Client Nurturing Strategy Using Smart CRM WorkflowsMay 19, 2022
Yes, You NEED a Client Nurturing Strategy. This is not negotiable for B2B companies.
Before jumping into CRM workflows and automations that make client nurturing easier for you, we must begin with the Why. The key to increasing sales, building strong relationships, and reducing your marketing budget starts with the people you already know - Your Clients.
You may be surprised to learn that, "93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service." (Hubspot)
This data suggests that many companies could increase sales by simply building more trust and better relationships with their existing customer base. Some people call this customer retention, but here we're calling it client nurturing.
When you begin to prioritize client relationships over the marketing tasks that make a lower impact such as social media posts, the results may smack you in the face.
It can cost anywhere from four to ten times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, and that is we're focused on client nurturing. More specifically, this article explores ways to better leverage your CRM and marketing automation software to nurture customers and turn them into brand evangelists or raving fans.
Key Tactics for Client Nurturing
1. Staying in Touch
Go beyond basic Account-Based Marketing efforts and communicate with clients to show you care. Heck, go a step further and try to truly care about them and their business. When you take the time to listen closely, people notice and appreciate it. If that sounds to "emotional" for you, then at least be the trusted advisor who proactively communicates updates and issues in your industry to better serve your clients. For example, when LinkedIn updated their algorithm and there were many new features added, Beckmann Collaborative turned it into a blog post and shared that information with our clients.
Building connections with your current clients may not always result in a huge impact. Some people may brush you off and even make you think your time calling/email was wasted. However, other clients will light up and reflect back to you the huge value you have added to their day - and (hopefully) feed the top of your funnel with new leads. While you cannot automate listening closely, you CAN do a certain level of automated follow-up. More on that later...
2. Client Surveys
When you have an enormous database of clients (past and current), it can sometimes be more efficient to use surveys to gather information before doing any one-to-one outreach. Your time is valuable after all. These can be feedback surveys such as Net Promoter Score, a service or product specific survey, or a market research style survey. Maybe you want to use surveys to simply gather input about what is happening with their business or what they would like to see more of from you. People LOVE to share their thoughts and ideas, so ask.
3. Testimonials and Social Proof
This may be an obvious one, but asking an opinion about how you are doing is so important. Whether it is good, bad, or indifferent, you want to hear from customers / clients about how things are going (or went). You may be surprised to learn new things about the client or how your team is performing. Naturally, testimonials posted to a public place such as Google or Glassdoor are excellent social proof - telling the world what they think about you.
If you never ask, then you will never receive. That is a childhood lesson that applies so very much to client management. After following the first three steps of communicating with genuine curiosity, sending out surveys, and asking for feedback and testimonials, then comes the beginning of a client nurturing strategy. A referral program or referral request plan is low-hanging fruit. If you are doing a good job, then your clients / customers may already be referring others to you. Why not be a little more strategic and thoughtful about how you do this?
A smart referral program may reward clients in a variety of ways. You can go with surprise and delight - maybe just put gift card in the mail or a small credit on their account. Or you can announce an offical program to further incentivize your clients to seek out and remember that you are open to new clients. Often, this is where your CRM or automation software comes in to be most helpful.
Smart CRM Automations for Client Nurturing
You probably worked hard to get the attention and trust of your current clients. After all, it takes an average of 6-8 touches before a lead is likely to convert. So why not dedicate time to nurturing those existing relationships that you worked so hard to establish?
Here are a few ideas we have implemented for our clients to help them with nurturing customer and client relationships using their CRM and marketing automation tools:
1. Create a "Working Anniversary" date field in your CRM and use it to trigger an automation. It could be a reminder for you to send a gift or an automated email. There are a few different CRM plugins that even send a printed card for you. Some clients use this date to schedule an annual meeting with the client to get feedback, check-in and listen to hear about new opportunities. There are several ways to automate a date-based reminder, task, or email.
2. Referral Rewards can be tracked in your CRM or your bookkeeping software. In your CRM, you can create a field that looks up the name of the referral company or contact. Once the deal or opportunity has been won, you can automate a Thank You email.
Alternatively, you can create a task to send a more personalized thank you note. In your bookkeeping software. We used Zoho Flow to automatically create a Credit on an account when the Deal Stage that the current client referred is set to Complete. This is a smart automation that prevents us from missing out on applying that credit when there has been a successful referral. And within our Zoho Books account, we also created an email template with a thank you message that goes along with that credit note. It takes a little time to set up, but is well worth the reduced work and happy clients.
Here's a screenshot of a no-code, very simple flow we created for a referral automation.
3. Automate Market Research in your CRM or email marketing software. If you are using a status for your leads or contacts, then you can easily automate a market research survey. When the status is updated to "Needs Research" or "Learn More" or something else to that effect, you can trigger an email to go out that includes a link to a survey. That survey should be kept short an sweet, but gather some key information to help you learn more about those contacts.
This is technically a strategy we originally deployed for lead nurturing, but you can use the same idea for your clients. Perhaps there is a new contact at an existing client company. You do not yet know this person and need to learn more. So you can shape the email copy to reflect that. Something along the lines of "We heard you are new to the team. Welcome! We'd love to get to know you better. Can we schedule a call to connect? Before we hop on the call, here is a short questionnaire to make the most of our time together..."
4. Contact Scoring is built into most CRM platforms now. If you are not yet leveraging it, now is the time to start. We all know about Lead Scoring - based on the fields and activities of your leads, you give them a score to decide how to prioritize following up. It's a great strategy for busy sales teams. You can apply the same concept to your client Contacts.
If you use a tool like SalesIQ to track the activity on your website, for example, that can be used to add a score to your Contact's profile. Perhaps the clients visiting certain webpages or visiting your website at a certain frequency should be flagged so that you can reach out to them one-on-one. A client may be searching your website for an answer that you could quickly provide over a call. You can use similar logic with your broadcast emails / newsletters.
There are several other smart CRM automations we have created, but these are the most easily replicable ones for client nurturing. What steps are you taking to nurture your clients?