Businesses are made up of people, the business is not your customer. A person somewhere in that business decides how to spend the company's money and with whom they will spend it, the people are your customers.
There is a great story about Harvey Mackay, a very successful entrepreneur that made a fortune in envelopes. He worked at an envelope manufacturer and did very well, well enough to buy a defunct envelope business. He thought long and hard about how to turn the newly acquired business around. He struggled with how he could get people to buy his product when envelopes are just envelopes, not much at the product level to differentiate them from their competition. He decided to change the conversation and focus on building relationships with the people making purchasing decisions.
Mackay developed a required questionnaire for his sales reps to use when they interacted with customers and prospects. The questionnaire contained 66 questions (known as the Mackay 66). Interestingly enough, not one question is about the business. The questions are all structured to empower the sales person to get to know the person.
His business, Mackay Envelope Company, grew to over $100 MIL in annual revenue. Harvey Mackay sold the business in 2000. He attributes the success of the business to the guiding principle of knowing your customers and prospects.
At Beringer, we work with our customers to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions that increase sales effectiveness. Building a deep customer profile and a process that guides sales reps through the sales cycle based on best practices increases sales. If your new year resolution is to improve sales, let us show you how a properly implemented CRM solution can help.