By Pat Hinds,
My background as a sales person is major account selling; I have been selling technology to oil & gas companies in Alberta for 16 years. When I started using SalesForce.com it was natural for me to use the “accounts” tab to manage “high value accounts”. I would load the account data into the “accounts” section of SalesForce.com and start selling. When POIMConsulting Group became a certified consulting partner of SalesForce.com I started dealing with companies that not only focused on “high value accounts”, but they service multiple markets; as a result the “lead” tab becomes a very useful feature of SalesForce.
One of the definitions of sales 2.0 is “process, people and technology”; if you subscribe to this definition it is important that companies identify a process on how to deal with high, medium and low value accounts. Once you have defined the “value segments” you can determine how you want to apply your sales & marketing resource to manage relationships with these accounts and how you can use technology like SalesForce CRM to help automate the sales processes. It is important to note that the term “high, medium and low” does not mean the prospective customers are less important; it is an indicator of how you want to tailor your processes to address the needs of the customer.
An example of this process is a customer of mine that sells awnings and solar shades to home owners, renovation companies and home builders. They spend a lot of money on marketing directly to consumers via radio, trade shows and print and they also want to build long term relationships with renovation and home builders. The customer “value segmentation” homes are low value accounts based on the fact that they represent a single transaction and home builders are high value accounts based on a recurring revenue model. My customer uses the lead section to manage the relationship with home owners that are prospective customers and we built account records for all home builders and assign these accounts to sales reps.
The objective with the low value accounts is to respond to inquiries made by home owners as quickly as possible; we assign a lead and task to a sales rep with the expectation of a response to the prospect in less than 15 minutes. For home builders the expectation is to meet with estimators and present the product and pricing packages. Account segmentation is an important part of building a sales process that can be automated by a CRM.
Topics: Business Intelligence