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Building a Customer for Life

03.23.16

Consistent and constant customer engagement equals lifetime customer revenue.

By Amanda Hawkins, Marketing Director

Prospects enter the top of the funnel, convert to leads, then get passed on to sales (once properly qualified). At this point, they are owned by the sales team and marketing folks can keep focusing on new prospects. Right? Not if you want a customer for life.

In the new world of cloud and recurring revenue, a change to the traditional marketing and sales funnel is especially important. Marketers cannot hand off sales-qualified leads and be done. At every stage of the customer journey, including after the initial purchase, marketing must continue to provide content and resources to keep a customer engaged with the vendor's products and services. This continued engagement will help increase renewals, up-sells, cross-sells and frankly, happier and more successful customers.

An engaged customer lifecycle model drives 65% of revenue, optimizing lifetime customer value and profitability.

In many cases, vendors are just starting to look beyond the buying phase of the old funnel and beginning to create marketing initiatives at the engage, optimize and expand phases of the new customer journey in order to build that needed "customer for life." If vendors don't have this process perfected, it's likely partners are struggling with the same challenges. Often times partners don't have marketing resources to help them with these new initiatives, or they don't even know the need for new initiatives exists. But partners are your face to customers in the indirect channel. They're responsible for driving revenue and if they're stopping marketing efforts after the buying stage, both they and you are losing valuable opportunities to extend the life of your customers.

The good news is, when we asked partners, "How does your company plan to grow profitability in 2016?" in our State of Partnering report, the top answer (at 62.7%) was, "do more proactive marketing." Partners WANT to get better at marketing. As a vendor, you're in a unique position to help partners grow their business and succeed. If you help them build a customer for life with a focus on the never-ending customer lifecycle, their success will produce better channel sales for you and also go far in the battle to win partner mindshare.

Lend your partners a helping hand and have a conversation with them about how to get started or improve their marketing at all stage of the customer lifecycle. We've created the infographic below to visualize the stages and the steps that may help lead to more customers for life.

Click here or on the graphic below to open in a new tab and see it larger.

Customer Lifecycle Infographic

Amanda Hawkins headshot

Amanda Hawkins is Marketing Director at PartnerPath and is working with her team on their own customer lifecycle initiatives. It's not enough to give good leads to sales, she wants marketing and sales to build a lasting relationship with customers so they stay engaged for as long as they need our PRM and channel products and services.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Industry Perspective

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