Advanced B2B Client Retention Tactics

Are you prioritizing a client retention strategy for business growth? Many businesses are taking this path to do more with less and contain costs.

This makes sense with new customer acquisition known to cost up to five times more than client retention and existing clients tending to buy more within a shorter sales cycle.
Retaining top customers that represent up to 80% of your company’s revenue is smart. These clients can sustain your business, helping it remain viable and grow regardless of economic or market conditions.

Customers who achieve results stay on average 6 times longer than customers who don't, according to research by Greg Daines of ChurnRX. And they need to continue receiving measurable outcomes from using your product or service for you to retain them.

To that end, we carefully considered next-level B2B client retention tactics. Implement these to boost your client retention and growth rates.

Establish Effective Onboarding

A smooth handoff from sales to the customer engagement team is the start of an effective onboarding process. This enables account managers to leverage the onboarding process to create and implement an initial account plan based on insights gathered from the customer during the sales process.

Consequently, customers receive their first measurable results from using your product or service early, boosting their chances of retention. This builds trust because the customer sees that you’re delivering on the promises made during the sales process. Receiving a meaningful outcome in a short timeframe boosts the customer’s enthusiasm about their partnership with your organization.

Establish a Customer Engagement Roadmap

Instituting a cyclical series of activities, like our KAM Process™, acts as a guide to help account managers efficiently stay on track without missing a step. These steps occur in three stages.

The first stage is called Know and is where account managers deepen their understanding of the customer, their organization, goals, challenges, and priorities.

Armed with this knowledge, account managers advance to the second stage, called Act, where they create an account plan complete with tasks and milestones to drive measurable customer outcomes. This stage also entails plan communication, implementation, and follow-through.

The third stage of this customer engagement roadmap is called Measure, which involves tracking and gauging progress toward goal achievement as the plan unfolds. The measure stage is based on metrics designated as meaningful to the customer so it’s essential to share status updates with the client and alert them of goal achievement.

Once all steps are complete, it’s time to repeat the cycle. This ensures that account managers stay attuned to evolving customer goals, priorities, and organizational changes. It facilitates creating account plans and adapting them as needed to ensure customers continually receive measurable outcomes. Then account managers can track customer goal achievement to communicate successes to the customer, identify new goals, KPIs, and plans to drive more meaningful outcomes.

Act on Customer Feedback and Close the Loop

Create a feedback loop to keep a finger on the pulse by routinely soliciting input from customers. Share these insights with relevant team members. Then act on, or track steps to address or act on, feedback and follow through with updates to the customer so they know you’re listening.

For instance, when a customer suggests a feature addition for your product or service, share their request with the product team. Ask the team to keep you abreast of related developments. Then keep the customer appraised of relevant progress, including updates relating to the product roadmap as they occur.

Strengthen the Partnership

Developing a strong partnership with top-tier accounts boosts retention while creating a win-win situation. There are various ways to strengthen VIP customer partnerships.

Executive Customer Advisory Boards (CABs), for example, enable executive peers to meet routinely with selected key customer account executives creating alignment between the organizations. These exclusive offsite meetings are also an opportunity for peer-to-peer engagement, idea exchange, and creative problem-solving.

Other means of building partner bonds with key clients is by offering other limited access events, educational opportunities, insights, and community activities. For instance, executive round table discussions, webinars, new feature training, and advocacy opportunities.

Proactively Identify, Manage, and Address Risk

Organizations, markets, and external factors are constantly evolving, some negatively impacting your business and creating account risk. Although some factors are out of our control, there are key account risks that you can influence, IF you spot them early enough.

That’s why it’s crucial for account managers to stay abreast of what’s happening in the customer’s environment so they can recognize potential account risk as it arises. Once identified, timing is everything if there’s a chance to address and overcome the risk to retain the customer. Therefore, it’s best to put risk management steps in place so account managers can immediately spring into action. This enables them to avert the potential loss of a key account and increase customer retention.

Boost B2B Client Retention

Customer retention is a cost-efficient growth strategy. Boost the results of your efforts by giving customers measurable outcomes quickly and consistently. You can achieve this through effective onboarding and following a recurring customer engagement roadmap.

Then gather feedback and close the loop with clients, strengthen partnerships, and proactively manage risk.

Master customer engagement and retention. Register for KAMCon.

CEO at Kapta
Alex Raymond is the CEO of Kapta.