While you may not be able overcome fundamental problems with your product or your go-to-market, the good news is there are actually really effective things you can do to help increase customer retention.
Think it’s not important to define your sales culture? Think again. Culture shapes how people work together and independently, reinforces norms of behaviors and sets expectations. Left unchecked, it may not help you attain your goals.
Meetings can make or break your culture. It’s really hard to untangle established patterns in a company to reshape the number duration, and frequency of meetings you have. But you can make significant improvements if you are vigilant. It requires fortitude, and sometimes really putting your foot down to stop the insanity.
Despite how cliche it is, I love to ask sales candidates to “sell me this pen” during the first interview. I can learn more about a candidate with this request than with any other question. As sales leaders, we need to consider increasing our situational questions like this one during interviews to help find the best candidates and avoid the wrong hires.
Why is setting the right buyer expectations so important? Because this is what leads to customers who accelerate themselves through onboarding, adopt your product and renew when it comes time. Buyers who know what to expect are far more likely to be retained than those who don’t. Prepared customers are the best customers.
SaaS customer retention is everything. Everything. If you are bootstrapping or running lean, it’s the only way to have a healthy, profitable company. And if you are raising money or want to be acquired, it’s the basis for the entire valuation of your company. While customer retention takes a village, sales is the most on the front line of selling to the right customers and side stepping the wrong ones.
Without a clear definition of what types of customers and contracts are most likely to be retained, it’s hard to avoid the wrong ones. Sales leadership needs to document, and educate the sales team constantly on these four things.
Everything starts with a sale, and the sales team needs rewards for their hard work. Squeeze budget from every nook and cranny to come up with motivating, useful incentives. But just don’t break the bank.
Working on the business means focusing on the big-picture strategic stuff. Working in the business means…well, it means working in the business. Spending time in the day-to-day running the company. As a leader, you need a balance of both.
Entrepreneurs can be control freaks and micro-manage everything, which stunts a company in so many ways. But, on the flip side, I know a lot of “leaders” who rarely get their hands dirty in the actual work their team is doing. If you spend all your time working “on the business” and no time working “in the business”, you can quickly lose touch with the actual business itself. A good example is that time I scored some leads.