Use Your CRM System to Define Your Customers


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Key Account Management
Customer Retention

CRM, customer relationship management, promises higher customer satisfaction with your business. CRM can do this, if your business configures and uses CRM across your company. The configuration is now hard. Fields can be customized for your needs. Fields can be added or removed from your CRM account to do this. Our suggestion is to simplify as much as you can. This makes user adoption faster and easier.
What data do you need?

The account form captures Industry, Member Of, # of employees, Type and more. These flelds are designed to help focus your sales and marketing process. The Rating field can be used to define key accounts. A simple A, B, C classification can put your customers in the right bucket and the correct category. Customers are not created equal and your CRM gives you analytics to define your best customers.
Analytics to Define Accounts

Revenue measurement per customer may be the place to start. I say start because this is not the only measurement to use. Quotation and Invoice records, Customer support levels and custoomer support demands made on your staff by customers open views into your customers. Consider a high revenue customer which is demanding. Most customers are demanding. But the one which always grinds for the best price, the one which expects premium support and pays base support fees, the one which treats your business like a vendor despite your efforts should pull A rated to B or to C.

Define your Key Account Requirements

The best companies put controls in place. Controls and measurements which define customers. These definitions are loose for the new business building a customer base and gain definition as the customer base grows. Consider a start up with a fast growth curve. Unlimited funds and bandwidth is not available. Funds to hire support people and bandwidth to support customers must be disseminated wisely. To miss this may damage ongoing sales efforts and may damage true A rated account relationships.
CRM Can Help

Proper use of your CRM account can streamline your business. Support portals fed with FAQ or frequently asked support questions and answers moves to a self-support model. An adjunct to CRM can be a product Wiki which addresses common product and service issues and posts intelligent answers. Interactive forums can be built which provides a community discussion and gets your customers interacted with each outher.

The promise of CRM is to measure your business process. What you measure can be improved.


  1. Do firms really need to use CRM to define their customers? How did firms define their customers when CRM wasn’t yet available in the old days? But then, when exactly was CRM invented? Some 20 years ago by Gartner? Or when trade began several thousand years ago?

    Even without CRM, any firm that wants to serve customers best will still do everything to understand its customers.

    Why do firms need to define customers if defining the customers won’t help them serve their customers better?

    Daryl Choy
    Make Little Things Count


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