Half of B2B companies lack proper retention strategy
The majority of new sales at business-to-business organizations come from existing customers, but only half of those polled in a new survey have a department whose primary focus is loyalty.
The need to integrate customer retention into a company’s business strategy is apparent, according to “Customer Loyalty Techniques For Business-to-Business Marketing Programs,” a new white paper issued by Loyalty 360 – The Loyalty Marketer’s Association and SAS.
Thed white paper analyses the keys to building and delivering successful customer experiences in B2B marketing, and sets out to answer two critical questions:
(1) How are B2B companies becoming successful in customer loyalty and retention campaigns?
(2) How are they aligning their marketing programs to customer lifecycles and voice of the customer programs?
“For years, customer loyalty was clearly a sales and account management function guided by a belief that any program would drive incremental sales growth and retention,” says Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty 360.
“Recently, we’ve seen a surge of dedicated marketing support for customer retention efforts within B2B organizations. These organizations are realizing that because the insights derived from loyalty programs impact the C-Suite, it is important to be accountable to and cognizant of the respective needs of these stakeholders. Data, integrity, insight, and constant monitoring of these programs are necessary for continued success.”
Stacy Hobson, director of Customer Loyalty at SAS, added: “While B2B marketing seems to be behind, we found that they are following B2C’s lead and moving in the right direction – looking not only to retain customers but working to build advocacy as well.”
Overall, the research found that:
• B2B organizations are beginning to take a closer, more strategic look at customer loyalty initiatives and gaining a clearer understanding of the proven value a customer retention department could mean to their business and their bottom line.
• A vast majority (93.9%) of B2B companies with a loyalty departments report there was senior level executive support for creating such a department — the high-level support that is imperative for the launch, commitment and long-term success of these programs.
• B2B companies with customer loyalty departments use the myriad opportunities available to them to listen and respond to their customers. They align their voice of the customer program with their customer lifecycle, and they have metrics in place to measure the success of their retention efforts.
• With the trend to dedicate more resources to customer loyalty, B2B marketers are utilizing more sophisticated metrics to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing retention programs.
• A significant amount of B2B companies without a program are planning to launch one in the future. And when they start this journey, they will do so with the strong support from the C-Suite.
Johson said: “Loyalty is a journey, not a destination. As our research confirmed, B2B companies that forsake a loyalty program now will be further behind in their respective journey to customer understanding, engagement, advocacy and increased share of wallet.”
To download a free copy of “Customer Loyalty Techniques For Business-to-Business Marketing Programs,” visit www.loyalty360.org/white_papers/sas_loyalty360/