As we all know, generating new leads, getting new customers and increasing sales is not easy. So why aren’t you utilizing your greatest assets? The customers you already have.
Sometimes the easiest way to increase sales is to leverage your current customers and grow these accounts organically so they meet their full potential. This is especially helpful in your top tier customers. Oftentimes, especially with your larger customers, there are almost always other divisions, other departments or other decision makers that you don’t even know exist. Drilling into these possibilities via account mapping is not only a good idea, it is just common sense.
Below is an excerpt from “Mining the Gold in Existing Customers” via forbes.com, authored by Scott Gillum of gyroVoice.
It’s conventional wisdom that it is “six to seven times more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an existing customer.” Given today’s economic uncertainty, could the inverse also be true? Could existing customers be six, seven or even eight times more valuable in terms of revenue and growth than new ones?
Frederick Reichheld of Bain Company coined the phrase based on his research on customer retention and acquisition in a study published in the Harvard Business Review in 2001. He would later go on to develop the Net Promoter score, measuring the impact and importance of “loyal enthusiasts” on a company’s performance.
For many companies, existing customers are a bellwether investment, such as gold, in times of instability and uncertainty. But what the research does not address is the potential existing customers represent. Many are a goldmine of opportunity for incremental revenue growth that is often missed.
This incremental revenue potential, combined with the value a customer represents as a brand advocate (Reichheld’s Net Promoter System) powered by social media raises the stakes even further. It is a solid argument for suggesting that existing customers are, in fact, even more valuable than Bain originally suggested 10 years ago.
Account Mapping with Connects
Account Mapping is a powerful tool and often gives our clients the greatest ROI. We unearth as many points of contact in one company as possible, piecing together their organization and almost always uncovering potential business of which our clients had no previous knowledge. Connects will work with your sales team to ensure consistent messaging and a powerful strategy for:
- Identifying new contacts and decision makers
- Discovering new projects and programs
- Understanding the needs of your customers
- Mapping out “the lay of the land”; who does what, where
- Identifying other locations or divisions to replicate success
Account mapping, along with the customer satisfaction element, gives the most significant ROI. Known customers are already set up in all of your business systems. You know all of their purchasing and shipping preferences, etc., so every new piece of business is incrementally profitable.
It’s in conversations with these customers that you are likely to get your most valuable information. For example, Customer X will say, “I spend 50 percent of my dollar with you. I’d spend 100% with you if you improved X.”
If you make the improvements that these customers note in your general business activities, it’s going to help in all of your accounts.
Account mapping gives you the full lay of the land of your existing accounts. There is an extensive amount of research that goes into these projects, but there is also a wealth of information that is harvested through quality conversation and active listening.
Mapping: It Works!
One of our clients decided to have us map one of their established, best customers. The customer, a large aerospace component manufacturer, had a dedicated sales manager who was responsible only for this customer’s account.
During the account mapping project with Connects, it was discovered that this customer had a whole sub-division, on the same campus, which our client had never even heard of before.
Our client was able to break into this sub-division, made easier by existing vendor approvals and a proven track record with other parts of the customer’s organization, and gain substantial new business.
Another client, this one a global seal manufacturer, has us map one of their top customers. Our client was already a top tier supplier to this customer, but our client wanted to penetrate another of the customer’s groups.
Within the first 15 hours of calling, Connects uncovered an opportunity worth $200k-$300k. Our client closed on the deal within the month.
Many other projects were unearthed in previously untapped divisions within the customer’s organization.