Next step in getting a handle on the context you and the customer are working within is understanding who the customer is to your company. Sounds simple, and it may be just that. Or, depending on how silo-ed your company is, it could be like pulling teeth without Novocaine.
Here are some ideas of what pieces of information to pull together:
- Build a picture of all the customer’s revenue streams into your company.
- Within each of those streams, how big are they to each division?
- Where are they spending the most and how is it trending
- What do the relationships look like with each division
- How does the customer manage the relationship: consolidated management or distributed?
- Who facilitated growth across divisions: did your sales team infiltrate their company in a strategic way through an internal champion, or did disparate sales groups win business independently of each other?
- Understand who manages the customer within your organization: single point of contact for the enterprise at an executive level or distributed management across divisions without a central touch point?
- How many contracts do you have with them, when does each expire, who is negotiating renewals?
- What does the customer say about you?
- How often do they call Customer Service or Help Desk? What are the biggest issues, how long have the issues been around?
- What is the internal tone when this customer’s name is mentioned?
- Do they drive you to be better, causing you to grow?
- What metrics do they measure your success by in each division?
Pull these pieces together for a 360 degree view of the customer, and their overall importance to your company. It is both a snapshot of now, and a look back at how their place evolved with your company.
Next up, Part 3-Industry Landscape.