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Is NPS a useful indicator of a target acquisition’s value?

A recent Wall Street Journal article called attention to the “cultlike” following that NPS has garnered among CEOs in recent years. Their analysis found that in earnings calls by S&P 500 companies, “NPS” or “net promoter” were cited 150 times by 50 different companies. The article goes on to question whether companies have put too much emphasis on the one number system that is Net Promoter.

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Six reasons customers churn in B2B markets

When B2B vendors see an uptick in churn, stakeholders generate multiple, sometimes conflicting, hypotheses about the causes: It’s because of a recent price increase. New competitors entered the market. Competitors offer a service or functionality that we don’t. Customers don’t recognize the value the company provides. While it is important to take fast action to stop the bleeding, you don’t want to invest time and resources in a perceived problem only to see little change in customer attrition.

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Look beyond product for drivers of B2B satisfaction and value

Customer experience, by definition, incorporates all aspects of a company’s offering and cuts across organizational boundaries. Yet, B2B vendors continue to focus on the product as the main driver of customer satisfaction and value. Research by Isurus and other leading consultants shows how a more inclusive analysis of customer experience reveals more accurate and actionable results.

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Are customer compromises putting your product at risk?

No solution is perfect. Even highly satisfied customers make compromises to use your product or service. Budget is the most obvious trade-off: your product competes against other priorities and needs for budget. Less obvious compromises include the work-arounds customers implement in order to use your product or achieve their desired outcome. Only when an alternative comes to their attention, or a change in management spawns a review of existing processes and tools, do they start to think there might be a better way.

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B2B Customers Are Not Logos

People don’t want to be a number. B2B customers don’t want to be a logo. An increasing number of companies refer to existing and potential customers as logos, e.g. Our goal is to add 20 more logos this year. It’s gone so far that a search on LinkedIn will produce individuals with titles like VP of New Logo Acquisition. We think referring to customers this way is a mistake. Beyond being jargon, it sends the wrong message to employees. Customers and prospects are better terms. A customer is a person or organization your company has a relationship with. A logo is a stamp.

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Are you hard to work with? It matters.

Do your internal processes pull customers and prospects closer to you or do they push them away Research shows that companies and individuals that find a vendor easy to work with demonstrate higher levels of loyalty and likelihood to recommend. They use the vendor more fully, e.g. buy more products, use more features. They will even use technically inferior products and services when a vendor makes their lives easier.

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Does your VOC program encourage purchase behavior?

Your NPS or customer satisfaction survey can increase the frequency and number of purchases a customer makes over time. Research by Sterling Bone of Utah State’s Huntsman School of Business indicates that starting customer feedback surveys focused on what you do well increases NPS and satisfaction scores in the short-term, and can increase the frequency and number of purchases a customer makes with you over the long run.

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Win/Loss Analysis – Triangulating on the truth

Understanding why deals are won or lost can seem like a game of telephone or “He said, she said”:  The Buyer gives one side of the story, Sales has another, and Marketing brings its point of view too.  Who is right?  Everyone’s partly right and partly wrong.  In our experience, the best process combines all available information streams to triangulate on the truth.

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Are Rising NPS Scores a Red Flag?

Reports that track NPS scores across a range of sectors—recently reported that NPS scores in the enterprise software sector have increased across the board – most vendors have seen an uptick in their scores. While good news, it raises some questions about the accuracy of NPS scores.

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Make your product’s champion, don’t search for one

Conventional wisdom says the best way to sell a B2B product or service is to find the highest level champion in the prospect organization and follow their lead. But does that approach really work? Separate studies by the Corporate Executive Board (published in the April 2015 edition of the Harvard Business Review) and the media group B2B Marketing (published in its 2015 Buyersphere Report) indicate that this may be easier in theory than in practice.

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