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Monday, August 16, 2010

The Customer: FINAL Post


Customer Sustainability: Client retention is as important as client recruitment—maybe even more so. Remember your marketing 101 class—it’s much easier to retain a client than find a new one. And, value creation selling greatly helps that retention rate. Also, VCS must be powered by top management otherwise people will revert to a more traditional solo sales model. NOTE: VCS is a team sport. Monthly surveys of the sales leaders on how other departments are performing to support them are important. Keeping focused on not only increasing revenue but also reducing costs becomes critical in the VCS model. Remember: VCS costs money and takes time and training. To evaluate VCS sales leaders, companies look at profitability, the ability to use the VCS model with customers, quality of account planning, presentation clarity and effect, etc. One technique I like is called the Customer Summit (cocktails and dinner) where senior executives of customers gather with the vendor (who hosts the meeting) to get direct feedback from customers about what the company is doing and could do better. In essence, they test how VCS is working. Finally, Charan offers a set of questions to help evaluation and a list of descriptors to help companies know if VCS is really working (see pp. 146-147). For any company or organization wanting to attract and retain new clients, this book is a MUST.

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