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Mapping out the needs of your clients’ customers

In some B2B sectors, a product or service travels a longer path than in B2C. Especially when, as a company, you’re not in direct contact with an end customer, yet still wish to keep an eye on them and their needs. A CRM solution offers a great number of advantages in this regard, so you’ll have an idea of your clients’ customers’ needs.

Some companies have to deal with many types of relationships, e.g. with intermediaries and wholesalers. In such cases, there are a range of links that affect the actual sale. But no doubt there are parties in the market that an organization has yet to establish any bonds with. Still, it’s important to know what the market experience of a product or service is like with the various intermediaries — and thus also with the ones you have yet to develop any kind of relationship with — and the ultimate end customer.

In practice: glass maker

Suppose you’re a manufacturer of glass. Your glass is delivered to a glazier via a wholesaler. As a manufacturer, you build a relationship with the wholesaler, since that’s the client with whom you’ve got an invoice relationship. In this example, the glazier is then engaged by a contractor, and that contractor builds according to specifications. In the specifications, the architect prescribed glass from a specific manufacturer. So as a manufacturer, you also want to build a relationship with the architect, in hopes of having your glass included in their specifications as often as possible. Clearly your glass won’t be featured in all the specifications that are written, so you’ll also want to build a relationship with the various contractors — who are entitled to deviate from specifications by choosing equivalent glass from a different manufacturer, for instance because they have better experiences with that particular glass, or because it has a superior price-quality ratio. A good relationship means that the contractor will pick your glass more often. Finally, you’ll also want to maintain contact with the glaziers to offer production instructions and training. The quality and lifetime of the glass will depend on correct processing. In short, there are many links and meaningful relationships that you’ll definitely want to get insight into!

Big data provides insight

The example above shows that there are companies that will want to work on brand preference at multiple levels. In such cases, big data can provide a lot of insight. However, this data only turns into information once you’re able to place it in the right context, and that’s where a CRM solution comes in. With a CRM system, you can run various analyses and interpret your big data in ways appropriate to your purposes.

Range of analyses made possible by CRM

Using the many analytical capabilities offered by a CRM system, segmentation is child’s play. The various groups of relations each get their own label. A CRM tool also simplifies planning. When were architects last contacted, when did a product presentation for contractors take place, when was the last time a product training session for glaziers was held? CRM combined with marketing automation helps you track sentiment in your industry. With for instance social media, you can reach more groups than just your client portfolio, which could provide a fine overview of how a company is viewed in the industry.

Who are your clients, and which are the major ones?

CRM systems excel in enabling companies to perform a thorough analysis of their current customer base: who are the clients, how large are they, what industries do they operate in? Or, even more importantly: which clients — possibly per industry or product group — account for the bulk of the company’s sales? These analyses provide organizations with information about who their ideal client is, and/or in which industries they’re the most successful. Needless to say, that is valuable information. Such a customer profile serves as the basis for all other acquisition and marketing efforts.

Forward-looking vision with CRM

The user-friendliness and the many mobile applications of a CRM system mean that anyone inside an organization can access relevant details and analyses at any time and via any desired device. The result is a bird’s-eye view that contributes to a future-oriented vision. CRM solutions help organizations move forward!