When using the word relationship management, many sales departments often think in terms of an annual bottle of wine and a periodic cup of coffee over which to ask if everything is still going according to plan. Pleasant conversations that focus on existing services. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but it could be so much more systematic.
Opportunities for momentum
For example, start by asking “what have you been up to lately” instead of “how can I help you”. With the latter you’re suggesting that your client has a problem. The conversation is much more constructive when you talk about opportunities rather than challenges. After all, opportunities get people going.
How does CRM help reveal opportunities?
In order to reveal opportunities, it is important that the customer knows your full range of products and services. It’s not uncommon for a customer to keep coming back for the same product or service while never knowing about others you may offer that may benefit them even more. That’s not so strange if the talk has only been about the services provided in the past period.
Your CRM system can be invaluable in helping you discover new opportunities. That starts with recording structured information. Know their organization, for example:
- Who has what role in the client’s DMU?
- Which members of the DMU are your ambassadors?
- How often has your account manager or relationship manager talked to the customer about other products or services than what they already purchase?
The numbers tell the tale
The numbers tell the tale. That’s why in Archie CRM, in addition to fields to record the above information, a number of tools have also been developed that allow you to get a grip on the return on investment when it comes to relationship management.
Perhaps the most important is the Attention Monitor. This makes it clear how much energy you’re putting into which customers (whether by phone, email, or face-to-face contact). Are your biggest customers getting the lion’s share of your attention? Or is too much effort going into smaller clients?
An additional tool is the Customer Value Optimizer (CVO), which tracks movement in your customer pyramid. Which customers are growing, and which are buying less from you? It just takes a single click to jump over to the Attention Monitor and see if this may be because you have given some customers a little more attention than others. Or if maybe an important ambassador at your client has moved on, while his successor is actually more charmed by your biggest competitor.
The Target & Trend Monitor (TTM) is indispensable for organizations that want to place a greater emphasis on relationship management. This is because it lets you set objectives for each customer and measure whether you achieve them. You can formulate objectives in terms of sales or activities. With the TTM you can see at a glance whether the activities are actually leading to increased sales.