By Pat Hinds
It may appear that I pick on my kids in some of the blogs that I write; however this is not the case; I love my kids – they just provide many an interesting topic. For this blog, it is my oldest daughter’s turn; she has been in high school for almost two years and is a good student. In her first semester of high school she got off to a slow start due to the fact she was not using her textbook to study for tests. In junior high she was able to get great marks by taking notes in class and studying the notes in preparation for the test. When she started high school she used the same strategy of focusing her study efforts on her notes; however, it took half the semester to figure out that the teacher did not cover all the material in class and she would have to use her textbook as a reference to improve her mark.
In her second year, her marks continued to improve as her study habits adapted to the high school environment. She now has a good handle on the class and text book material; the question is how does she improve her mark? My advice to her is to take her knowledge of the class and textbook material to the internet and complement the learning process beyond the two sources of data she is using to achieve her current marks.
I see a similar situation when I am dealing with companies that implement CRM applications. They use the CRM to manage relationships with existing customers, but they do not use the tool to target future customers. I look at a company’s existing customer base as the class material and textbook, if you know it well you will get good sales results. If you want to be an over achiever you need to know as much about your target customers as you do your existing customers; as a result, you will need to take what you know about your customers and apply that to collecting information about your target customers.
At POIM Consulting Group we use a methodology we call the “market model”; it starts with knowing as much about your customer as possible so you can relate your customer data to your target customer. This information includes location, employees, industry, revenue, public, private and lines of business. When you have collected this data you now have the material you require to do research on your target customers and start to build a list of your target customers. Now when you build your CRM you are not only building data about your customers you are also building data on who you would like to be your customer. Once your customer and target customer data is stored in your CRM you can leverage third party tools like InsideView and Dunn & Bradstreet to update information in real-time.