“The more of those 15 elements a client has, the more attractive they’re going to be and the more opportunities you’ll be able to create and the more chances you’ll have to grow together and create something really magic.” – Warwick Brown in today’s Tip 284
How do you identify your most valuable customers?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Warwick Brown at Account Manager Tips.
Warwick Brown: I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Your biggest customers and not always your best customers. Actually, maybe it’s not so secret after all, I mean, sure, they drive volume, they help the cashflow when they pay the bills, but they also come with low margins, customization, and concert. You know, quite frankly, have all the power. They know how important they are to you and they like to make your work for it. Besides, you know, size only measures, you know who your clients are today. What about tomorrow? So if bigger isn’t always better, how do you identify your most valuable customers? You know the ones with the true growth potential for the longterm.
Hi, I’m Warwick Brown, founder of Account Manager Tips, and I’m about to share with you 15 things to look for to help you identify those key accounts. Let’s get into it.
All right. Well, have grouped these into three different buckets. The first is Growth. So we’re looking for clients that have commercial appeal. There is opportunities to expand revenue and to improve margin.
Number 1 is Revenue Potential. How much do your clients spend? Look for those with consistent growth over the past couple of years. And think about if they’re spending elsewhere and if they are spending elsewhere. How confident are you that you can control the future share of wallet.
Number 2, Cost to Serve. Can you service or look for clients that you can service more efficiently and cheaply now or in the future?
Number 3 is Demand Stability. So revenue doesn’t always tell the whole story. Spin can look consistent, but sometimes transactions are falling. So consider how your clients use your solution and look for those with consistent adoption.
And finally, Number 4, Access to New Markets. Are they expanding through acquisition and they’ve got a strong international presence? Are they diversified across multiple verticals? Maybe they have sister companies, parent companies, can they help you access new markets? So that’s growth.
The second bucket is Harmony. So looking for clients that fit your solution. You had the synergies, they are a good fit for your culture and your business strategy.
So, Number 5 is Product and Service Requirements. Is your solution could fit? Does it meet their needs? Particularly compared to other suppliers or your customer satisfaction scores high. So how, how well are they using your solution?
Number 6, Culture of Innovation. Innovative customers are great. They can help you enhance your solutions because they may partner with you on product development, they may be early adopters, beta testers, eager to participate in user studies. So that’s a good type of client to look for.
Number 7, Benchmarking. Customers that use your solution efficiently and effectively are invaluable. You know, they can help you optimize your product and processes because they’re using it so well. So they’re also useful for case studies and testimonials. So think about that.
Number 8, corporate reputation. Well, known customers create trust. You know, the brand value of your clients can help you develop networks within an industry. New customers may also be more encouraged to partner with you if you serve others with strong reputations.
And Number 9, the buying process. So the closer you are to the purchasing process, the more effective you’ll be at influencing and managing the account. How centralized is your customer’s buying process? The more centralized, the better.
And finally, Value Creation. Look for clients that have a partnership orientation. To what extent are they prepared to invest in your relationship and how do they view you? You know, is it a strategic supplier?
Number 10, Strategy. Can you help your clients reach their goals or give them an advantage that they couldn’t achieve alone and can they do the same for you? You know win-win.
Number 11, Solidarity clients at work together to solve problems they don’t use automated means they don’t threaten the relationship and they work together, especially when they encounter difficult situations. I love these kinds of clients.
Number 12, Long-term Orientation. Clients that understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It makes strategic and economic sense to create longterm partnerships.
Number 13, Planning Behavior. Does your customer engage in a proactive, mutual goal setting? Do they take action? Do they review? Do they adapt? Those are great qualities in our strategic account.
Number 14, Mutuality. These are clients that believe in joint success and they consider you a strategic supplier. Everybody should win really important.
And Number 15 the last Information Exchange. Clients who proactively share information that’s useful to your partnership. They’re open, they’re honest, there is no secrets. They don’t ambush you. They’re here to make it work and they give you what you need to get things done.
All right, that’s it. That’s everything you need to find your most valuable customers. Just consider those three buckets, Growth, Harmony, and Value Creation. The more of those 15 elements a client has, the more attractive they’re going to be and the more opportunities you’ll be able to create and the more chances you’ll have to grow together and create something really magic.
Now, if you want to dig a bit deeper into this, head on over to the show notes because there is a link to a template that I have created for you which has all of the 15 different elements. It has a scoring and weighting formula built-in and you can very quickly and easily identify who your most valuable customers are. All right, good luck with it all and I’ll catch you next time.
Scott Ingram: As Warwick just mentioned he’s created some additional resources for you that are available for download at DailySales.Tips/284 Once you’ve grabbed that template you should also join his Account Manager Tips newsletter where he regularly provides valuable resources like these.
Then come on back tomorrow for another great tip from Jeff Bajorek in his You Don’t Have a Closing Problem Series. Thanks for listening!