By Jeff Winters on Aug 29, 2017 1:00:53 AM
Ok. You have a large client (or maybe it's your biggest customer) that's been with you for years. You have a great relationship, they’re in love with your services, and they're highly profitable.
But. They're growing. FAST. Great news right? Well, for them yes. For you, maybe not so much. You start seeing little signs. Signs that you might be on the way out. You know what I'm talking about, right?
Signs they might be slowly breaking up with you:
-The client starts responding to your emails a little less quickly
-They asked to see a copy of your agreement "for their file"
-They keep pushing back your golf outing
You’re fighting sinking feelings that they're going to bring in an internal resource and give you the old, "you did a great job but....." routine.
Well, you do have some options:
1. Ignore it, you're probably being paranoid (you're not)
2. Drop by and ask for the straight scoop (if they wanted to tell you, they would have)
3. Begin a relentless effort to replace that business as though it's lost already because the truth is, unfortunately, if it's not today it'll be gone soon enough regardless of what you do.
This experience is awful, and is in some cases, unavoidable. However, here are a few ideas you can implement to fill your pipeline, improve sales calls, and win deals faster in the face of losing a large client.
1. Improve your initial sales calls
According to research, B2B leads close at an average rate of .78%. This is alarmingly low. There are a variety of reasons why, but certainly chief amongst them is the quality of the first sales call.
There are a number of ways to improve sales performance but one of the more interesting that I've come across is Gong.io. This is a platform that analyzes your calls and provides feedback based on the over 500k calls the platform has analyzed. It's real-time, objective, and easy top use. While a tad pricey, it's a platform that pays for itself quickly.
2. Outsource appointment setting, NOT lead generation
There's a major difference. Leads can mean any number of different things. And, taking a chance on "leads" can lead (too easy) to major disappointments.
I recommend speaking with a company that helps you get quality MEETINGS with decision makers. The great part about outsourcing this function (very similar to when clients outsource to you) is that (if you select the right partner) you can turn it on like a light switch–agreement signed today and leads in the door in 2 weeks.
3. Implement the right CRM
There are TONS of options in the CRM space and it's incumbent on any salesperson / team to find the one that suits them best.
One under-the-radar, affordable option is ProsperWorks. If you are using Gmail, it’s a phenomenal tool. It's not overwhelming, it provides great intel on prospects, and you can even enter them into the system from the inbox.
Most prospect information auto-fills into the system in no time. Take it from someone who HATES CRM data-entry, ProsperWorks is worth checking out.
4. Purchase an e-sign proposal tool
These tools are widely available ; however, for whatever reason it seems like MSPs are slow to adopt. PandaDoc is one such tool and not only can you send and sign proposals, but also you can see how much time your prospect is spending on each page the doc informing your next moves.
So in sum, if you think you have a major client headed out the door, spend your time filling the sales pipeline and closing deals instead of endless hours strategizing how to save your big account.
One of our clients tried every method under the sun (Cold Calling, AdWords, Direct Mail, etc.) before coming to Sapper. They started with 3 test campaigns and we quickly expanded to support their lead generation efforts nationally, generating millions of dollars in pipeline.