In this, the second in the Mining Existing Accounts series, ‘recency of purchase’ is considered and with it, a challenge to your sales force is proposed.
When working with large accounts it can be easy to lose sight of some business areas and for competitors to nibble away at your existing business unnoticed. Organisations will often become so obsessed with the big new projects or distracted by ‘problem’ client areas that they neglect some of their existing customers and when it comes to contract renewal they find themselves losing out to hungrier competitors.
In the first blog of this series I highlighted three areas (recency, frequency and value) to consider when looking to maximise value from your latent or existing customer base.
Here we consider the questions to ask your sales and account managers in the first of those areas; Recency of purchase. Examine your current customer base and ask:-
- When did your ‘best’, ‘average’ and ‘worst’ customers’ last buy from your organisation?
- How many customers haven’t bought from the organisation at all in the past 6, 12 or 18 months?
- How many customers are now buying far less than they used to?
- Do you know why they are buying less?
- Were they unhappy with your products or services?
- Are they now buying more from your competitors?
- How could you encourage them back to buy from you again?
- Do you have or could you introduce a new customer nursery programme?
- What steps do you take to increase customer loyalty?
- How do you let your existing customers know that they are still important to you?
You spent a lot of time and money attracting customers and building an account management structure, you owe it to yourself to maximise the value from that investment. Allowing valuable clients to recede into your past is akin to abandoning the coalmine you own, in favour of the goldmine you’re still hoping to find.