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Retain, Expand, and Upsell Customers

Your customer marketing strategy is as simple as it is important. It all starts with targeting the right high-value customer accounts with data. Next, driving engagement with customers through personalized, multi-channel campaigns. Based on that engagement activity, you’ll then need to help activate your customer success team with the right data to drive focused plays. Lastly, we need to measure our customer marketing activity to optimize and prove success

Wait a minute, that sounds like ABM?

It absolutely is. In fact, your customer retention and expansion strategy is ABM at its finest. Think about it:

  • Essentially, you’re re-flipping your flipped funnel by deploying a proven ABM framework aimed at your customers.Your customers most likely already fit your ideal customer profile (ICP) so there’s no need to build targeted account lists.
  • The account is already mapped. You should already know who the stakeholders are within a particular customer account and have rich profiles on them in your CRM.
  • You have already established the desired business outcomes (DBO) of your customer, so you know what they’re trying to accomplish and how you can help.
  • Cross-functional alignment is easier. While sales people chase whatever opportunity is hottest at the moment, your CS team is completely devoted to their customers already. Any support their marketing team can give them will be deeply appreciated.

Retain

If you have a list of customer accounts who are potentially at-risk for churning, you should leverage the full force of an account-based marketing strategy. This means creating target account lists based on churn signals, engaging decision makers and end users with meaningful experiences, activating your support and success teams with the proper tools and insights, and measuring your success.

The Terminus platform works with your CRM to bring additional firmographics and intent to your accounts so that you can easily filter based on relevant criteria. This will help determine which customer accounts you want to focus on and invite first! 

This natively includes: 

  • Industry 
  • Revenue range 
  • Company size 
  • Bombora intent 
  • Relationship score 
  • Web engagement data 

You can also use any field object you might also have as part of your CRM, which might include: 

  • Opportunity stage 
  • Renewal date 
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) 
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) 
  • Product usage

Target: 

Target the right accounts by building customer segments based on relevant data. For example: create segments based on industry, revenue, CLV, intent, engagement, relationship score, and product usage. 

Create working groups that match customers with a high NPS with those with a low NPS and those with high utilization with those with low utilization. Your goal is to have happy customers reinforce the value of your product with those who might be struggling. 

Bring these customers together for a training session or webinar where you can present new features or product offerings, while also sharing ways customers could be using your product further. Come prepared with a clear plan to drive a specific utilization action and ask your customer ambassadors to share a few things that reinforce that point.

Engage: 

Leverage a multi-channel approach to engage the full buying center of your account for maximum coverage. We recommend using a combination of targeted web advertising, LinkedIn ads, email signature marketing, web personalization, and outreach from your customer success teams.

Have your design team create a template that you can easily use across your digital footprint that includes the account name or logo and the Desired Business Outcome (DBO) your target account is trying to achieve. Why did they originally buy this product? What were they trying to achieve? How can you communicate your value, as it relates to a specific KPI you can hang your hat on? 

Your promotional materials should be extremely goal-oriented and you should ‘surround’ your account with this type of messaging so you are tying your solution to their objectives. Include the date and time on the ad to drive additional urgency and recall.

Activate: 

Activate your sales and success teams by aligning their outreach with your marketing campaigns. Work with them to refine your target account lists per program and build an outbound marketing campaign that will reach every decision maker – not just the end user. While not all may engage, you will want every representative from the buying center to know your value. 

We recommend leveraging the following data types to help build the content for your session and better prepare for helping at-risk customers. 

  • Intent data – Are they researching competing services or brands? If so, what can you present in this session to make you stand out from your competition? 
  • Engagement data – Have they seen the ads related to the business outcome you are trying to help them achieve? Are you hitting all of the right people with the right message? 
  • Relationship score – Are you in regular contact with multiple parts of the buying center? 
  • NPS – Are they satisfied with your services? Do they feel positively about your brand or their success manager? 
  • Product usage – What features have they adopted? How many users are signed up? Is there something more customer success could be doing to help?

Measure: 

Measurement is an important and obvious part of any customer marketing program. The most important KPI to measure is churn rate. To calculate your churn rate, divide churned customers over a period of time by the number of customers you had at the start of that period. 

Compare this average to an average based on customers who have attended these sessions. Use this as your benchmark each quarter as you build out new customer marketing programs. 

Other KPIs to consider: 

  • Product utilization – you’ll want both to improve usage rates and adoption of certain features which may be housed separately in a product utilization solution like Pendo or MixPanel. 
  • Relationship score – this is how we measure penetration into the buying center. You will also want multiple end users who understand the value of your product. 
  • Revenue – the most important KPI to track of all. Recurring revenue (and Customer Lifetime Value) should grow year over year.

Expand + Upsell

ABM isn’t just for new and future customers. In fact, true full-funnel account-based marketing means that you are creating plays and targeting strategies for current customers, too. (After all, you’ve already got their trust and have established a relationship–so who better to continue growing with?) Have a new product feature or service offering to share? How about a newly discovered pain point your product or team can help with? Or perhaps a key renewal date is coming up? These are all forcing functions your team can use as opportunities to market to your customers and expand your contract with them.

The Terminus platform works with your CRM to bring additional firmographics and intent to your accounts so that you can easily filter based on relevant criteria. This will help determine which customer accounts you want to focus on first. 

Here’s what that includes natively: 

  • Bombora intent 
  • Relationship score (employee email and calendar patterns) 
  • Web engagement data 

You can also use any field object you might also have as part of your CRM, which might include: 

  • Renewal date 
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) 
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) 
  • Product usage 
  • Any other custom field

Target: 

With expansion opportunities, we’re obviously talking about current customers. So you already have a starting point or list of accounts to focus on. But there are many more ways to segment and prioritize beyond just “all current customers”. Think about company size, industries, verticals, or even new personas. If your product offers multiple packages or product features, pay attention to utilization and which parts of your product they may not be using yet. 

Use your CSM team to your advantage here. Learn about the primary users of each account, the original buying committee, any new decision makers, and the current trajectory of their business. Leveraging the intent and engagement measurement tools in your tech stack can also help. After getting historical knowledge from your CSM teammates, start your own research. Look through their website, who they’re hiring for, or what campaigns they’re currently running. The more time you spend in this stage, the better prepared you will be to personalize the content and use specific messaging for each subset of customers. 

Engage: 

Now it’s time to create and orchestrate your plays across every relevant channel. To start, we recommend account-based display advertising, LinkedIn, and one-to-one email. Unified, personalized messages across all channels compound their impact. Use consistent imagery or branding with the same overall message. Effectively showcase the new service or feature you want the customer to know about, and use the ad as a call-to-action for the next step. A webinar, meeting with their CSM, or weekly demo with other customers are all good options. 

Activate: 

Set up an engagement spike and account insights within your CRM to let your CSM team know when and who from the customer account is clicking on the ad, signing up for the demo, or registering for the webinar. With Account Insights from Terminus, your CSM will be able to see both known and unknown contacts engaging with your campaigns. This helps show the potential size of the buying committee and new departments or teams within that particular organization. 

Measure: 

After your Sales or CS team appropriately follows up with a call, email, or meeting based on how the customer engaged, it’s time to evaluate a few KPIs that will determine the success of this campaign. Your list can be shorter or longer than this depending on what’s most important to your organization, but here are a few ideas that can guide you: 

  • Number of customer account and/or percentage of customer base that engaged 
  • New meetings or demos booked 
  • Total webinar registrations 
  • New upsell opportunities generated 
  • New users or services added from upsell opportunities 
  • Revenue generated from upsell opportunities