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HigherLogic and Socious

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HubSpot Partners: How to Extend Your Relationship with Clients

Posted by Julie Dietz on Thu, May 05, 2016 @ 08:30 AM

If you have HubSpot clients, here are three ways to extend your relationship with them.

You’re the marketing guru in this relationship. Your customers have the projects, and you have the agency with the expertise to get your clients found, turn website visitors into leads, and convert those leads into paying customers.

We’re willing to bet that you do this extremely well, and have bucketfulls of satisfied customers whose businesses are healthy and growing. The problem with this situation is that your own growth can stagnate once you have a well-oiled machine in place and your clients are on the road to growth. Your clients’ businesses can only scale so fast and it’s limiting for you and your agency.

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Fortunately, you’re still the guru here. Your experience and expertise extends beyond just getting your clients found and converting leads. There are many other aspects of your clients’ businesses that you can use your superpowers to improve, which will help your agency grow at the same time.

Which Areas Can You Focus On?

To find new ways grow your agency, identify weaknesses in your clients’ businesses where you could help. You’re looking for areas that require in-depth industry or customer knowledge, or involve a large time commitment. These are areas that you clients may not have the skills to excel in or can’t work into their schedule, and will provide the best opportunities for you to sell additional services.

Three Ways to Grow Your HubSpot Partner Agency

Here are three areas that you’ve likely already mastered, but that your clients might want to improve.

Area #1) Retention

Customer challenges change over time, and if your clients don’t solve their customers’ new problems, someone else will. By selling more to existing customers through targeted content on best practices and upselling or cross-selling offers that solve new challenges, your clients can boost retention and remain relevant. Often, companies incorporate current customer sales and content offers into retention programs.

Your clients want these results, but they’re not easy to get, especially because many customer retention programs have gone digital, spreading across multiple platforms. Retaining customers now requires a customer marketing strategy, social proof, ongoing customer engagement in an online community, and incentives such as discounts or exclusive access to helpful, up-to-date content.

Finding ways to engage customers online and provide them with ongoing value takes time and skill, two things that organizations don’t usually have enough of. As an agency, you have plenty of skills surrounding the internet, technology, and customer service to do this well. Add services such as retention program management or engagement strategy analysis and explain how they’ll help clients improve retention. Price each service that that providing it is well worth your time.

Area #2) Upselling and Cross-selling

Increasing revenue per customer and customer lifetime value is something most businesses won’t turn down. In fact, for many businesses selling additional products and services to existing customers is a central part of their business model. Successfully upselling and cross-selling existing customers help businesses achieve those goals and can also increase margins because the cost of selling to current customers is less than new customer acquisition costs.

Unfortunately, upselling and cross-selling have a bad reputation. It stems from businesses pushing general upsell pitches on all customers and alienating those who aren’t ready to make a purchase. For upselling and cross-selling to be successful, businesses need to take a different approach. They have to research their customers, create ideal customer profiles, and personalize sales pitches so each customer receives offers that are relevant to their current needs.

Preparing that type of successful upsell or cross-sell offer is an extensive process, one which your agency can vastly improve using its research, pitch, and customer service skills. Consider offering upsell campaign management, or offer to analyze their existing customer base and create ideal customer profiles for them. These services can be regularly updated to further extend your relationship.

Area #3) Advocacy

A recent study from Goethe University found that customers who are referred to businesses have higher margins, less churn, and a higher lifetime value than new customers obtained through traditional advertising methods. That’s reason enough for businesses to improve their advocacy programs, but like retention, advocacy programs have largely gone online.

Today, customers are nurtured into advocacy through content and interactions in private customer communities or given incentives such as exclusive email updates and online content. For companies to increase advocacy in this digital environment they need a customer technology platform, marketing tactics, and sales skills to get customers involved in the program.

Your clients need time most of all. They need time to interact with advocates in online communities and reciprocity to show that they value advocates’ interests and contributions.

Your clients may not have the technological skills to grow their modern advocacy program. More likely, though, they simply don’t have the time to devote to reciprocity and ongoing engagement with customers. You do, and you can sell it to them. Offer to design and manage your clients’ online advocacy programs, or provide advertising services for the program.

Using Key Areas to Extend Your Relationship with Clients Takeaway

To improve growth potential with current and future customers, agencies should use their considerable digital marketing and design skills to provide additional services for their customers. Make these additional services subscription-based, and you’ll extend your relationship with clients for months or years at a time.

Look to retention, upselling, and advocacy as areas of opportunity. Learn which objectives your clients need help with, then design additional services, such as online community management that they could use. Pitch those services in terms of the value they provide and how they’ll help clients improve in these key business areas. By properly managing your client’s online customer community, for instance, you’ll increase engagement and help improve retention and advocacy.

With this type of focus and pitch you’ll not only hook your customers, you’ll extend what is already a mutually beneficial relationship. Just remember that your additional service options aren’t limited to these three areas, nor are they always limited by the time and services you have. There are easier, faster ways to provide these services, such as partnering with other companies.

How to Become a Socious Partner

Want to sell Socious’s leading customer portal/community platform to your clients? The Socious partner program offers a hassle-free way to generate reoccurring revenue and additional services contracts from your existing clients. Learn more at socious.com/partners.

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Tags: ROI, Customer Retention, Sales

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