Chief Marketing Officer
Brace yourself: Another workforce shift is happening as a growing wave of employees are ditching their jobs for better alternatives. In April 2021, a record-breaking four million people quit their jobs, triggering the Great Resignation. In fact, more than 40% of employees are considering leaving their current job this year, data suggests.
The “Great Resignation” isn’t all bad news, though—it’s actually the perfect opportunity to deepen your relationships and expand your contacts.
So what’s happening exactly? Let’s back up for a sec. Here’s the thing: the pandemic highlighted our workforce’s resilience, but it also underscored a lot of its flaws. White-collar workers began working remotely, and many blue-collar workers were asked to put themselves at risk to keep the economy moving.
Now, people’s standards and priorities have changed after a year and a half slogging through a seemingly never-ending pandemic, and employees are on the search for companies that care about their well-being and offer more flexibility. And they’re willing to quit their current jobs in hopes of finding greener pastures elsewhere.
As with any big workforce shift, this one has huge implications for everyone.
Whether or not you’re dealing with employee turnover in your own organization, the Great Resignation is something you need to prepare for from all angles – because it deeply impacts customer relationships, especially in B2B environments.
The impact of the Great Resignation on customer relationships
The Great Resignation means there will be inevitable changes to your existing B2B contacts. Even if you have a CRM, keeping track of personnel changes in your contacts’ companies could throw a big wrench in your plans to cultivate important business relationships.
Contact shake-ups make things like communication from sales and marketing difficult. If the contact information you have on file is outdated or incorrect, then upsells, cross-sells and renewals become nearly impossible until you can establish new relationships with someone else at the company.
Following a traditional (outdated) sales model, companies tend to have just one contact at an entire company. But what happens if that contact leaves? Do you still have someone to talk to within the company, or does the relationship between your two companies hinge on a single person?
And, if that contact was the only one in the company championing the use of your product, you may no longer have anyone advocating for you internally.
Getting ahead of client management and harnessing the power of your contact management tool is critical during this turbulent time.
5 tips for managing contact turnover with your CRM
As a relationship-centric CRM, we have a bit of advice on how to navigate this turbulence.
1. Create a process for frequently updating contact info
Don’t wait until your contact information is totally outdated to act. The Great Resignation is happening now, so it’s important to get a process in place for keeping contacts current.
Maybe you send a biannual email to all your contacts to confirm their information is accurate. Perhaps you have your sales team verify contact information with every closed deal. Pick a process that works, streamline it, and document it, ensuring that no matter what contact changes happen, you’re already on top of updating it in your CRM.
2. Get more contacts within organizations
If your company only has one contact per account, it’s time to diversify. Spend time getting to know other important individuals within your customers’ organizations. Ideally, this effort should be a team sport within your company: multiple members of your team across departments (marketing, sales, customer success) should be working together to grow several relationships within one organization — keeping each other informed of progress so everyone’s on the same page.
Aiming to have several touchpoints within each company, at different leadership levels and within different departments, is an excellent goal. This way, if one person leaves, you still have an established relationship with other leaders there.
3. Deepen existing relationships
Our latest relationships survey found that relationship building is more important than ever. Now, as the Great Resignation looms, companies who take time to build meaningful relationships with their customers will fare better than those who don’t.
Think about it. If you have a great relationship with your contact, the chances are that if they leave, they’ll recommend you to their new organization. Plus, if you’ve taken the time to build relationships with more than just one contact, workforce shake-ups shouldn’t be cause for concerns.
As long as the value you offer is clear and you’ve taken the time to get to know your contacts on an individual and company level, you’re well-equipped to weather the storm.
4. Stay in touch
If you have really long customer life cycles, make a plan for staying in touch between transactions. Consider scheduling regular phone calls and emails just to check in. This will help you stay on top of any changes with your key accounts while keeping you top of mind with your customers between purchases.
Connecting with your customers outside of the sales pipeline also helps avoid a purely transactional relationship. Follow your contacts and customers’ companies on LinkedIn to start creating a more informal, personalized connection with them.
5. Keep detailed notes
If you aren’t already in the habit of keeping detailed customer notes in your CRM, it’s time to start. Keeping an account of previous transactions, specific use cases, contact pain points and other details will be beneficial if you lose your primary contact.
You don’t want to rely on your contact’s influence within their company. Instead, make sure to have documented insights about the company to help inform future interactions and opportunities.
The future is bright if you lean on your contact management tool
Despite the Great Resignation, growth lies ahead. Lean on your CRM or contact management tool to keep track of your relationships and get serious about building meaningful connections with your contacts.
If you take the time to build rapport and establish trust with your contacts and their companies, you’ll be in great shape no matter what bumps pop up along the way.
For a relationship-centric CRM that can help you navigate the waves of the Great Resignation, Copper is the perfect choice. We’re experts at the relationship-centric approach, and we love helping our clients build better relationships with our CRM.