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Make More #1 Customers With Contractor Loyalty Programs

Laura Broman | September 16, 2020

contractor loyalty programs
Photo by sol on Unsplash

As anyone who runs a business knows, some customers are better than others. It’s not just that they spend more money: like any good relationship, it’s the little things that count the most. And also, they spend more money.

And while your Number-Ones might seem like a rare breed, the fact is that you can make more of them. Contractor loyalty programs don’t just get your mid-level contractors to buy more from you: they can also encourage those kinds of behaviors you’ve come to expect and appreciate in your top buyers.

Let’s take a look at how to use your loyalty program to make more number-one customers than you thought you’d ever get and achieve some of your top business goals along the way.

Revisiting the Pareto Principle

You’ve probably seen us talk about the Pareto Principle before, the idea that around 80 percent of your company’s revenue comes from just the top 20 percent of customers. While it’s great to reward that top tier with shows of appreciation, it’d be a mistake to ignore the lower echelons of the Pareto Principle curve, or the “middle 60.” Part of the power of a contractor loyalty program or other type of incentive program is its ability to get more out of all your buyers, but especially that mid-performing group.

 

What behaviors stand out to you about your #1 customer? Learn what you can do to make more #1 customers by downloading our ebook, B2B Customer Loyalty and the Share of Why

 

When we’ve talked about this subject in the past, we’ve mostly focused directly on moving that middle 60 up through points programs that reward them for spending more. But—though it may seem counterintuitive to suggest—there’s more to focus on than simply how much they buy from you.

Good Behavior Rewarded

Beyond how much they spend, what behaviors do you associate closest with your top-tier contractors? Things like good communication, or a familiarity with the products you sell, and how they work?

Here’s the thing: if you can measure something, you can reward it. Recently we talked about finding creative ways to maintain engagement in your program at a time when your contractors might not want to be spending all that much extra money. You can even go beyond that by offering points for any quantifiable behaviors that you recognize in your top contractors. Here are just a few:

  • Following up. How often does a contractor follow up with your sales reps? How often are they communicating with you outside of a purely transactional context?
  • Training and enablement. As we’ve said before, one of the most valuable things a loyalty program can do is improve not just how muchyour contractor spends with you, but how they run their own business. Attending webinars or completing training modules is just as beneficial to you as it is to your contractors, as these strategies enable them to better use or sell your product.
  • Online engagement. If you’re in the B2B world you’ve probably come around to the notion that it’s necessary to have an online presence. You know this, and your contractors know it. So, make it worth your time: reward program participants for interacting with your ecommerce platform if you have one, or for writing a review for one of your products online.
  • Referrals. The classic “refer-a-friend” program has long been a staple of the business world. Incorporate it into your contractor loyalty program: offer a reward to your program participants for either bringing more of your contractors into the program or bringing new customers to your business. Or both!

If you’ve set incremental goals for your program participants to meet, you can help them reach their goals by assigning a monetary value to these behaviors to encourage your contractors to engage in them. Or, if your program isn’t structured that way, simply offer them a number of bonus points that they can redeem for rewards in your catalogue.

Conclusion

A great contractor loyalty program succeeds multiple different levels: it’s mutually beneficial for you and your program participants, reinforces a sense of partnership and community, and rewards everyone’s best practices. Making more Number-Ones isn’t just good for you; it’s good for them too.

Here is the key point, the main question you should be asking yourself as a B2B business: what’s going to move the needle for your company? What is your marketing team working on right now that your program can help forward by rewarding a desired behavior? A program doesn’t need to stay isolated to your sales team and channel partners: make it a company-wide endeavor. Make it work for you and your business’s goals.

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