Last week we discussed how to identify who your Most Valuable Customers (MVCs) really are, because finding out who they are is one of the most effective ways to grow profitable sales now and in the future. (See last week’s column for more information on how to start this process.)
Assuming that you have now identified who your customers are that:
- Produce the best margins
- Match up with your company well in terms of values, priorities and behavior
- Require the least effort and costs of selling
- Buy your most valuable products
- Want to grow with you as your company evolves
- And probably represent your most valuable markets to prospect in for new sales
What can you do with this MVC Analysis now that you have it?
Consider the following options:
- Consider what you are willing to do in terms of additional effort or services for your MVCs, since they probably represent your best chances for profitable sales growth with your existing customers.
- Go to the next step and create an Ideal MVC Profile by listing all of the characteristics that describe your MVCs, such as: size, management structure, ownership, market segments, end products produced, buying process, etc.
- Now Find New Customers similar to your MVCs. To do this, start by identifying the 8-digit SIC or NAICS codes for each of your MVC’s and then buy a customer list from Dunn & Bradstreet for the regions you serve that identifies more companies in these market segments. Now work with your sales and marketing team to develop a plan contact, qualify and prospect with the companies that fit your MVC Profile. Segment the list by comparing your Ideal MVC Profile to the larger listing to determine which suspect customers to contact first.
- While your at it, look for Adjacent Market Segments that may represent growth opportunities for your company. To do this, just look at the segments that are close to the ones in which your company’s MVCs live and think about how you might find more potential customers in these Adjacencies.
- Conversely, think about those customers that rated low on your analysis and are clearly not MVCs, what are you willing to do with them to improve profitability, increase sales and to make them easier to serve and more responsive to your sales team? You might actually increase prices to them, charge them for services or reach out to the best ones to repair the relationship for the future.
You now have the basis for a plan in place to:
- Generate more sales from your existing MVCs
- Find more potential MVCs in existing markets
- Find potential new customers in new markets that might be MVCs
- Improve the profitability of your worst performing customers
Charlie Alter owns Bentbrook Advisors LLC based in Sylvania, Ohio. He specializes in Growth Strategy, Innovation and Coaching and can be reached at email@example.com visit http://bentbrookadvisors.com/ for more information on his business advisory practice.