101 Best sales and Marketing Ideas
Not only are some customers different from others (it has already been stressed here that customer need individual treatment), some are also larger than others, in terms of either business received from them or potential. A big customer is sometimes satisfying and gratefully simply labelled “big”, and no further action is taken. But if the volume of business is already large, that does not mean it cannot be increased. There is an old saying that even the best performance can be improved , and despite the apparent contradiction, this is a sensible attitude to take.
Analyzing the potential of major customers …
There is a whole separate literate on major accounts, and on the management of the relationships that go with them (something to investigate if you have such customers). Here, however, is one idea that can quickly create new business possibilities. I like it because in its simplest form it can be worked out on the back of an envelope (even using approximate figures).
The necessary analysis simply takes the value of a large customer’s business and splits the figure across two axes of a matrix. One axis lists products (or product areas) one by one, and the other lists buying points one by one. For example, for my own business I could list consulting, training (or perhaps several separate areas of training: sales, making presentations, business writing), and writing. Then I could lists the various buying points in a client company. There are various ways to do this, but in my case I’d probably opt for function – the marketing department, HR, and more – or location: for instance offices in London and Manchester or London, New York, and Singapore.
How is this useful?
- If you do this, you’ll find some boxes of the matrix show a higher value than others. A great deal of product A might be sold in London, but (surprisingly?) little of product B, for instance.
- Or there might be total gaps – nothing being sold in particular areas of a large customer’s organization.
- Asking why can identify opportunities and provide targets for future selling. Maybe there are new contacts to be investigated; maybe you can get an introduction from one part of the company to another.
- Exploring the details in this way almost provides some food through. Just saying, “These figures are good”, doesn’t help you identify how they could be still better.