We should be babies more often.
Focus on the cat first. The cat is looking at the fish; what do you think he is thinking? Food, of course. The cat has a singular focus.
Now what about the baby – what is he thinking? The baby is thinking lots of things – red, swimming, gentle. He is intently focused and curious about the fish as he tries to learn about it.
I use this as an analogy for how we think about customers. How often are we the cat when considering our customers? We look at our customers as only a dollar figure and “how does this get me to my results?”
How often can we really say we are the baby? Intensely curious, looking for insights and opportunities about the customer, not self-serving.
You get the point.
Too often we as B2B salespeople only focus on revenue when deciding the strategic value of a customer, when we should really be studying other traits about customers that uncover a truer strategic value for our business.
So what traits or factors should we be using to determine the strategic value of a customer?
The Three Ps Framework
The “Three Ps” framework considers three dimensions of a customer, Payoff, Potential and Partnership, for determining strategic value.
Payoff: Measures like revenue and profit help you determine the financial worth of a customer to your company.
Potential: Repurchase behavior, account growth and share of wallet are metrics that help you determine how much potential opportunity for enhancement exists within each customer account.
Partnership: Depth of relationship, customer advocacy and scope of business are metrics that help you determine how broad, deep and strong the relationship is between your company and each customer account.
I challenge you to use this framework to rank your customers. Come up with a point system for each factor and use weighted averages that are right for your business to quantify a “Strategic Value Score.” Wouldn’t this be a fresh way to compare your customers?
By taking a more disciplined and holistic approach to considering and calculating the strategic value of your customers, you can better prioritize your attention, time and effort in reaching the best long-term results for your business.