I'll be the first to say that having accurate and relevant customer data is critical in any sales role for better customer understanding. Hey, there is an entire industry dedicated to helping businesses know their customers better and I work with some.
When you gather quality data, analytics and customer surveying. This all helps to create an insight hub that enables businesses, to position their products and services, support their customers, add value and increase sales.
I noticed something recently and it only really came to me while delivering a training for key account managers in the Netherlands last week. It was very evident that Key Account Managers aren't taught how to evaluate the data they have. They do their own research, add the data they have available internally and try to piece together something to form a strategy that may end up in an internal plan, an email to a customer or worst yet a potential joint success plan.
In my opinion:
"If your data doesn't give you a real time into what your customer needs, how to add value and serve your customers then you have no helpful data at all."
It doesn't matter what market you're in the world and customer behaviour is moving faster than we think. Just because you have data of what your customer did last month doesn't mean today will be the same.
Key account managers have an unparalleled competitive advantage as you're in front of the customer weekly. You are the personalised marketing channel for your business. I'm not a marketer but you should get to know how your marketing departments think and what they look for. No one in your business has the opportunity you do to extract the type of real time information helpful to meet the needs of your customers today.
As key account managers how can you leverage this opportunity?
I'm all about simplifying steps to allow you the key account manager to win and have more profitable customer conversations. With any data you are given or have access to here are five questions you should consider before jumping blindly into looking for customer insight.
- What do I want to know about my customer and why?
- Is what I want to know aligned with my goals?
- Does knowing this information help me add value to my customer? if so how and what value does it create?
- Does this data exist already? if yes where and how easily accessible is this? If no what are the most effective ways to gather this data?
- What is the best application of this data? (how can I best use it and/or present this to my customer?)
Repeat all five questions for every piece of information you want to uncover. This will feel tedious and slow to begin with. After you've gone through the questions a few times you'll find the questions will come more naturally and you'll answer the questions more quickly.
The result is you focus on the information you actually need to serve your customer at a high level and help you achieve your goals.
If you're new to key account management and looking to know what things you definitely need to know check out an older post HERE of 7 things every KAM should know about your customers.
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Looking for Key Account Growth Coaching or key account business Transformation click on the links or simply get in touch HERE. look forward to helping you get more from your key customer relationships this year.