5 Key Takeaways from The Customer Room

September 30, 2020 Written by Kolby Tallentire

MetaCX’s first-ever virtual event, The Customer Room, premiered last week and we’re still on a high from the experience. It was a thrill to host such a diverse mix of industry analysts, thought leaders, venture capitalists, and start-up experts who were eager to discuss the future of B2B. 

If you weren’t able to attend the live event, don’t worry! All sessions are now available on demand. Just provide your name and email address and you’ll receive unfiltered access to 14 sessions, 25 speakers, and 5 musical guests. Sign up here

If your next meeting starts in ten minutes and you only have time for the highlights, we’ve outlined the top five takeaways below!  

Takeaway 1: Existing customers are a company’s biggest lever for revenue growth. 

When economies stall, the priority pendulum swings from revenue growth to cost reduction. SaaS companies feel this shift acutely as their prospects pivot to cost-cutting mode, making new logo acquisitions harder than ever.

The best playbook for growth, especially in times like these, involves leaning into existing customers rather than acquiring new ones, and demonstrating measurable proof of value rather than increasing ad dollars or demand gen efforts.  

Creating growth opportunities within your customer base starts with developing a systematic and repeatable approach to customer success. At the heart of this is an outcomes-based approach that begins with 1) achieving alignment with prospects on a shared definition of success; 2) continues into how we deliver on these promises in our implementation, onboarding, and user training; and, 3) culminates with proof of performance demonstrated by measurable value realization.

“Without buy-in from the top on the importance of investing in existing customer relationships, companies will continue to be drunk on logo acquisition.” – Jill Rowley, Fund Advisor at Stage 2 Capital   

Takeaway 2: Healthy, long term customer relationships stem from suppliers and buyers working together toward common goals and objectives. 

Revenue organizations have traditionally focused on how they target and sell, not on how they serve the end goal of a buyer. One of the ways to differentiate and build lasting customer relationships is through outcomes-based selling and success. By focusing on how your product fulfills the needs of your target audience, you’ll earn trust, build mutual accountability, and move deals forward.

“When I’m looking at picking a vendor, really what I’m saying is, are they going to be good at what they do? Am I going to get the value I need to hit specific goals? It’s really about creating an extension of my team.” – Muhammad Yasin, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Perq

Takeaway  3: Diversity inclusion is about more than just numbers and percentages. 

Recent events have drawn much needed attention to the inequality that persists in our communities. Many companies have set goals around creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces, but many of these initiatives miss the bigger point that these efforts aren’t about compliance with a policy or achievement of specific metrics, but building stronger, more resilient companies founded on diverse ideas and experiences, that are reflections of the communities they serve.

And how does a company do that? There are many ways, but it all starts from the top down. Leaders who value and respect diversity create companies who value and respect diversity. It requires a shift in thinking that goes beyond hiring practices and a few words in the employee handbook. 

“Leadership training is one of the biggest levers you can use to enact change. The majority of employees don’t leave their companies, they leave their managers.” – Troy Cosey, General Manager at Strive

Takeaway 4: Transparency is a powerful strategy, especially now, for a supplier to differentiate their approach to a customer relationship.

Research overwhelmingly suggests that being transparent with customers sells better and builds stronger relationships than pretending your solutions are perfect. The reality is that, as a seller, your information advantage is gone, so why pretend that your customers don’t already know the truth?

It’s in your greatest interest to be transparent with customers right from the beginning, starting with a shared understanding of what customers want and expect, extending into the delivery on this promise, and finally, proof that these promised outcomes have been achieved.

 “As human beings, the trigger for purchase is when we can accurately predict what our experience is going to be. Transparency sells better than perfection. When we lead with our flaws, magic happens in the buying brain.” – Todd Caponi, Author of The Transparency Sale

Takeaway 5: The companies that survive the economic challenges of 2020 will be those who lean into change and abandon old methodologies that simply don’t work anymore. 

The fact that The Customer Room is a virtual, on demand conference instead of an in-person event is the greatest example of this takeaway. The business world has been turned upside down practically overnight. But aside from being a time of great uncertainty, it’s also a time of creativity and innovation. Try leaning into the advantages this moment creates and find creative ways to navigate the obstacles it presents. 

Not sure where to start? Look at your areas of investment that are not converting. Reallocate that spending to other, riskier (and potentially more impactful) initiatives. You have nothing to lose. 

“In the current environment, there is a race with the competition and there’s a race with the clock in order to use the state of the world to enact change.” – Mary Kay Huse, Co-Founder & CEO at Mandolin

These are just a few of the many insights shared in The Customer Room. Gain access to the entire library of content here

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