The unfortunate reality is that at this very moment you probably have dozens—maybe even hundreds—of customers in various stages of defection. Right now, these customers are in the process of taking their business elsewhere. And when they do, it’s going to hurt…badly.
In fact, the revenue and profits they take with them could wipe-out all of the gains you’re planning to make through your strategic initiatives this year.
And you know these customers aren’t easily replaced. After all, this isn’t B2C, where there are millions of potential prospects waiting in the wings. This is B2B—and new businesses worth selling to don’t just spring-up on a monthly basis.
To make things even more challenging, customer defection in B2B can be really difficult to spot for a variety of reasons:
- It doesn’t happen overnight. It tends to happen in stages—a little at time, over time—making it difficult to distinguish from normal business fluctuations.
- Customers themselves aren’t often vocal about their intentions—maybe they want to keep you on the hook as a quoting foil, or to hedge their bets.
- Today, salespeople are covering more accounts than ever before and it’s very easy to lose track of what’s happening further down the customer list.
That’s the bad news. The good news is this:
Because customer defection in B2B doesn’t happen overnight, there are clues in your customers’ current buying patterns. No matter how “satisfied” a customer may say they are, their actual purchasing behavior speaks the truth.
And by knowing what to look for—which specific clues to pay attention to—you can identify potential defections before it’s too late and the damage is done.