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Data is the key to sales success. But is it also the key to retaining and enhancing the relationships with clients after the sale. The data you collect in the process of making the sale and in the course of client activity after the sale should combine to give you insight into how best to manage the relationship for overall client satisfaction and to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Data analytics can give you unexpected leverage in designing your client engagement strategies.

There are seven things your data should be telling you. Knowing your clients’ most effective modes of engagement is an insight that can help you maximize relationships.

What client engagement strategy works best?

What works for your prospects may not work as well for your clients. Knowing the best means of communication, how they prefer to engage and what has worked in the past is visible for both through data analytics. Your client contacts may not be the same as your decision makers at the time of sale. The rhythm of business for your clients may not be the same as that of procurement. Upselling and cross-selling an existing client may require a different approach than that of the initial sale. Data enhancement and data analytics can show you what has changed in client behavior now that the sale is complete and show you how to adapt.

Are your client engagement strategies as effective as they can be? What client engagement strategy is likely to be most effective? This is where data analytics may fly in the face of your own perceptions.  You will need not only to leverage your data but also take a critical look at what your data analytics tells you. Your perception of what client engagement strategy works may well be at odds with what the patterns in the data reveal.  It is important to pool your data along with third party data sets, data packs and marketing intelligence data, to discern in what situations you’ve been most effective.  When your data analytics process breaks down the patterns, you can start to see how your clients prefer to work with you.

The best way to engage with client may be face-to-face, all digital or a combination of personally and digitally and at a particular frequency. The most effective kind of engagement may vary among different individuals within a client firm. There may be seasonal differences or better parts of the week than others.  If you move to a digital-only engagement what will that look like? What adjustments will you need to make? How will you structure a combination of digital and client facing engagement? Many advisors and investors are looking for the kind of instant gratification they have learned to expect from Amazon. How will your client engagement strategy accommodate that?

Client engagement can be complex. Since strategies have to be developed for group and individual preferences and closely followed for optimal results, those strategies should be data driven and powered by the best possible data analytics.

Data enhancement, data analytics and a willingness to accept the truth of what patterns in the data reveal are essential to optimizing client engagement, managing client retention and seizing upsell and cross-sell opportunities.