B-to-B Insights: Even More Summer Reading
Then they go on to provide strategic insights into how to design your marketing models and strategies to identify lost customers who have high “second” lifetime value and reel them back in.
• “The Customer Pyramid” by Michael W. Lowenstein. This volume deals with the systems, business rules and internal infrastructure of customer retention. It’s a more technical approach, which makes it a good companion volume to “Customer Winback.”
They Like You. They Like You Not. Here’s How to Tell.
• “The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth” by Fred Reicheld. This is my runner-up favorite on this summer’s list. Reicheld is the creator of the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which he claims is the most accurate predictor of customer satisfaction and loyalty. And how, you ask, do you go about deriving the NPS? Easy. Just ask the ultimate question:
On a scale of one to 10 (10 being “definitely!”), how likely are you to refer/recommend our company to a friend?
Reichheld’s research has found the more willing customers are to refer your company, its product offerings and service delivery to someone they know, the more certain you can be about the depth of those customers’ feelings and the durability of their loyalty. Reichheld suggests you ask two critical follow-up questions to obtain marketing insights that can help your operations and service managers improve your business: 1) “Why did you give us that score?” and 2) “What can we do to improve your rating of us in the future?”
Granted, loyalty measurement is not within the traditional domain of direct marketers, but the insights gained from this measurement methodology can’t help but improve your acquisition, retention and win-back efforts.
There’s Gold in Them There Leads!
• “Managing Sales Leads: Turning Cold Prospects into Hot Customers” by James Obermayer. This is a 2007 must-read book for B-to-B marketers. What Obermayer’s new book painfully points out to marketers is this: We’re willing to spend millions to acquire leads—going to trade shows, doing mailings, running all sorts of search and online campaigns—but we’re unwilling to give the same attention and resources to the handling of the high-value corporate asset that results from all this work. Namely, the sales lead!