Customer Acquisition & Retention Checklist    
         
  Use this checklist as a guide and also to see how well your organization is doing in developing and executing its customer acquisition and retention marketing plans, programs and activities.  This list was designed to cover both B2B and B2C businesses, so some items may not apply to your business model.  But, the checklist is a good tool for you to use to make sure you don't miss anything.
         
    Customer Acquisition    
         
    Marketing planning / management Yes No
  1 We have documented our USP.
  2 We have a marketing plan with a section that addresses customer acquisition.
  3 Our organization and processes are structured around our customers to better serve them.
  4 Our sales and marketing programs are customer-centric (provide a positive experience before and after the sale).
  5 We can quickly adapt to changes in the market that impact customer acquisition/recruitment efforts.
  6 Our sales team has input into the development of marketing programs aimed at new customer prospects.
  7 Our customer service team has input into the development of marketing programs aimed at new customer prospects.
  8 Our sales team  has input into the creation of marketing materials (e.g. sales brochures, catalogs, website, print, social media and broadcast advertisements, etc.)
  9 Our customer service team  has input into the creation of marketing materials (e.g. sales brochures, catalogs, website, print, social media and broadcast advertisements, etc.)
  10 We have a referral program in place to acquire new customers
  11 We have a partner go-to-market marketing program to generate new customers.
  12 We use affiliates to acquire new customers
  13 We have documented sell against strategies for our primary competitors.
  14 We know what advantages or disadvantages of our company and products/services are in the prospective customers' eyes.
  15 We have calculated the Life Time Value (CLV - customer lifetime value) of our customers so we know what we can afford to spend to acquire a new customer.
         
    Market analysis Yes No
  1 We use information that we gather about our best customers to target customer acquisition efforts.      
  2 We have done market opportunity analysis so we know how large our target markets are and the sales opportunity they represent.
  3 We know the demographics (firmographics) of our target markets.
  4 We monitor market trends that impact our business and target markets.
  5 We do target market segmentation and analysis.
  6 We know who our target audience is.
  7 We develop market segment profiles.
  8 We have formal profiles of our target markets.
  9 We have identified segments within our target audience that offer us the greatest opportunity for success.
  10 We have identified and understand the typical customer's purchasing process.
  11 We know what the key decision criteria used by our target audiences to make a purchase decision.
  12 We know what the key issues are of our target markets.
  13 We know what the target audiences' perceptions are of our organization and its products/services.
  14 We know who are the external influencers (trade, public figures, etc.) are for our target markets.
  15 We know who the internal decision makers and influencers are for our target markets.
  16 We know why the target audiences will buy our products/services.
         
    Acquisition planning No
  1 We have a customer acquisition strategy.
  2 We have formal customer acquisition plan and programs.
  3 We have a formal customer acquisition process review.
  4 We have documented the stages in the buying process that each buyer goes through.
  5 We have a formal lead generation strategy and plan with supporting budgets and forecasts. 
  6 We have a universally accepted definition of what constitutes a lead, qualified lead, opportunity, etc.
  7 We have an "optimum contact strategy" for our prospects.    
  8 We know what our sales (closing) cycle is from point of lead generation to closing a sale.
  9 We are effective at developing special offers to attract new prospect leads.
  10 We know what it costs to acquire a new customer.
  11 We are constantly striving to lower our lead generation costs.
  12 We are constantly striving to lower our customer acquisition costs.
         
    Sales and marketing organization involvement  No
  1 Our marketing department is responsible for training sales and service personnel on upcoming marketing programs, campaigns, and offers.
  2 We have dedicated marketing/sales management team that works exclusively with new prospects.      
  3 Our sales team is thoroughly educated on all promotional efforts before they runs, including: media selection; samples of advertisements; detailed explanation of offers; etc.     
  4 Our sales team has input into the development of marketing materials (e.g. sales brochures, catalogs, website, print and broadcast advertisements, etc.)
  5 Our sales team has input into the development of marketing programs aimed at our customers.
  6 Our sales team is involved in the development of all lead generation/customer acquisition programs.      
  7 Our sales team is happy with the QUALITY of leads generated from our customer acquisition efforts.      
  8 Our sales team is happy with the QUANTITY of qualified leads that are generated from our customer acquisition efforts.  
         
    Customer relationship management No
  1 We have a CRM system.
  2 We are satisfied with our CRM system.
  3 We are satisfied with our CRM processes and programs.
  4 Our CRM system is accessible by EVERYONE within our organization.
  5 We capture ALL customer interactions (transactions, services, communications) in our CRM system.
  6 We collect customer financial, lifestyle, psychographic, and demographic information from internal and external sources and use this information to acquire customers.
  7 We capture ALL customer contacts in our CRM system.
  8 We use our CRM system to its fullest capabilities.
  9 We have a CRM strategy to improve communications and services with prospects and customers.
  10 We are satisfied with our processes for managing the relationship with prospective customers from the point of initial contact through their first purchase.    
         
    Messaging No
  1 We have documented and confirmed the customer's buying process (all steps and information required at each step).
  2 We have determined and documented our customer/target markets preferred information delivery methods.
  3 We have a formal customer acquisition messaging plan.
  4 We have developed buyer personas that we use in our customer acquisition messaging.
  5 We have mapped out the messaging for each stage in the buying process for each identified persona type.
  6 We constantly analyze current customers to identify our best customers.
  7 We develop profiles / personas of our best customers
  8 We use buyer personas for our marketing campaigns.
  9 We develop supporting messaging plans for customer personas.
  10 We develop customer journey maps for our customers and target market prospects.
  11 We have a formalized messaging plan for the prospect/lead to customer/buyer journey.
  12 We have determined and documented content requirements for each audience and step in the buying process.
  13 We have developed a contact strategy for contacting prospective buyers at specific times based on their action or inaction to earlier communications.
  14 We have an editorial calendar for producing and delivering content.
  15 We have regular ongoing communications programs with our prospects.
  16 We have tested and documented key product/service messages for each customer need, issue and capability.
  17 We make it easy for prospective customers to get information about programs, services and our institution via EMAIL.
  18 We make it easy for prospective customers to get information about programs, services and our institution via MAIL.
  19 We make it easy for prospective customers to get information about programs, services and our institution via our WEBSITE.
  20 We make it easy for prospective customers to get information about programs, services and our institution via SOCIAL MEDIA (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) on the Internet.
  21 We make it easy for prospective customers to get information about programs, services and our institution via TELEPHONE.
  22 We make it easy for prospective customers to get information about programs, services and our institution via MOBILE.
         
    Lead generation / management processes No
  1 We constantly review our processes in order to improve and provide greater value to prospective customers.      
  2 Marketing and Sales mapped out and agreed to our lead management processes.
  3 We have a planned and prioritized lead nurturing and qualification process for inquiries.
  4 We have documented our lead generation, qualification and nurturing process.
  5 We have a formal process for qualifying leads.
  6 We have a formal training program for all departments and staff that interact with prospects to ensure consistent levels of service.
  7 We have a process for managing the relationship with prospective customers from the point of initial contact through their first purchase and delivery.
  8 We have an efficient process of managing relationships with qualified buyers in order to increase conversion rates.    
  9 We make our new account signup process as painless as possible for the new customer.
         
    Lead generation programs / activities No
  1 We know all of the stakeholders and their roles in the buying process at each prospect/customer.
  2 We keep track of the cost of acquiring new customers
  3 We know how much it costs to generate a new customer (customer by definition means having made a purchase)
  4 We know how much it costs to generate a new prospect/lead.
  5 We know how much revenue we have to generate to breakeven on the cost of acquiring one new customer.
  6 We target our lead generation/recruitment efforts based on a well-defined profile of what we know to be our best / most successful and profitable customers.
  7 We are satisfied with prospect response rates to our marketing activities / campaigns.
  8 We are satisfied with our lead qualification rate.
  9 We are satisfied with our lead to sales revenue ratio.
  10 We are satisfied with our year-over-year lead to sales revenue ratio.
  11 We are satisfied with the results of our customer acquisition programs.
  12 We are satisfied with your year-over-year lead qualification rate.
  13 We are satisfied with the number of leads generated from marketing programs.
  14 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition costs.  
  15 We want to lower our customer acquisition costs.
  16 We use lead generation/recruitment programs to identify and qualify prospect interest and potential before committing  resources.
  17 We use multiple customer acquisition channels.
  18 We use inbound marketing activities to generate inquiries/leads.
  19 We use outbound marketing activities to generate inquiries/leads.
  20 We use cross-channel, multi-channel marketing campaigns for lead generation.
  21 We are satisfied with our lead generation programs and activities.
  22 We are satisfied with the overall quality of leads.
  23 We are satisfied with the number of leads that we generate.
  24 We know what it costs on average to acquire a new lead.
  25 We are satisfied with the cost of acquiring a new lead.
  26 We want to lower our lead generation costs.
  27 We know the cost of generating a lead from each marketing channel / medium.
  28 We are satisfied with our process for qualifying leads.
  29 We are satisfied with our process for prioritizing and routing new leads.
  30 We are satisfied with our processes for managing the relationship with prospects (leads) from the point of initial contact through their first purchase.    
  31 We are satisfied with our system for lead scoring and ranking.    
  32 We are satisfied with our conversion rate of leads to sales.
  33 We are constantly striving to increase our lead to sales conversion rates.
  34 We are satisfied with the conversion rate of inquiries to leads.
  35 We are satisfied with the conversion rate of leads to qualified leads.
  36 We are satisfied with the conversion rate of qualified leads to opportunities.
  37 We are satisfied with the conversion rate of opportunities to qualified opportunities.
  38 We are satisfied with the conversion rate of qualified opportunities to sales.
  39 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating from ALL marketing campaigns.
  40 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating from traditional (print / broadcast) media.
  41 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating from direct mail campaigns.
  42 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating from email campaigns.
  43 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating from digital media.
  44 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating from social media.
  45 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating at events and trade shows.
  46 We are satisfied with the number of leads we are generating from outdoor media.
  47 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating from ALL marketing campaigns.
  48 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating from traditional (print / broadcast) media.
  49 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating from direct mail campaigns.
  50 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating from email campaigns.
  51 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating from digital media.
  52 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating from social media.
  53 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating from outdoor media.
  54 We are satisfied with the costs of leads we are generating at events and trade shows.
  55 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating from ALL marketing campaigns.
  56 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating from traditional (print / broadcast) media.
  57 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating from direct mail campaigns.
  58 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating from email campaigns
  59 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating from digital media.
  60 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating from social media.
  61 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating at events and trade shows.
  62 We are satisfied with the quality of leads we are generating from outdoor media.
         
    Acquisition programs / activities No
  1 We understand that lead generation is a never ending process that must take place year round.
  2 We test all of our lead generation / new customer acquisition campaigns.
  3 We test offers for lead generation / customer acquisition campaigns.
  4 We test outside rental list for our direct mail and email lead generation / customer acquisition campaigns.
  5 We use email marketing for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  6 We use social media marketing for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  7 We use traditional media (print & broadcast) for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  8 We use outdoor media for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  9 We use direct mail for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  10 We use SEM (Adwords) marketing for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  11 We use event (events, conferences, trade shows) marketing for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  12 We use trade associations and other organizations for lead generation / customer acquisition.
  13 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition email campaigns.
  14 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition SEM (Adwords) campaigns.
  15 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition traditional media campaigns.
  16 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition social media programs and activities.
  17 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition outdoor media programs and activities.
  18 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition direct mail programs and activities.
  19 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition event marketing programs and activities.
  20 We are satisfied with our customer acquisition trade associations marketing programs and activities.
  21 We regularly review performance of our lead generation/recruitment programs in order to determine if we are successful.
         
    Digital / social marketing activities No
  1 We use social media effectively for customer service.
  2 We use social media effectively to build brand identity among our publics.
  3 We use social media effectively to generate new customer leads.
  4 We use email effectively for customer acquisition.
  5 We have established a search engine optimization program.
  6 We have established a search engine marketing strategy and program, and supporting budget for keyword purchase.
  7 We use Facebook to build brand identity.
  8 We use Facebook to generate new customer leads.
  9 We use Instagram to build brand identity.
  10 We use Instagram to generate new customer leads.
  11 We use LinkedIn to build brand identity.
  12 We use LinkedIn to generate new customer leads.
  13 We use Pinterest to build brand identity.
  14 We use Pinterest to generate new customer leads.
  15 We use Snapchat to build brand identity.
  16 We use Snapchat to generate new customer leads.
  17 We use Twitter to build brand identity.
  18 We use Twitter to generate new customer leads.
  19 We use YouTube to build brand identity.
  20 We use YouTube to generate new customer leads.
  21 We use SMS text messaging to build brand identity.
  22 We use SMS text messaging to generate new customer leads.
         
    Lead management (qualification, nurturing, prioritization) No
  1 We have an effective lead management system in place.
  2 We know how many know how many leads we need at the beginning of the year to make our yearly revenue goal.
  3 We know how many qualified leads are in our pipeline.
  4 We have mapped out each stage in the lead management process so we know the exact stage of each lead in our pipeline.
  5 Marketing and Sales have agreed to definitions of leads and their stage in the buying process (e.g., inquiry, lead, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, opportunity, etc.)
  6 We have a closed loop lead management process from inquiry through closed sale.
  7 Our lead management process requires prospects be qualified and prioritized before turning them over to sales team.   
  8 Our marketing department qualifies all leads before passing them on to sales.
  9 We have a formal lead nurturing process and system for working and converting qualified leads that are not yet ready to make a purchase.
  10 We have an effective lead nurturing program.
  11 We score and rank all of our leads.
  12 We use B.A.N.T. criteria to score and rank leads. 
  13 We use our own non B.A.N.T. criteria to score and rank leads.
  14 Only qualified leads are turned over to our sales team.
  15 Our sales team does not cherry picks the leads they receive from marketing.
  16 All leads that have stated a desire to make an immediate purchase are immediately turned over to the sales team.
  17 Sales generated leads go through the same process as marketing generated leads unless they are referrals or first person contacts.
  18 We know the buying stage of each lead is in our pipeline.
  19 Our lead pipeline is always full enough that our sales team has enough leads to work.
  20 We respond to all leads in a timely manner.
  21 All prospect / customer inquiries are typically responded to within one business day.
  22 We are satisfied with our lead response time.
  23 We respond to a lead within 24 hrs (one business day)
  24 We respond to a lead within 8 hrs
  25 We respond to a lead within 1 hr
  26 We communicate weekly or more frequently with our prospective customers (leads).
  27 Qualified leads that temporarily withdraw from the buying process are funneled back into our lead management sales pipeline for reengagement.
  28 We tie lead nurturing content to the buyer's position in the buying cycle.
  29 We utilize capacity and lead flow planning to manage lead flow so that it matches our sales team's capacity to handle them.
         
    Operations  
  1 We have programs in place for training all departments and staff that come in contact with prospects.
  2 We use a marketing dashboard for displaying key performance metrics for all prospecting and customer base marketing activities and programs.
  3 We use a Level 1 call center team (a level 1 call center generally operates 24/7, acts as the initial point of contact for user requests and has knowledge of the products, terms and conditions offered by the business) to qualify all leads before turning them over to our direct sales team.
  4 We use an in-house call center team that has knowledge of the products, terms and conditions offered by the business to qualify all leads before turning them over to our direct sales team.
         
  Customer Retention     
         
    New customer programs / activities Yes No
  1 We have a formal program for onboarding new customer.
  2 We map our new customer onboarding process
  3 We assign customer support resources immediately to all new customers.
  4 We immediately communicate the next steps in the process of them becoming an active customer.
  5 We develop a strategic account plan (engagement plan) for each prospective customer
  6 We have a new customer portal on our website for the unique needs of new customers.
  7 We determine the type of training a new customer needs to undergo and make sure it's delivered.
  8 We determine what other activities are required to welcome the new customer on board
  9 We have services that are designed for the unique needs and wants of the new customers.
  10 We know that our new customer program increases their satisfaction and retention.
  11 We schedule kick off calls / meeting with new customers - define goals, scope, timelines and key milestones.
  12 We schedule regular check in meetings with new customers.
  13 We send new customers a welcoming package/email thank them for joining our family.
         
    Customer retention programs / activities Yes No
  1 We constantly analyze customer behavior in order to identify opportunities and/or threats.
  2 We engage customers in product/service planning.
  3 We establish success metrics for the customer account.
  4 We develop a strategic account plan (engagement plan) for each customer.
  5 We know which customers see our business as a the primary, secondary, tertiary source for products and services that we offer.
  6 We know who are our most profitable customers.
  7 We know who are our unprofitable customers.
  8 We know who our best customers are.
  9 We know why we lose customers.
  10 We measure the profitability of individual customers.
  11 We identify key customer contacts.
  12 We have a process in place for winning back former customers.
  13 We have a process in place that allows us to retain potential defectors.
  14 We have a program that identifies sales opportunities within our existing customer base and allows us to capitalize on these opportunities.
  15 We have an "optimum contact strategy" for our current customers.    
  16 We have a formal process for capturing and disseminating customer feedback so appropriate action can be taken quickly.
  17 We have a formal process for evaluating customer service performance that is based on metrics that tie to our organizational objectives.
  18 We gather feedback on customer satisfaction and experience.
  19 We have a customer advisory board that provides us with valuable insight into their perceptions of our efforts to deliver value.
  20 We define customer defections as "a customer that has not purchased from us during the past 12 months."
  21 We define customer defections as "a customer that has reduced their purchases by more than X% within the last 12 months."
  22 We develop a cultivation plan for each customer.
  23 We provide a personalized dashboard for every customer.
  24 We have developed successful strategies and programs that have reduced customer defections.
  25 We have documented how we provide value to the customer with capabilities that address customer issues.
  26 We have identified customers that are 'price sensitive.'
  27 We have identified customers that are 'under performing' and developed plans to increase their purchasing.
  28 We have programs in place for training all departments and staff that come in contact with customers.
  29 We have special promotional efforts aimed at our best customers that are not available to our general customer base.
  30 We have programs in place that motivate customers to increase their purchases with our organization.
  31 We immediately provide customers with any product or service details that they need.
  32 We keep track of our customers wants, needs, activities, purchases, etc.
  33 We identify anything else the customer needs
  34 We identify decisions that the customer has to make to purchases or remain a loyal customer.
  35 We know how to turn our unprofitable customers into profitable one.
  36 We know if we are the primary, secondary or tertiary source for our customers and have developed strategies to protect or improve our position.
  37 We have clearly defined primary customers needs and wants vis-à-vis our product/service offering.
  38 We know what the buying alternatives are that a customer has to our company and products/services.
  39 We know who is talking to our customers and what they are saying.
  40 We offer our best customers special services not available to our general customer base.
  41 We provide fast, easy access to accurate and relevant information to all customers via telephone, face-to-face, Internet, reseller, channel partner, etc.
  42 We provide our customers with a primary contact within our organization that is responsible for ensuring the customer's satisfaction.
  43 We purchase customer data and append it to our centralized database in order to enhance our knowledge of the customer and improve our retention effort.
  44 We regularly compare our customer needs with our products and services in order to identify opportunities and threats.
  45 We regularly survey our customers to determine their level of satisfaction with our products and services.
  46 We set up a technical meeting to understand what systems need provisions for customers, new users
  47 We treat our best customers differently than other customers.
  48 We treat our customers as client advocates, partners and part-owners in our business.
  49 We understand and anticipate the needs of our customers.
  50 We use customer advisory panels to help us in new product development.
  51 We use customer data to acquire, retain, cross-sell, and up-sell customers.
  52 We use social media for customer service.
  53 We have formal customer loyalty programs.
  54 We use the results of customer satisfaction surveys to develop marketing programs and materials.
  55 We use this information when communicating with customers through any touch points including sales, customer service, web sites, marketing collateral, and all communications.
  56 Our sales management regularly reviews customer sales performance and formally discuses performance with their staff.
  57 Our sales team has the authority to resolve customer service and sales issues.
  58 We constantly monitor customer performance in order to identify early warning signs of possible dissatisfaction and / or defection.
  59 Our organization has a formal program for increasing customer service levels.
  60 Our organization has on-line self services available for customer transactions and support.
  61 Our customer service personnel have the authority to resolve customer service and sales issues.
  62 Our sales personnel have the authority to resolve customer service and sales issues.
  63 We use SMS text messaging to communicate with customers.
     
 
   
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