Tuesday 12 March 2013

How to choose the right customer, when trade-funds are scarce….

Given that even in precedented times key accounts were never created equal, in unprecedented times the differences have become greater and require even more careful classification in deciding whether a customer should be labelled invest, maintain or divest...

In the current climate, it is crucial to redefine what makes a customer special, and deserving of your increasingly scarce attention. This means starting with measuring real Potential, assessing scope for fair-share Partnership, establishing relative Profitability and your ability to Perform, all relative to other key customers in your supplier-portfolio.


Ignoring history, how important is the customer now in terms of relevance in the market, ability to adapt to new demands, responsiveness to new ideas, high growth phase of its life-cycle, and potential market share?

To what extent are you and the customer strategically aligned in terms of urgency? In other words, if you are striving to sort next year’s agenda, and the customer is obsessing about this coming weekend, your minds will never meet.... 

In terms of relationships, would you drink with the buyer in the evenings, without having a reason? 
Is there a good cultural fit, in terms of trust, risk appetite and little need for second-guessing? 
Finally, is your brand profile well represented in the customer’s traffic flow in terms of consumer match?


If they represent 10% of your sales, do they also represent 10% of your profits, i.e. a fair share relationship is possible?

How good is your competitive appeal vs. available competition within the customer?

Whilst scoring well on the above criteria will not guarantee a successful ROI each time, at least you will be starting with the right customer….

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