Customer Relationship Management

More Customer Reletionship Management Tips from Armin

In Opportunity Management, it is important to completely understand the background of the opportunity. Therefore, one important question you’ll have to answer, is: “How strong is the company’s current competitive position?”

To improve customer relationship, always ask yourself what you can do for your customer without being asked for it. Be pro-active!

There’s a shift happening in terms of competitive advantage. The next generation of competitive advantage is based on emotions, esteem, and impulse rather than practicality, rationality, or common sense.

In B2B sales you need methods, employees’ support, and adapted tools. But more than anything else, you need emotion. If you love your clients, they will eventually buy from you.

Clients don’t necessarily leave for a specific reason, but very often because nothing motivates them to stay. Invest in your customer relationship management in a pro-active manner.

Relationship clients want reliable good quality products / services. You should therefore invest in the improvement of the client relationship.

Relationship clients are courteous and friendly. Treat them the same to improve your customer relationship.

Relationship clients want support and advice. You should therefore invest in the improvement of the client relationship.

Relationship clients believe that price comparisons are too much hassle. You should therefore invest in the improvement of the client relationship.

Relationship clients look for suppliers they can trust. You should therefore invest in the improvement of the client relationship.

You can recognise a price customer by the fact that he will be prepared to switch suppliers anytime. You should therefore standardise the processes for maintaining customer relationships. Invest as little as possible.

You can recognise a price customer by the fact that he will constantly monitor market for alternatives. You should therefore standardise the processes for maintaining customer relationships. Invest as little as possible.

You can recognise a price customer by the fact that he shows little loyalty to your company. You should therefore standardise the processes for maintaining customer relationships. Invest as little as possible.

There’s a difference between a price client and a relationship client. Minimise your investment in the customer relationship for price clients and invest in the customer relationship with relationship clients instead.

The outsider in an organisation is not at all involved in the decision-making process. However, don’t ignore them since they might work against you and as a consequence might need to be neutralised to improve your customer relationship.

The “fox” in an organization is an observer who has influence without authority. He or she can provide you unofficially with knowledge about the decision-making process and the importance of other players. Listen to them carefully to improve your customer relationship.

Executors implement the strategy and manage important projects. Help them to become more efficient in process management and project management to improve your customer relationship.

Managers within the centre of power define the MOST (Mission, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics) and monitor the outcome. Make your presentations and proposals 100% compatible to improve your customer relationship.

When analysing the main roles and responsibilities in your client’s organization, you’ll see that there are basically four: centre of power, executors, the “fox” (see Jim Holden, Power Base Selling), and the outsiders.

Don’t forget the experts in your customer’s organization when working on your customer relationship. They can help you to understand informal structures, decision-makers would not necessarily share with you.

Relationship-orientated and introvert people (“Farmer” type) are rather found amongst team-members than leaders. Nevertheless, they can help you as influencers to improve your customer relationship.

Your customer relationship doesn’t end with the sale. Make sure you contact your client regularly to check if he’s happy.

Relation-orientated and extroverted people ("Boxer" type) express thoughts and feelings: Make sure you show them your understanding to build a great customer relationship with them.

Relation-orientated and extroverted people ("Boxer" type) like to impress others. To build a great customer relationship with them, offer them the opportunity of presenting the solution or project as if they had created it.

To build a great customer relationship you must put yourself into your customers shoes. Talk about results for his business and himself, not about your solution, your company, or yourself. Nobody wants to hear that.

The conversation style of task-oriented and extroverted people ("General" type) is candid and challenging. To improve your customer relationship, be prepared for this style and don’t shy away from being quite candid and challenging, too.

Task-oriented and extroverted people ("General" type) love to achieve results quickly. To improve your customer relationship, show them the parts of your solution or service that lead to measurable results immediately.

Relationship-orientated and extravert people act and think like boxers. Make sure you don’t bore them with the details of your solution and stress the importance of working in a team to improve your customer relationship. Let them speak.

Relationship-orientated and introvert people act and think like farmers. Make sure you always the sustainability of your solution and stress the importance of working in a team to improve your customer relationship.

Task-oriented and extravert people act and think like generals. Make sure you always provide them with the things they want and deliver what you promise to improve your customer relationship.

Task-oriented and introvert people act and think like scientists. Provide them with logic and proof when you want to convince them of your solution and thus improve your customer relationship.

When managing your customer relationships, concentrate on decision makers who are progressive in their buying behaviour.

In relationship management with your customer or prospective customer, it is important to get a mentor, i.e. someone who absolutely wants to work with you and therefore supports you in the sales process.

Give your customers and prospective customers the feeling of contributing something, for example by integrating them into your innovation processes. This will constantly improve your customer relationship.

If you attach great significance to your customers and prospective customers, this has a positive effect on the customer relationship. You can ensure the high importance that customers and prospective customers enjoy, for example, by granting advantages to certain contacts.

Bring variety into the relationship with your customer or prospective customer. Change the type of address, the type of events, the type of presentations. So you will definitely stay in his memory.

In order to improve the relationship with your prospect, he must feel certainty and comfort. Prove to him that you can deliver and make it risk free for him to buy.

In customer relationship management, an important emotional trigger is "references". So make on-site visits at existing customers' and for God's sake don't distribute case studies.

In customer relationship management, an important emotional trigger is "scarcity". By scheduling offers and introducing quantity restrictions, you can therefore trigger willingness to buy.

In customer relationship management, an important emotional trigger is "sense of belonging". So create a community of customers whom you can support and interact with.

In customer relationship management, an important emotional trigger is "events". Invite your existing and prospective customers to an event at least once per year.

In customer relationship management, an important emotional trigger is "kindness". Therefore, always react in a courteous and friendly manner. Be reachable.

In relationship management, an important emotional trigger is "anticipation”. Therefore, make announcements of something to come regularly, ideally combined with a surprise. As a consequence, your client will be emotionally closer to you.

In relationship management, an important emotional trigger is "trust". If you want to build trust, deliver results in advance, i.e. before the customer has bought something from you.

In Customer Relationship Management, an important emotional trigger is "reciprocity". So if you deliver results before you have sold something, you generate positive emotions that are a prerequisite for a purchase decision.

Customer Relationship Management is the management of emotions. That’s why you’d like to address emotional triggers. One important trigger is to convey authority through signs showing your status, eg mentioning your gold partner status with a renowned company.

Start analysing politics at your client’s by making a list of all the key stakeholders involved in the project.

Five important questions regarding relationship management in B2B sales and Account Management are: Who is involved? What is their role? What kind of character are they? What are their ambitions, values, achievements etc? How can I help?

Understanding stakeholders in B2B sales has 5 dimensions: Buying Readiness, Role in the buying process, Personality, Engagement, Support they give you.

In order to be successful in B2B sales, you always need a mentor within the client organization. Someone who wants you to win the deal.

There are four main character profiles that you will need to understand in order to really understand the stakeholders in B2B sales: the scientist (introvert, task-orientated), the general (extravert, task-orientated), the farmer (introvert, relationship-orientated), the boxer (extravert, relationship-orientated). Treat them accordingly to win the deal.

One important stakeholder you must identify in the client organization when selling B2B, is the “fox”. Foxes are avid observers and influences who quite regularly don’t have any formal power and therefore are often overlooked.

Relationship management in B2B only makes sense for relationship clients. Clients who are mainly interested in suppliers they can trust, clients who want advice and support, and who want the best value for money rather than the best price.

Even in B2B, the buying decision is mainly an emotional one. Therefore, you have to create positive emotions with your client.

In B2B sales, tacit knowledge is the next generation of competitive advantage.

Understand all important stakeholders of your B2B sales opportunity by answering the following questions: Who is this person? What has she achieved? Where does she want to go? What makes her tick? What is important to her?

Care, help, give and you will be a successful Account Manager and win many B2B sales opportunities.

Give your customers and prospective customers the feeling to grow and your customer relationship will constantly improve. You can achieve this, for example, by simply passing on your experience free of charge to your customers and prospects without selling anything.

As far as the decision making process is concerned there are essentially four roles that people within your prospect’s organization will play: Influencer don’t decide but influence the decision, evaluators test your solution, decision makers decide to buy or not, approver approve or disapprove of the decision.

Task-oriented and introverted people (scientist type) love analysis and solving tricky problems. To improve your customer relationship, give them the opportunity to "play" with your solution, to test it.