Leveraging Your Greatest Asset for Sales: Your Current Customers

Leverage Your Greatest Asset Current Customers for Sales
Photo Courtesy: Cary Lawrence

By: Joshua Finley

In a time when businesses are looking to cut costs while also scaling profitably, finding the right growth strategy is paramount. And, according to Cary Lawrence, CEO of customer data and analytics platform Decile, the answer may be simpler than you think.

Harnessing the power of satisfied customers to attract new clients not only reduces acquisition costs but also fosters a community of brand advocates. We sat down with the tech exec to explore the fundamentals of leveraging customer referrals as a scalable and sustainable approach to driving business growth. From cultivating positive customer experiences to implementing strategic referral processes, we’ll uncover key tactics to unlock the full potential of your existing customer base and propel your business to new heights.

Background: Journey to SaaS Tech Titan

Before jumping in, let’s take a look at Cary’s journey, which led to her role as CEO of Decile. Marked by a series of strategic career moves and a deep-rooted passion for leveraging technology to drive business success, Cary has distinguished herself as a prominent figure in the tech sector, an arena where female leadership remains relatively scarce.

Starting her career in advertising in Boston, Cary swiftly transitioned into the digital landscape, ultimately finding her footing in Washington D.C., where she pursued advanced studies in communication, culture, and technology. Evolving through diverse roles, she became General Manager within the technology business unit at SocialCode. There, she spearheaded efforts to scale the company’s audience intelligence product. Propelled by the success of their internal analytics platform, the decision was made to establish Decile as a standalone entity, with Cary appointed as its CEO.

The Power of Referrals

As the CEO of a data and analytics platform, Cary knows the power of capitalizing on the right data, and referrals, as she emphasizes, are indeed one of the most potent sales tools in the arsenal of any business. She shares that at Decile, a staggering 20% of new clients are acquired through referrals from existing or former clients. These referrals can manifest in various forms, from direct introductions to casual mentions at industry conferences. While organic referrals are valuable, Cary stresses the importance of actively encouraging satisfied clients to leave positive reviews. 

“If a company is doing its job, the client referrals will come organically,” she said. “But we also encourage happy clients to leave us positive reviews via the Shopify app store or other key strategic locations.”

However, Cary cautions against over-reliance on referrals alone. While they undoubtedly play a significant role, a robust sales team and marketing operation are essential for sustained growth. In Cary’s experience, investing in an experienced sales team capable of managing the entire pipeline process yields better results than fragmenting the process across different teams.

Impact on Business Growth

The impact of customer referrals on Decile’s growth is nothing short of impressive. Not only do referrals account for a substantial portion of new clients, but they also contribute significantly to revenue generation. Year-to-date, close to 18% of Decile’s revenue can be attributed to clients acquired through referrals. Cary cites a recent deal involving 44 licenses, facilitated by a longstanding relationship with a client who had previously worked with Decile at three separate companies.

Prioritizing Customer Experience

Before implementing a referral program, Cary emphasizes the importance of ensuring a positive customer experience. At Decile, this entails actively soliciting feedback from clients through Quarterly Business Reviews. While the company currently relies on engagement within the platform to gauge customer success, Cary acknowledges the need to explore additional tools for tracking referrals and assessing customer satisfaction more comprehensively.

Mitigating Risks

Despite the undeniable benefits of customer referrals, Cary acknowledges the inherent risks if they are not secured organically, chief among them being the potential loss of authenticity. In an age where consumers are adept at detecting inauthentic brand messaging, maintaining genuine relationships with clients is paramount. “I think it’s important to make sure that you are delivering the best experience to your clients,” she emphasizes. “A happy client or customer is more than willing to advocate on your behalf.”

Final Thoughts

By prioritizing customer experience, actively soliciting referrals, and maintaining authenticity, businesses can leverage their greatest asset for sustainable sales growth. Cary Lawrence’s journey from advertising to the helm of Decile serves as a testament to the power of customer-centric strategies in driving business success in the digital age.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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