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Channel Matters Blog > July 2014 > An Easy Way to Improve Customer Retention

An Easy Way to Improve Customer Retention

by Scott P Leeper
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It costs as much as 10X more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. That’s common knowledge. It’s also one of the reasons so many businesses are willing to invest big money in customer retention. The payback is clear. As you’re weighing the cost of new customer retention programs against the potential benefits, there’s one approach that has been proven to deliver results.
 
The Channel Enablers 2014 Channel Sales Competency Study took a look at 55 different channel professional behaviors and activities and tied them back to actual results.
 
For those organizations whose channel managers were able to recognize their partners’ influencing styles, aggregate end-customer retention improved by 111%.
 
“The channel manager’s role is much like the frontline sales manager,” says Rich Blakeman, Channel Enablers Managing Director. “The difference is that their team doesn’t report directly to them. The usual techniques that a manager might use, such as setting procedures and policies, don’t always work.”
 
Channel managers need to be especially cognizant of the way each partner is open to being influenced. For some it might be a spreadsheet analysis showing the return of a proposed initiative. For others, it might be painting a vivid image of what success looks like.
 
To use this approach, channel managers have to understand the channel partners’ goals, but it’s more than just that. They have to also know how to convince channel partners that their proposal will help them achieve their objectives. The key is that an approach that works with one channel partner might fall completely flat with another.
 
As the research suggests, customer retention is one area where being able to influence partners can have a significant impact. “We’ve found that channel partners often need help when it comes to creating strong customer retention strategies,” says Blakeman. “When a channel manager can influence a partner to support a given initiative or change their approach to customers, they are better able to coach the partner to improve performance and drive results.”
 
 
 
 
 
Last modified on 7/31/2014 9:12:17 AM
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