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The following is from one of the organizations that allow us to guest post some of their great content, Sales Benchmark Index. This post was written by Scott Gruher. You can find the original post here. It has been modified slightly for presentation here.
Not sure what to get your customers to show your appreciation for them on special occasions? How about some additional value? One competitive strategy is to determine which activities within your sales team create real value for your customers? Can you eliminate activities to become more efficient without disrupting your revenue stream? Focus your resources on the activities that your customer is willing to pay for.
One way to determine the areas that drive value for your customer is to perform a value chain analysis. The purpose of a value chain analysis is to pinpoint which sales methodology components your customer base values the most.
When determining how you should create value, nothing is more important than the voice of the customer. A well done Value Chain analysis will bring clarity to those key inflexion points.
Here are some of the best ways to gain your customer’s perspective:
Customer Survey: the more responses, the better. This is a great way to identify patterns in data. Make sure you write the questions so they are clear and concise and you can understand how the responses relate to the value created. Also, keep it short. 15-25 questions.
Customer Interviews: add some qualitative data to your survey responses by interviewing customers. What do they like? What do they want more of? What challenges are they facing that you can assist with?
Win/Loss Analysis: understand why new customers decided to pay you and why other organizations decided to go in another direction. These must be done by an impartial party. Don’t have your Sales Manager do them or some bias will creep into the results
Customer Focus Group: throw an event with your best customers.
Benchmark:what are other top performing organizations doing? Can you apply those principals in your environment?
Focus the top resources with your sales force structure on these areas and emphasize them during sales campaigns to create differentiation over your competitors. Look at the tasks that do not drive as much value for your customers and try to shift them, minimize them, or eliminate them. Focus on developing a competitive strategy using your customer’s feedback.
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