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5 Sales Tips for Navigating the B2B Buying Process

Much has recently been written about the digitization of sales and marketing.  One study by CEB Global found that by the time a customer engages with your sales team after performing initial research, a whopping 57% of the B2B purchase process is already done.

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High-speed internet: Nice to have or essential to economic development?

We are hearing about damaged gas lines, dug-up yards, and other issues because Google Fiber, AT&T and their competitors are installing faster internet infrastructure in Charlotte. There is some misery and some people are asking, “Is the disruption worth it?”

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Innovation and the Art of Recognizing Opportunity

I often speak about customer experience in my blogs. I do so because a company that provides a superior customer experience creates a robust strategic differentiator. However, today I want to focus on product innovation and a success story of one of our clients, AGCO.

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Keeping the Experience Alive and Vital

Many companies have had a formal customer experience program in place for many years. They have accumulated thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of interviews. Employees have completed training, and new technologies have been implemented to improve the customer experience. Among our long-time clients, all have a customer experience that is superior to what it was in the past. As I work with these clients, I have had several discussions about how to keep their program both fresh and effective. I want to outline some suggestions that can help keep the feedback component of your program alive and well:

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Do Your Customers Trust You?

It is a question not often formally asked of customers. The response to this question is assumed. “Customers trust us. Why else would they do business with us?” However, it is a question you should consider asking your customers based on our experiences. Their responses may surprise you and may also make a difference to your company’s bottom (and top) line.

Trust and Loyalty: What’s The Connection?

Intuitively, managers know that it is better to have customers that trust them more than less. Since trust, we think, is derived from experiences customers have with a supplier, I want to identify those areas that are critical to enhancing the level of a customer’s trust in your company.

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How to Cut Out Customer Feedback Friction

Customer feedback is an essential ingredient for building better customer experiences, which help businesses survive and thrive.

Too often, though, feedback processes contain unnecessary friction, which causes customers to drop out of the process.

This is a lose-lose situation. The company is deprived of customer insights and customers waste their time.

Here’s the good news: By following a few simple steps, you can prevent or solve much of the friction in feedback processes. Before getting to those, though, let me share why I’m writing about this in the first place.

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Customer Experience KPI’s: Unintended Consequences (and How to Avoid Them)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be invaluable in helping companies manage progress towards their goals. A KPI answers the question “Are we on track?” with a single metric. Put enough KPIs on a dashboard, and you’ve struck management gold: a snapshot of your business, distilled to a single page.

Applied to customer experience improvement efforts, KPIs can help businesses put actionable, “hard” metrics around what can otherwise be a “soft” topic. Just the ticket for aligning your efforts to become more customer centric. So, what’s not to love?

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5 Reasons to Make Thanksgiving a Habit

For those of us in the US, the Thanksgiving Day holiday is just a couple days away.  Millions are flying, driving, cleaning and cooking, all while trying to keep the wheels turning at work for another day or so.

The run-up to Thanksgiving is often busy, and for some it can feel overwhelming.  The Google search term “holiday stress” is up 60% in the past seven days alone.

With that in mind, why in the world would we want to make Thanksgiving a habit?!

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The B2B Sales Rep.: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

With all the talk of social media and its importance in marketing and lead development, sometimes the importance and value of the sales representative in the B-to-B environment are overlooked. This concept was reinforced to me this week while working on a project for a client.

We conduct product delivery surveys for this client, and these surveys are designed to measure customer satisfaction with the product and their sales process. Our client, like many, has a network of dealers that sell and support their products to the end-user. They wanted to know which of the questions on the survey were most strongly correlated with overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

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Creating Client Loyalty in a Tough Industry

In this blog, I want to share how one company, Carocon Corporation, has created client loyalty in an industry not know for much loyalty.

Carocon Corporation is the fourth largest apartment contractor in the US.  They build over 2,600 apartment units annually.  I have had the privilege of working with the company since early 2000 and currently serve on its board of directors.

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