One thing I learnt from marketing enterprise products and solutions is to never stop engaging with your customers and users. Work doesn’t stop after the purchase order arrives, or the final server rolls out. There are opportunities post-sale to reach out to someone eager to listen.
While it may be extra work, you don’t need much either to begin, just communication. Send an email, make a phone call or fly for a site visit (I wish). Some ideas to start post-sale communications with your customers and users include:
- Ask for feedback and issues
- Help your customers maximize utilization
- Find out whether they are meeting their goals
- Learn how it improves their operations
- If they are unsatisfied, determine why
Feedback and insight from users is invaluable to drive product updates. These can be compartmentalized for design and engineering teams. User stories can be turned to case studies and success stories. Furthermore, it’s a good place to start a product’s best-practices toolkit. Learning more about your customer’s operations can certainly open opportunities to upsell another product or solution.
There’s certainly upsell opportunities, but it isn’t necessary to hinge success strictly on making another sale. How do you ensure that customers continue to use you solution, and also earns recommendation when their peers ask? By helping them be successful, they will feel confident with other product or solution offerings in the lineup. In addition, a customer who’ll vouch for your product and reputation is by far the best salesperson you can ask for.
These activities are especially relevant on a recurring billing model. But if you’re already marketing and selling products in B2B/enterprise with long sale cycles, don’t underestimate what the post-sale cycle can achieve. I’ve found that there is a lot to gain from not asking your customer to exit the store after the sale.