Sell to Win

What is NPS and how can it help you make more sales?

Jacob Thomas
Contributor, Sell to Win
Jacob Thomas
Contributor, Sell to Win

Your net promoter score could be informing your entire sales strategy.

What is NPS?

NPS stands for Net Promoter Score and is an important customer loyalty and satisfaction metric that's gained in popularity over the past decade. NPSes are calculated internally and are based off of results of customer feedback:

All you have to do is ask your current customers one question: "How likely are you to recommend our product/service/brand to others on a scale of 1 to 10?"

Companies can then tally their scores (we'll show you how in the next section) and use the information they glean to improve customer happiness. This is important because studies prove that it's 5x more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.

How is NPS calculated?

Calculating your organization's NPS isn't difficult. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Send an NPS survey to your customers asking them how likely they are to recommend your product, service, or brand to their friends and colleagues on a scale of 1 to 10.
  2. Separate your customers into three different groups: those who give you a score between 1 and 6 are detractors, those who give you a score of 7 or 8 are passives, and those who give you a score of 9 or 10 are promoters.
  3. Next, eliminate passives from your calculation. Then divide your number of promoters by the total number of responses received. Do the same for detractors. This will give you a percentage for both promoters and detractors.
  4. Subtract your percentage of detractors from your percentage of promoters to learn your company's current Net Promoter Score.

Here's an example of how to calculate NPS:

Moonsoft sends an NPS survey to 250 customers. 126 of them give scores of either 9 or 10, 64 give scores of 6 or 7, and 60 give scores of six or below. This means that 126 customers can be classified as promoters, 64 as passives, and 60 as detractors.

Next, Moonsoft removes passives from their calculation. Then they divide 126 (the number or promoters) by 250 (the total number of responses) to get 50%, and 60 (the number of detractors) by 250 (the total number of responses) to get 24%.

Finally, Moonsoft subtracts 24% (the percentage of detractors) from 50% (the percentage of promoters) to get an NPS of 26.

Net Promoter Scores can range from -100 to +100. The closer your company scores to +100 the better, but in general, any score above 0 is considered good because this means your brand has more promoters than detractors.

Dig deeper...

We should mention that the best NPS surveys do more than ask the one NPS question above. They also attempt to uncover why customers answered the way they did. This requires asking follow-up questions that dig into the thought process behind a customer's answers.

So don't be afraid to ask multiple questions in your NPS surveys. In fact, plan on doing so!

How you can use NPS to make more sales

So how does NPS apply to you as a salesperson? Here are a few ways to get started:

1. Learn about your customers

NPS surveys will tell you a lot about your customers' preferences—especially if you ask follow-up questions as suggested above. Do they like your products and/or services? If so, what do they like about them? If not, how would they go about improving them?

Then take what your customers tell you and use it in your sales efforts.

For example, if customers consistently comment on how clean and easy to use your software's interface is, you can promote this benefit to future prospects. You can say something like, "Most of our customers agree that our solution has a very short learning curve. Let me show you how quickly you can be up and running with our tool."

More than that, the information you glean from your NPS surveys can bolster your value proposition, i.e. the things that separate your company and offerings from the competition.

Returning to our previous example, rather than casually mention that your software is easy to use, you can make this information part of your company's value proposition and include it in all of your sales emails, calls, and other communications. After all, it's one of the main things that current customers like, which means prospects will probably like it, too.

2. Communicate with detractors

Detractors are dangerous. Why? Because these people are not only unlikely to purchase from you again, but might encourage others to avoid your brand as well.

But here's the thing, not every detractor hates your company. Some of them might actually love your products and/or services, but were disappointed in a specific aspect of your business. By righting this wrong, you may be able to win them back as a customer.

Or maybe you can smooth over the situation so that they don't write you a bad review.

Either way, it pays to communicate with your company's detractors. You may be able to turn the ship around and turn them into happy, paying customers. If not, you should at least attempt to part ways on good terms and learn how you can better handle similar situations in the future.

3. Re-engage passive leads

Every seller has a handful of leads that "got away." You know who we're talking about…

The prospects who seemed really excited about your products in the beginning. But for one reason or another, never pulled the trigger, signed on the dotted line, and became a paying customer. Now they're just "opportunities" sitting in your pipeline.

Send them an NPS survey to re-engage them in conversation! Who knows? This might be enough to stoke the fires and get them interested in making a deal once more.

At the very least, you'll learn why they decided not to purchase. You can then use these details to refine your sales pitch and make sure that similar deals don't stall out in the future.

Remember, a missed sale isn't a complete loss if you learn from the experience.

4. Incentivize promoters

As a salesperson, your company's promoters are your secret weapon. By tapping into this resource, you can supercharge company growth and close more deals in less time.

The question is how? Simple, you create a killer customer referral program.

Ask yourself, "How can I reward my current customers for sending leads my way?" Maybe you offer a small cash prize to customers who send you leads. Then give them a percentage discount on their next purchase if said leads turn into buyers.

Here's another idea: don't just ask promoters for referrals, give them the opportunity to buy more products and services from your company, AKA upsell and cross-sell to them.

You already know that this group of people loves your brand and its offerings. So why wouldn't they want to buy other things from you, too? Speak to them about your company's other products and services and enjoy the extra sales you're able to generate.

Wrapping up

Net Promoter Score is a valuable metric that customer service and support teams have been using for years. It's time for sales departments to get in on the fun!

Once you learn which of your customers are detractors, which are passives, and which are promoters, you can develop specific strategies for each and close more deals. The best part is, NPS surveys are incredibly easy to create and send to customers!

Just remember to ask follow-up questions as well. Knowing whether a customer is willing to recommend your products and/or services to others is valuable information. Knowing why they feel the way they do about your brand and its offerings is even better!

Wondering how to send an NPS survey to your customers? Give Nutshell a try for free for 14 days and use our powerful email platform to communicate with your audience.

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