I lose count of how many times I hear the saying “you get 80% of your revenue from 20% of your customers” and I have almost always heard it in the context of Account Managers or Sales Mangers justifying the time spent on their biggest customers.
Don’t get me wrong there is more than enough evidence to suggest that the general trend is close to this but does that mean we have to accept it, wouldn’t it be great if we were not so dependant on that 20%
As a Sales Manager or Key Account Manager we should be focused on increasing the business out with the 20%; I’m not advocating taking your eye off the ball regarding the top 20% but providing they are being managed properly more time should be given to generating a greater income from the other 80% or looking for new business.
Accepted in this climate that is easier said than done but it would be worth any business owner, Sales Manager or Key Account Manager to ask the following questions:
- Can my clients be up sold; do we have anything else in our product range that would benefit the client?
- Do I keep my client base updated with new products and promotions?
- Is my product / service still realistically priced to attract new business?
- When was the last time I got in front of my client? Is it time for a catch up and a service or product review?
- Which of my clients spend the most; can my relationship be improved with this client (may also add financial value)?
- Who are my favorite clients to visit; can their value to my business be increased (if not why spend so much time visiting)?
- My customer is happy with my product / service do they know of any other business that may benefit?
- Have I thought outside the square, could I approach any other industries / markets to sell my product or service?
- Am I listening to my clients, are their needs changing, are we able to adapt what we provide to these changing needs?
At a time when most of our clients are tightening the purse strings it is absolutely imperative that we continue to communicate regularly with them for two reasons; firstly to continue building that important relationship and secondly to ensure your competitors find it incredibly hard or impossible to get in the door.