customer, determines your business success.
Let’s look at a large enterprise.
So, they have a marketing team, whose sole job is to attract leads, qualify them and pass it on to the sales team.
The sales team then brings out their mighty funnel, follows every trick in the book to close the opportunity and hand it over to the account management team.
The account management team is a confused team. They don’t know whether they are customer service guys or to they are inside sales folks.
So it’s like a relay race where the customer keeps moving from rep to rep changing departments.
Now think for a bit. Can your business afford to have such categorization of work force and take the customer on a ride?
Probably not; either you are alone or have a small team doing basically doing everything listed above.
Let’s see how can we maximize customer success and increase massive revenues for us.
- Your business is plotting your customers’ success. Period
That is such a simple yet profound business vision.
Imagine your elevator pitch saying “ I’m busy making my customers successful”.
With so much effort we fine a lead and bring them to buy our services, why would we want to end the song so abruptly, by just concluding a transaction?
In my good old days as a relationship manager with Akamai technologies, all reps were supposed to chart a customer journey on how can we sell or atleast expose the customer to all the “relevant” product line available with us.
My target was to increase the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) from X to 2X by the end of the year.
Basically make them spend more– not by just emptying the wardrobe in front of the customer but by understanding their business, what moves their needle and most importantly what will make my contact look good infront of his management.
Recent case in hand is a web designing company that I engaged with to make my website.
All they were interested in was a X dollar value basic web designing pack and wash their hands off.
They never bothered to ask me where was I headed, what my business was, who my customers are and what was I going to do with the website.
- Golden rules
Learn about your customer and their dreams.
Chart a journey, filled with milestones with not only that you can offer but also with that you can refer.
So in my case the web designing company could have known that I would need SEO, or need content writing. Would I need help with social media marketing? Oh yes! Do I need help with email marketing? I swear I do.
By asking and engaging with me, In my eyes they would have been a business transformation company not only a web designing outfit.
Small companies need big imagination.
Manny Medina of Outreach says “ reduce your land and accelerate your expansion”.
It’s the same strategy Netflix and Amazon use to get more out of us–they have plotted a chart where they tell us what we need from them.
When has anybody lost by collaborating?
Read the book “The Go Giver” if you need to strengthen your “giving” muscle.
Your customer journey would have lots of unknown milestones which you might not be able to deliver.
But surely you can refer others who are good in those services.
Now you can kill two birds with a single stone!
One, you have gotten respect and built deep relationship with your customer and second, you have given business to others in your ecosystem or other startups. This creates good karma!
The web designer refers to his customer a great social media marketing company. Next time the social media marketing company gets a web designing project, who do you think they have in mind?
You can collaborate effectively with mutually-complementing-service-providers if you know who you ideal customer is, their pain areas and their business objectives.
Your objective is become your customer’s trusted advisor and a one-stop-shop.
Have a growth team, not a sales team
Incentives drive behaviour.
Most QSR (quick service restaurant) staff are incentivised on selling add-ons on to your burger and making you increase the average order.
Hence, they give you a wry smile and confuse you with numbers which ultimately leave you tired and settling down with whatever was suggested.
What if they were incentivised on how well they spoke to the customers, did they sound professional and courteous and at the end of the transaction, there would be a tablet with a rating 1 to 5? Would the QSR executive behave differently?
Instead of calling your sales people try calling them Relationship Consultants or Growth experts, observe how they strategise, speak to your customers, and are more aligned to your business goals. .
When we call someone a salesman or a saleswoman, we basically expect them to become lone wolves whose only job is to hunt for prey.
No wonder the commonly used lingo within salespeople is “let’s kill them”, “let’s get them” “am going to finish them off”, “lets get the job done”
Aggression is a great tool but when directed inwards tend to destroy company values.
Also such incentives create cannibalistic tendencies where your own salespeople start competing within.
A small change for your business, would be a giant leap for your customers’ dreams.
Your new money funnel
You make a small purchase at Amazon, it shows you “people also bought this” and now you have added that product.
Amazon just “pre-checked” you out with a small additional purchase before you checked out.
So if you selling web designing to a small consulting firm, just before you send the invoice to the customer, inform them that most of your other customers buy the “wordpress plugin manager” or the “widget fixer” along with this.
You do this before the customer has sealed the deal with you–its pre-checkout.
You might just look at some more money in your bank.
So if you have done your research well on the customer, you would recommend them a higher package based on where they are currently on their journey.
So after the website is designed, offer them a “5 custom website + SEO“ pack at a higher price.
Or a “Priority customer service” pack which will make them a looked-after-customer.
The idea is to constantly increase the share of spend from your existing customers.
It’s called an Upsell.
Your upsell could also come with a package that you could offer along with your collaborators like a “Sleep easy Social Media Automation + WordPress management”.
Take a revenue share from the referral company.
Need predictable cash flow each month? Be creative, start a Subscription program–start a membership drive.
Young startups like dollar shave club are challenging the might of Gillette with such a strategy.
Create 3 packs (humans love anything that is offer in threes) and a predictable outcome against the committed amount.
It’s that simple.
A sales funnel is a process and a system that helps you to visualize the health of your business.
It is supposed to be a dynamic one, a fluid one with loads of imagination.
The more time a customer spends in your ecosystem, higher the odds that they will spend more with you.
So make them feel important and the cornerstone of your business.
When you keep caring for your customer, money just walks right into your bank.