Customer Expansion

Customer acquisition and demand generation just seem to get all the love when it comes to commercial spend and resources.

Even though the vast majority of company revenue and growth in a given year will come from existing customers, customer success programs typically have to make do with commercial content from the customer acquisition side. Best case, they manage to cobble together their own communications with a comparably limited budget.

Nearly half the companies surveyed by Corporate Visions invest less than 10 percent of their sales and marketing budgets in messaging and content for critical commercial conversations like renewals and upsells.

Meanwhile, less than half develop customized content for these selling situations. The majority just use the same messages, regardless of the customer relationship.

Despite getting short shrift from an investment standpoint, customer expansion has emerged as a key growth engine—a separate set of skills that demands attention. Its rise in profile comes on the heels of research that continues to validate its importance, including a well-publicized finding from Bain & Company, which found that a 5 percent boost in customer retention could increase profits by 25 percent or more.

The question is whether you should treat customer expansion the same as customer acquisition, or if it requires its own distinct messaging, content, and skills competencies.

Do the same training approaches and messaging techniques that work for customer acquisition pass muster when you need to renew customers, get them to pay more, expand the relationship, or regain their loyalty? Or do these situations have their own unique pressures and demands that revenue teams need to understand and tap into?

Just because the majority of companies—58 percent, according to a Corporate Visions survey—see no need to differentiate their messaging and content between customer acquisition and customer retention/expansion doesn’t mean a one-size-fits-all approach is right.

In fact, research reveals it’s quite wrong. Selling to existing customers does require distinct messages and conversation approach because the demands of those must-win situations are radically different from those of customer acquisition. Treat them the same at your peril.

In this collection of science-backed resources, you’ll learn how to navigate the four acute commercial moments with existing customers—renewals, price increases, upsells, and service recoveries.

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