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Mastering the Penetration Element of the Sales Process

Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, President — Hurlbert Consulting Group

• customer service • marketing practices • management strategies • Wholesale Distribution Industry • new opportunities for distribution industry

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This video with Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, President of Hurlbert Consulting Group, discusses the conversion–penetration-retention (CPR) process using Concierge Customer Service.

The right customer service elements can provide sales with more tools to make the conversion process easier. Another element of the CPR process is the element of penetration. Penetration focuses on existing customers and penetrating their businesses more deeply. Penetration, while still a sales process, is less expensive and intense than conversion.

The key is to find new ways to sell to existing customers. For instance, you can show less profitable clients what a concierge customer service option, used for top accounts, looks like. Their next question will likely be, "How can we get that?" Sales can then outline the steps that will make the account more profitable and increase penetration; a dual pronged approach.

In today's marketplace, customers have more information and products have become similar; therefore, concierge service is a key differentiator. Customer service can provide sales people with new tools, beyond just trying to sell a product the customer is already buying or that they can buy somewhere else.

The challenge becomes giving customers incentives to change the nature of the relationship. How the relationship changes depends on the analytics behind each customer account (gross profit versus cost to serve). For some customers it may mean purchasing more, for others it may mean cutting costs by combining orders or ordering in bulk. These steps towards increased profitability become the steps to high-level customer service.

For business executives who are considering where growth is going to come from, or with increasing their growth rate and being able to pull ahead of the competition, looking at the CPR elements of business operations and customer service is a great way to get started. Paying attention to these elements can guarantee higher growth and profit rates.

For more information about Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, visit: www.hurlbertconsulting.com