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Retain and Grow Customers…or Die

In a subscriber-only training session, “Increasing Revenue Through Real Strategic Sales,” we discussed how strategic sellers in established B2B companies are putting some serious horsepower behind their customer retention and account development efforts.

But judging from the questions we received from the audience afterward, we may not have spent enough time talking about why they are focusing so much attention in these areas.

For B2B companies that really think about the nature of their markets—and their place within those markets—customer retention and account development aren’t just bullet points on a “Top Priorities” slide. No, these strategically-minded companies recognize something that many of their peers miss:

That for most established B2B companies, the ability to retain and grow customers over time is not merely important…it’s actually an existential issue.

Due to the defined nature of most B2B markets, customers are scarce resources that can’t be replaced easily and whose ranks are not growing at a significant pace.

Therefore, a B2B company that fails to stave-off competitive intrusions—fails to retain and grow their existing customers—will eventually find itself struggling to survive on sales to a smaller and smaller addressable universe of new customers.

Of course, when a company views something as being crucial to their very survival, rather than just seeing it as another bullet-point amongst many, they tend to handle it very differently. They’re not content to just rely on the shop-worn strategies that everyone else is using. They’re motivated to go further, consider new methods, and look for better approaches.

Necessity may indeed be the mother of invention. But I’ll venture to say that survival is the father of innovation.

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