The Corporate Executive Board’s Marketing Executive Council surveyed over 5000 individuals to determine what customers are looking for in a business-to-business supplier. Interesting data comes out about the drivers of customer loyalty:
19% – Company and brand impact
19% – Product and service delivery
9% – Value-price ratio
53% – Sales/purchase experience
Customers noted that they often saw little difference between one supplier and another in terms of brand, product and service. Even price was a small factor in sustaining customer loyalty. What customers said they valued most (53%) was in the sales experience itself; that is the actual sales conversations they had with suppliers on an ongoing basis. Some customers found suppliers horrible in the sales experience; other they found to be invaluable.
The CEB concludes that loyalty is won out in the field, in the tenches, during the sales call. It’s in the daily conversations with customers and a salesperson’s ability to outperform the competition in the sales experience itself.
Are you focused on what you sell or how you sell it?