If your customers are making hay while the sun shines, be the pitchfork

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about B2B companies that inject themselves into their customers’ sales funnels. It’s a smart idea and it’s something I think more businesses should do. Do you?

It started with an article I read about Square. (I’d link to the article but I can’t remember where I read it). Square is a credit card machine for mobile businesses (hot dog vendors, flea market vendors, etc.). It plugs into an iPhone, iPad, or Android and it’s cheaper and easier to use than other merchant accounts.

Not only is the company innovative (while remaining simple and focused), but they serve an unserved market AND they are injecting themselves into their customers’ sales funnels. We can all appreciate the innovation and we can all appreciate that they are serving unserved markets — those are great best practices! But I think there is real value in becoming part of your customers’ sales funnels.

Consider some of these other companies that become part of their customers’ sales funnels:

  • 1ShoppingCart: A robust suite of online financial and marketing tools
  • Paypal: Accepts various forms of payment
  • Clickbank: Helps ebook sellers by accepting money and transitioning the buyer to the secure thank-you page
  • InfusionSoft: A piece of software that is sort of a cross between a CRM system and an autoresponder… on steroids
  • Freshbooks: Allows users to invoice customers
  • Guru.com: Connects businesses with freelancers

You can probably think of many more but these were some of the ones that came to mind.

If your business sells to other businesses, you should do everything you can to inject your business into your customers’ sales funnel.

  • Your contribution to their business will be measurable, and therefore an easier sell.
  • You can charge per transaction which helps to tie the value you provide to the return your customer gets.
  • You’ll demonstrate your value to their business with every single sale, which will help to “lock you in”.
  • As your customers grow, you’ll grow.
  • You’ll connect with your customers’ customers (which could be good for your business).

Now, I realize that this isn’t possible for every business. But I suspect that more businesses can do it than are right now. Even if one of your offerings is able to become an integral part of your customers’ sales funnels, you can build additional products and services around that offering to extend the opportunity for you.

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.

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