Sell More Projects & Services Through Quarterly Business Reviews
When a customer successfully completes your sales funnel and becomes a customer, the work of the sales and marketing team shouldn’t end there. One of the biggest cardinal sins of business is to not spend enough time selling to your existing customers.
It may not be exactly 80/20 like the Pareto Principal would imply, but a significant amount of your sales will almost certainly come from a small portion of your existing customers. It has also been proven to be substantially more cost effective to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one. This is where the real money is made, especially in the Managed IT industry where there is essentially a limitless variety of products and improvements to sell your customer.
If you would like to keep your customers buying from you it is best to develop a routine that keeps them engaged and holds both parties accountable for meeting ongoing expectations. This way you are able to stay on the pulse of their overall satisfaction and identify problems early before they escalate into major issues. Performing these reviews on a quarterly basis is the ideal interval. It allows enough time in between meetings for actual improvements to be made and should never turn into a redundant conversation that feels like a big waste of time.
When performing your Quarterly Business Reviews, look to touch on these primary points of interest:
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Review success and failures of past milestones.
Much like any meeting agenda, the first thing to address is “old business.” Take a look back at your previous milestones and ensure that all have been met (or are on track for completion). If they are not, identify why, and decide as a group what to do moving forward. If a quote needs to be approved or work needs to be scheduled, add this to the top of your priority list immediately following the meeting.
Execution in between Quarterly meetings is one of the best ways to separate yourself from your competition. A lot of providers have these meetings out of obligation but never actually follow through on the action items they identify. Leave your next meeting with an intensity to make things happen, and prove to your customer that you are serious about continuous improvement.
Present key performance indicators that matter.
No one loves stats, metrics, and analytics more than I do, but there is a definite limit to what should be presented in a quarterly business meeting. Presenting too much statistical information at once can derail the productivity of the meeting and can shift focus away from the macro-issues at hand. Charts and graphs are impressive to look at but if they aren’t part of the “story” you are trying to tell then they are better left omitted from the conversation.
Provide only the figures that best tell the story of what is really going on, not the ones that will earn you a pat on the back or will look good in a pie chart. If the customer wants more, simply schedule an automated report that can be delivered to their inbox as often as they want it. Just know that there is an incredibly high chance that those emails will never get opened.
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Demonstrate current adherence to best practices.
As we often discuss, customers should always know where they stand against your best practices. If they require upgrades on systems such as their network infrastructure, backups, or security they need to be constantly aware of this.
Putting this into an easily digested score, ranking, or checklist will allow the customer to really see how their technology stacks up against the industry and what they can do to improve it. Without taking the time to firmly document these expectations, it will be very difficult to get any customer to follow suit.
Set new goals and a roadmap to accomplish them.
Assuming you have executed on your previous obligations, you should now look to establish new goals and set milestones to accomplish them. Your KPIs and best practice documentation combined can help you determine the next improvement to sell to your customer and the positive impact it will have. For example, if your numbers indicate a large portion of service tickets related to network issues and the customer’s firewall model is clearly below your standard, then this is a solid case to pitch an upgrade project.
As long as you are executing on your recommendations and the solutions are making a difference, then your customers should have no reason not to approve projects in the future. This works to increase the value of the customer over time, not only in the sale of solution projects, but also in the decreased utilization on your service desk.