Guest post by Dylan Berger.
Weathering your first few years as a B2B startup can be difficult. Many business owners struggle to establish a loyal (even if small) customer base, trying a variety of strategies until they find channels that work for them.
That said, establishing a small-but-loyal customer base isn’t the ultimate goal. Once you’ve reached a comfortable penetration point in your original market, it’s time to scale.
B2B digital ad spending has increased steadily year after year, suggesting a thriving but crowded market. To push past the competition, it will take more than funneling more money into your marketing efforts. Here are five points you should cover to scale your B2B business effectively.
1. Upsell and Cross-Sell
While scaling up their operations, many business owners overlook additional revenue opportunities with their current customers. Existing clients provide a readily available market you can further capitalize on through upselling and cross-selling. Considering that customer retention is five times cheaper than acquisition, it provides a highly cost-effective route to upscaling.
Existing customers are also 50% more likely to try a new product and spend 31% more. Consequently, your current clientele is ideal for testing new products, price models, or loyalty tiers. Expand here first, then build out the most popular new offerings.
2. Emphasize Simplicity
As you scale your business, certain aspects of your operations will inevitably become more complex. But you should strive to maintain simplicity to the extent possible.
Your company won’t expand far if it doesn’t keep customers’ needs at the forefront, and most people desire simplicity in their customer experience. In virtually every market, shoppers are looking for convenience, and that’s especially true of B2B customers.
One of the best-selling points you can offer a business is a (credible) promise to streamline its operations. Every company in every industry can benefit from reduced complexity. If your product or service requires minimal time and effort to implement, you’ll benefit from faster sales and expansion, too.
3. Target New Markets
Another way to achieve growth is to look for new opportunities in markets you haven’t capitalized on yet. You may have a few customers in an industry that holds untapped potential for your business. Look through these segments and analyze their value based on the number of available customers, potential lifetime revenue, and customer acquisition costs (CAC).
Keep in mind that expanding into new markets could mean targeting businesses in other countries. You may need to scale your transportation as well, reviewing the available options to determine the most cost-effective way of meeting with prospects.
4. Pay Attention to Customer Data
Effective upscaling relies on an understanding of how you can refine your business model. You’ll have to analyze data from your current customers to do this. Observe how your clients use your products and services, what they like most about them and what needs you haven’t met yet.
This data will provide a roadmap for optimizing your offerings to entice new customers and retain existing ones. Remember that just one in 26 unhappy customers complain, so be sure to reach out to your clients first. Customer satisfaction surveys can help you understand where you can improve to reduce churn and inspire future sales.
5. Don’t Ignore Customer Retention Strategies
It can be tempting to opt for short-term acquisition goals when you’re focusing on expansion. However, quick acquisition won’t be of much use if you’re not also taking action to retain these new customers over time. Successful upscaling relies on providing long-term benefits to your new clients.
Customer satisfaction is the key to retention, so keep your clients’ needs at the center of all your actions. Any changes you make to your business model or offerings should be things that improve their experience. What that entails will likely change as you enter new markets, so stay in communication with new customers.
Expand Your Business Successfully
Scaling a B2B business revolves around delivering value to your customers. These five points will help keep the client at the forefront of your scaling, ensuring effective, lasting expansion. It’s then possible to sustain long-term success for your company.
Dylan Berger is a digital marketer and SEO at WebFX, where he writes about B2B and B2C marketing. He studied advertising in university but is a life-long student of philosophy, design and art.