It's easy to get tunnel vision when you're looking to expand your customer base. While you're focused on filling your funnel with bright, shiny new leads, you forget about the valuable leads gathering dust on your client roster. Your existing customers already trust you and value the solutions you offer. Not only are they more likely to buy from you over your competitors, but they're also your best source for referrals.
Vonage makes it easy for channel partners to leverage existing customers for new sales. Because Vonage offers a variety of communications platforms, all of which are compatible with one another, the technology scales as businesses grow and mature. That means new sales opportunities, even with current clients. Here's how you can leverage existing customers for new business.
Expand Customer Base With UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS
Selling cloud communications isn't a one-and-done deal, at least not with the robust solutions that Vonage has to offer. As the technology continuously evolves to provide new communications platforms and APIs, your prospects are moving further along in their digital transformation.
Many of them are looking for more than an office phone system. They need solutions that automate operations, personalize customer interactions across channels, and improve customer service. They want chatbots and advanced video capabilities. They want to use advanced analytics and AI-based insights.
Vonage provides all these capabilities and more, but many decision-makers don't know that. They don't realize that Vonage's enterprise technology stack includes unified communications as a service (UCaaS), as well as contact center as a service (CCaaS) and communications platform as a service (CPaaS).
By educating your existing customers as they grow about the benefits of these solutions and how easily they all work together, you might find they need far more from you than just a unified communications platform.
Your customers probably won't refer their competitors to you, but they know business leaders in other markets and industries who could be prime prospects.
The Fortune in Your Follow-Up
Do you have customers you haven't touched base with for a while? Reach out and schedule a time to catch up. Find out how their businesses have grown in recent years. What are their greatest communication challenges? What are their current business priorities?
Not only will you learn about opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to these customers, but you'll also position yourself as a valuable business resource. Over half (65.2%) of buyers find value in discussing their challenges with insightful salespeople, according to a 2018 CSO Insights report.
Let's say you have a customer who purchased UCaaS a year ago. At that time, they had no need for CCaaS or CPaaS. Are they ready now?
If so, help them understand the value of these platforms and — most importantly — the advantage of getting them from one vendor. For example, if they pair CPaaS with UCaaS, customers can reach out to the business directly from social channels (using CPaaS). Company agents can respond from the UCaaS platform, which is populated with CRM data so the agent can identify and research the customer before and during the call.
Likewise, pairing UCaaS with CCaaS gives contact center agents access to both systems. If someone messages the contact center with a complicated question the agent can't answer, the agent can pass the customer from the CCaaS system to the UCaaS system, and directly to the expert. They don't have to ask the customer to log off and call or email someone. The transfer is seamless — and so is the customer experience.
In today's highly competitive marketplace, these are exactly the sort of integrated, digital experiences that businesses across industries want to provide for their customers and teams. They just often don't know how Vonage technology can help them do it. That's where channel partners come in.
Leverage Existing Customers for Referrals
You can also gain new leads by asking for referrals. Sure, your customers probably won't refer their competitors to you, but they know business leaders in other markets and industries who could be prime prospects. Just as importantly, they can refer you to other decision-makers inside their organizations. They're pre-qualified and more likely to convert.
Remember that customer who only purchased UCaaS and passed on CPaaS and CCaaS? The reason might not have been lack of interest, but rather lack of jurisdiction. In larger enterprises, these solutions tend to be purchased by different business leaders, with funds from different budgets.
For example, when you sold UCaaS to this customer, you likely worked with the CIO or IT director. To sell the same organization CPaaS, you might need to talk to the CMO, and to get them interested in CCaaS, you need face time with customer service/experience leads. You might be able to get these decision-makers on the phone with cold calls (if their gatekeepers let you through), or you could just ask for an introduction from their colleague — your existing customer.
Take the First Step
Asking is key. Don't assume that satisfied customers will automatically refer you. Even if they're up to speed on all the technology that Vonage offers, they have their own businesses (and lives) to lead, and they likely won't think to refer you … unless you ask.
Ready to leverage existing customers to grow your business? Dust off those old accounts, invite your contacts out to lunch, learn about their communication challenges, and explain how Vonage can help.