5 tips to develop your customer portfolio
The client portfolio is one of the best assets that your company can build: the customer is king! Why? Because without customers, no turnover.
Having a client portfolio provided is, therefore, a specific guarantee for the future of your business. Moreover, the more it develops, the more the prospects for sustainability are at the rendezvous.
- What is a customer portfolio?
- Why is it vital for you to have this information at your fingertips?
- Tip # 1: Put your best salespeople into action
- Tip # 2: Work on your customer loyalty
- Tip # 3: Be continuously fed on leads
- Tip # 4: Play the social media card
- Tip # 5: Clean up your client portfolio
- Last bonus tip
What is a customer portfolio?
The customer portfolio includes all the information about the customers working with your company at time T:
- The coordinates comprehensive corporate and contacts;
- The projects signed and their characteristics;
- All correspondence during the prospecting process;
- Other important details about this customer.
Do not enter this wallet:
- Your leads and prospects
- Your old customers
- Your partners
You can break it down into several portfolios associated with each of your salespeople or project managers.
You can also segment this portfolio according to essential criteria for your activity: sector, size, type of contract, seniority.
Why is it vital for you to have this information at your fingertips?
Mainly for two reasons:
- It will always be easier for you to convince a current customer to buy from you again;
- This allows you to manage your sales force and your commercial action plan better.
Growing your customer portfolio is of great importance to your business. Here are 5 tips you can put in place today to develop it.
Tip # 1: Put your best salespeople into action
Jeffrey Gitomer, the grandfather of the sale, says: “When you say it, it’s bragging; when your customers say it is proof ” (Jeffrey Gitomer, The Little Red Book of Sales: The 12.5 Principles of Excellence, Pearson, 2008, 220 p).
Your customers are the best salespeople in your business. That’s why your client portfolio is one of your best assets. So, you can ask them to:
- Introduce yourself to people who may be interested in your services
- To give a video testimonial of their experience with your company (at worst, ask for writing);
- To become a thorough case study on their experience with your business.
Your future customers are surely in the fold of your current customers: you have to solicit them.
Tip # 2: Work on your customer loyalty
We often tend to believe that a customer is acquired ad vitam aeternam. That the hard part is done once it is conquered. But the reality is that keeping a (right) customer is the real struggle of a sustainable business.
To grow your portfolio, you must first strengthen it. Make sure your customers are loyal to you. How to do this? Follow the advice of Laurent Beretta (www.laurentberetta.com) and create a “magical customer experience” :
- Surprise your customers by providing them with a quality of service that goes beyond their expectations.
- Show them that you are interested in them. Look for problems daily and how you can solve them.
- Create joy at home by providing them with solutions that fit their context.
Never forget that before selling to companies, you sell to humans.
Tip # 3: Be continuously fed on leads
Before a company or an individual becomes your customer, it goes through the prospect box: it has entered a business process with you. However, before being a prospect, this same person/company is a leader, that is to say, a track to enter the process.
From experience, being fed continuously leads is a complicated task. It requires drawing a person’s attention to you when they do not know you at all. However, we live in a world where we are over-solicited.
To do this, you can:
- Work network to bypass the attention of policymakers by being well recommended;
- Bring value through an inbound marketing strategy;
- Participate in trade shows where the decision-makers of your target are.
Your sales force must be continuously nurtured in leads to start the prospecting process: qualification of leads, making appointments, etc.
Tip # 4: Play the social media card
The commercial development of your company is, above all a social act. They are men and women who interact with other men and women.
It is therefore reasonable to be (actively) present on social networks for:
- To be identified;
- Storing of lead ;
- To be recommended;
- Bring value ;
- Make an appointment ;
- Make an active watch on the market.
Every salesperson in your company must have good activity on social networks.
Tip # 5: Clean up your client portfolio
This will seem contradictory, but to develop your customer portfolio, you will have to get rid of some customers. Let me explain.
Do you know the Pareto principle, also called the 80-20 law? It indicates that about 20% of the inputs produce 80% of the outputs. In concrete terms, this means that a small part of your customers creates the vast majority of your turnover. However, another indicator exists:
20% of your customers consume 80% of the time and energy of your teams.
Moreover, if these customers are not among your most significant contributors, you see the problem.
Growing your customer portfolio requires time and energy: manage leads, prospect, sell, retain. So if your sales force does not have time for that, you brake yourself.
Identify these clients to either 1) reduce the energy devoted to them or 2) gently remove them from your wallet. This will reallocate time to a higher value for your sales force.
Last bonus tip
You have understood the issue of the customer portfolio. However, to have a good commercial performance, you need proper tools.
For that, I recommend you equip yourself with tools of management of the commercial relation or CRM (Customer Relationship Management). They have many advantages:
- All information is centralized in one place, and is accessible anywhere, with any medium;
- The functioning is thought for the teams: each one has its dedicated portfolio, but can go to find or share information with the others;
- You are sure never to miss a single call or important appointment because they are synchronized with your calendar and your mailbox ;
- Your sales managers have at a glance all the statistics necessary for the proper management of your activity;
- You can connect the tool to others for greater economic efficiency.
Each CRM has its particularities, and you can choose the one that suits you best. If you have a large sales team and already manage a consolidated database, I advise you to watch Microsoft Dynamics 365.