How to increase client renewal rates in field sales

Heather McLean by Heather McLean on August 2, 2019
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Renewals are the life blood of many businesses. If you're losing these customers at renewal time, your whole field sales process is stalled. While you keep bringing in new customers, you're not going anywhere fast. To keep your business healthy and growing, knowing how to increase client renewal rates in field sales is critical. Luckily, there are many things you can do to keep your customers on board.

In some companies, the field sales rep continues to work with their clients after purchase, while others have a dedicated customer success team. In either model, it's important for your clients to have a point of contact if they have questions. This allows you to build a relationship and ensures someone is accountable for dealing with any issues.

Nurture relationships with regular visits

In field sales businesses, it's often the original sales rep who will continue to develop the relationship with regular on-site visits. In this case, it's important to know where your clients are located, when you last visited them, and how valuable they are to your business. This information can help with planning and prioritizing visits so you can make the most of your time. Having a plan in place will also ensure none of your clients are left wondering why they never hear from you now that they've purchased.

Plan efficiently with mapping

To start creating your client visit plan, you'll need a sense of how often you should be visiting your clients. This varies between industries and clients. If your customer will be making regular orders, you need to account for that cycle. The client may also have a preference, so it can be useful to have that conversation. While you want to stay top of mind and ensure they're having a good experience, you don't want them to feel annoyed when you walk in the door.

You'll also need a spreadsheet with your client locations, the account value and the last time you visited them. Upload this file to create a map of your current clients. With filtering and color coding, you can get an overview of which clients are due for a visit.

Pin map to track clients for renewal in field sales

Once you've selected a key client or area for your day, you can look for others nearby that you haven't visited recently.

Radius and drive-time buffers are useful for planning these additional stops. For example, if you'd like to keep all your client visits within a radius of no more than an hour's drive, you can create a drive-time buffer centered on that key client.

A drive-time buffer can help schedule meetings within a certain drive.

Make the most of your time

After selecting who you want to visit, intelligent route mapping will help you find the most efficient way to visit all your target clients. This planning process only takes a few minutes and helps ensure you're making the most of your time on the road. Sales reps can also upload a list of their leads and use the same process to plan visits that mix both existing clients and new leads.

Route plan for scheduled meetings to increase client renewal rates.

How do visits increase client renewal rates in field sales?

Regularly visiting your clients can help increase renewal rates, but what you do with these visits is a key factor. To have the biggest impact, sales reps should aim to provide value during a visit. That value can come in many different forms.

  1. Provide support: Your client should always feel like they can get answers to their questions. They should always have someone they can contact, but their rep should also be proactive during regular visits. By asking open-ended questions about how the customer is doing with the product or service, the rep can uncover pain points or areas the customer is unclear on, then provide support.
  2. Gather feedback: Getting feedback is also about asking the right questions. This can help inform changes to your business or product, but it also helps your customer feel heard and important. Feedback can cover the things they like the most as well as issues or improvements that can't be made through support.
  3. Get to know your customer: Getting to know your customer can give you more context about the market. It also helps you better understand their needs. Is the product or service they're currently using the right one for them? Have their needs changed? When a rep understands their customer's current and future goals, they can help the customer get there. It can also uncover more partnership opportunities that lead to higher sales.

Essentially, on-site visits are about keeping an open dialogue with important customers and acting proactively to provide the best customer service.

Exceed customer expectations

However, even the most diligent rep is fighting an uphill battle if the company can't meet its obligations to customers. That's why it's also critical that sales reps set expectations and higher-ups ensure the company can exceed those expectations. For many companies, that means ensuring you can always meet or exceed the terms of your service level agreements (SLAs).

We took a closer look at how to meet SLA requirements with mapping software in one of our recent blogs. The key is to plan ahead to ensure you always have resources in the right place to meet your commitments, whether it's delivering product in a set timeframe or having a service technician on site quickly.

By putting all these strategies together, you can make your clients feel valued and increase client renewal rates. This can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Returning customers are more likely to recommend you — one of the most effective ways to gain new clients — and spend up to 67% more on average than new customers.

Heather McLean Written by

Heather McLean

Manager Heather is eSpatial's Customer Communications Manager. With a background in journalism and communications, she specializes in making technical topics more approachable. Her articles dig deep into how businesses can use mapping software to achieve their goals.

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