Value Realization: Maximize Your Customer Relationships and Keep Them Coming Back
There’s a tendency to think that value selling ends once you’ve won the sale. But that is far from the truth. The role value plays after winning a customer is just as important as the steps that come before it. When prospects sign the contract, it’s really just the beginning of your relationship. The real measure of value begins after implementation and with every interaction thereafter.
The Proof is in the Value
Any successful process has a clear through-line. In customer relationship success strategies, that through-line is value realization. It is the center of initial conversations, the calculation of business value added, the creation of value hypotheses, and the delivery of product functionality and ongoing services. Your customers selected your solution because of the potential value they saw in it. So, it makes sense that that value add is their ongoing barometer of success. In fact, this is where your promises come to life.
Value realization is the measure of actual value achieved relative to the expected outcomes established during the sales process. This is where customers can hold you to your word. During this stage of the customer journey, your greatest goal is to keep the focus on value achieved, while at the same time staying attuned to evolving needs. After all, business today is extraordinarily dynamic. An added component of delivering value is your ability to stay connected to what’s important to your customers. Sometimes the goal does actually move.
Whether you’re showing value realization based on the initial hypothesis or you’ve adjusted your measures, it’s always important to remember that acquiring a new customer is always more costly than keeping one. In fact, studies have shown that onboarding new clients can cost five times as much as retention. So, the key is finding opportunities to keep the clients that you have happy. This is the essence of value realization. It’s about setting the foundation for a long-term relationship that benefits you and your customers. To foster an organization-wide commitment to a customer lifetime value mindset requires that you make value realization a strategic business priority. In addition to keeping customer churn at bay, value realization as a strategic business driver can also result in service expansion and up-sell opportunities. And the best way to ensure you can make this happen is through consistent and continuous value-centered communication.
Value Today, Customers Always
For any strategic priority, systematizing the effort enables consistent follow-through. Having a platform that makes communicating value easy and that empowers your customer success team with self-service capabilities makes all the difference. A technology platform like ValueCloud® is at the heart of any automated and readily accessible process. With ValueCloud®, value metrics are always at your fingertips. That means you can demonstrate value before a customer even asks for it. For your customer, it means they can tap into insights that allow them to quickly surface results to their board and other critical stakeholders.
A concerted value realization strategy makes it easy for your champion to justify the investment in your solution. Organizations that wait to calculate value delivered until clients request it or only during the renewal process are asking for tough negotiations and demands for discounts. Without a proactive approach to value communication, companies find themselves in a defensive position in every renewal situation. It also means they aren’t staying on top of the evolving needs of their customers. After all, the key to consistent value delivery is ensuring that what you provide is always aligned with the changing goals or your customers or shifting market realities.
Implementing a solution that facilitates regular value-centered conversations with your customer makes you proactive rather than reactive. In fact, continuing to measure and communicate value post-sale drives business growth. Using this approach encourages a customer lifetime mindset—giving you opportunities for renewal, up-and cross-selling, and building case studies to attract new customers. Value realization metrics are important to deepening existing relationships based on a shared understanding of mutual success. Adopting a hands-off strategy leaves a gap in engagement between winning the sale and renewal negotiations, opening the door for your competitors. With the right value realization tools in place, retention is simply built into the process.