At long last, you closed the deal. You fist-bumped your buddy and added it to your quarterly totals. Time to ride off into the sunset and let the accounts team handle the rest. After all, your job is getting ink on paper, right?
Wrong. Like, way wrong.
Look, we get it. You’ve got a ton of prospects in your pipeline, and your boss is hounding you to hit your quota. But if you don’t manage the transition correctly, you’re likely to end up with a dissatisfied client who’s a churn risk from day one. And given the fact that up to 95 percent of consumers share bad experiences with others—and how quickly word of mouth can travel—poor customer service can significantly hurt your chances of selling again in the future.
That’s why our Emissaries stressed the importance of successfully managing the post-sale transition. It’s not only good for your client, it’s good for you. Here’s how to keep those post-sale ties strong.
Be there for a successful transition.
The relationships you built throughout the sales cycle helped you land the deal in the first place. Your internal advocate stuck her neck out for you, so don’t leave her hanging now that the business is won.
“If I have got a very strong salesperson with whom I’ve built a relationship, I then lose that relationship once I’ve bought the product,” our Emissary, a former chief digital officer at Mercer, said. “I’ve always resented losing that relationship, because I’ve put my reputation and my job on the line—literally—to buy what they were selling, and I want that person to succeed with me—or fail with me.”
Give onboarding the same attention you gave your pitch, and stay engaged to keep the lines of communication open. Make yourself available in person, or at least by phone, for the first meeting with an account manager or to answer any questions or concerns your client may have. It may seem like a lot, especially with the sale behind you, but you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting yourself.
“When sales teams give you a chance to talk to other clients and open you up to a community of clients, that’s incredibly attractive,” our Mercer Emissary said. “Opening you up to a great, rich community—I think that’s just really smart.”
Existing clients who have already successfully implemented your solution are a valuable resource for new clients and can provide inside information into how to successfully navigate the transition process. Putting clients in contact shows that you’re a trustworthy partner who pays attention to clients’ needs and prioritizes the customer experience.
Set yourself (and your customer) up for continued success.
After guiding your new client throughout the early stages of implementation, stick around for the long haul and continue to offer advice on how they can best leverage your solution’s full capabilities.
Our Emissary, a former SVP of e-commerce at Costco, suggested that scheduling regular reviews can help maintain ties. “I always really appreciated a quarterly review of most of the major pieces and programs that we purchased, to make sure that everybody’s still happy and that we are really, completely utilizing it,” she said.
Considering that the cost of acquiring a new customer can be as much as 25 times that of keeping an existing one, it’s important to check in regularly to preserve your relationship. Demonstrate your commitment to your client’s success now and you’ll be rewarded with their continued business in the future. With quarterly reviews in place, you’ll have the perfect cadence to introduce new features as your company expands its offerings. Since you’ve been a trusted partner all along, your client will be more open to them.