No doubt revitalizing lapsed customer relationships can have a major positive impact on sales. In some cases, this can also help improve your company’s brand image and reputation. There is a greater need for sales coaching and training for amplifying the sales force’s effectiveness in this regard.
Some customers may not see themselves as “inactive.” Occasionally, they might even renew their relationship with you on their own, but you can’t afford to assume that will happen or wait for it. Successfully recapturing inactive sales accounts requires a proactive approach and a well-thought-out action plan.
What’s the problem?
The first step is to scrutinize your inactive sales accounts to identify the most likely causes and uncover any patterns among them. You must be brutally honest.
- How long have they been gone?
- Did they go someplace else?
- Are they unhappy?
- Did their needs change?
- Did their financial situation change?
- Was it personal, such as a problematic relationship with a salesperson?
- Was it poor customer service or communication?
- Does it appear that your sales force training is adequate?
What you learn will also help strengthen relationships with current accounts. If lapsed customers had unresolved problems, current customers may be experiencing the same thing, and you don’t want to risk losing anyone else. If former customers now buy from competitors, you need to find out why to get them back.
What to do and How to Provide Sales Coaching and Training to Increase Effectiveness?
Sales managers and CEOs know it’s more cost-effective to retain customers than to obtain new ones. That means it’s critical to overtly address inactive sales accounts.
First, assess the effectiveness of your current sales force:
- How organized are they, and what tools do they use to monitor sales account status?
- How often do they reach out to existing customers, building on that original relationship?
- Do they need additional training to improve upon deficiencies?
Next, allocate some sales coaching and training time with your team, put together a tactical plan to improve customer retention.
John Howey is a talented corporate sales executive proficient in developing systems and programs that help his clients exceed their corporate sales objectives. Proven executive leadership background in generating new business and turning around struggling sales organizations. Skilled in creating and delivering high energy and results-oriented training programs. Prior to working with KESA John was the leader of the top sales team at Cintas, a Fortune 250 multi-national company. John’s teams were consistently in the top 5% of the company. John, a five-time Ironman triathlete, is an ICF Certified Executive Coach and a Six-Sigma Green Belt.