How long would it take YOU to list your most important customers?


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You’re in B2B and you have long-term relationships with your most important customers, right?

You’ve allocated Key Account Managers (KAMs) to those customers. The KAMs are there to stay in contact, to understand, to anticipate and to exploit (in the nicest possible sense) the relationship.

It could be argued that, in B2B, your customer base is your most valuable asset (see the item for good will on the balance sheet of a publicly-traded company for clues).

So how long would it take your company to come up with the names and contact details of your most important customers?

I’m asking this most fundamental question because I have a number of clients that are struggling. And when I say ‘struggling’ I mean that three different clients in three different countries, right now, have all taken 3 months longer to create their lists than they’d originally envisaged.

All three are mid-sized businesses with CRM systems and KAMs.

But what has gone wrong?

I have no takeaway for you, no learning point. Except that you might want to check your systems.

Because if there is no centralised list then there cannot be a properly working centralised communication system with customers. Or any analysis of order reductions; or strategic work on windows of opportunity. Or even a Christmas card to your most valuable assets.

John Coldwell
From an operations background, John's attitude towards B2B customer satisfaction surveys is that they must be useful. Interesting doesn't interest him. You should be able to grab the feedback by the scruff of the neck and do something with it. For the past 15 years John has been running InfoQuest's full-day senior-team post-survey workshops around the world.


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