How to Create a Base of Potential Customers?
Understanding the target audience, knowing who you are selling to, and having contacts are invaluable for any business, especially for complex sales in the b2b segment. In this article, we’ll show you how to build a customer base and find the contacts of the right people.
A very important stage in the formation of a customer base is two points: collecting customer contacts and storing them. Therefore, before starting a business, come up with:
What data will you collect from clients, and how will you do it. The client’s full name, mail, phone number, address, etc. may be useful to you.
Where will you store them? This requires a CRM system. But for a start, Excel is also suitable.
How will you work with them? How often to call and remind about yourself, etc.
You’ll be able to engage in point-to-point contact with those customers that are genuinely meaningful and important to you if you have a detailed customer database. To do so, you’ll need to restructure your marketing plan, moving away from broad coverage of all divisions and sizes of businesses and toward limited coverage. Promotion and retention of those clients that are important to you now will provide you with the greatest value while also providing opportunities for potential growth.
Step 1. When it comes to consumer selection, the best way is to focus your marketing and sales efforts on a small number of your most desirable clients. Therefore, the first step will be filling the ICP. We have already discussed how to fill it in and how it will be useful to you in previous articles.
Step 2.Make a primary list.
When a marketing and sales team is formed, solutions and a division are chosen, a primary list of companies must be created, which we can then clean up and delete non-priority names from. These lists should ideally be held in tables and include 400-500 companies to start with, and then you will filter out those who are not suitable for you.
To avoid forgetting someone, it’s best to use as many information sources as possible. Interview salespeople and product managers to find out which businesses they think are promising in the right segment and which ones aren’t.
Step 3. Customer base scoring.
Customer base scoring is an evaluation of each company’s attractiveness in terms of the likelihood of making a sale and the transaction’s potential.
Each business’s scoring criteria are special, and compiling them for a particular industry takes several days. First, we talk to our salespeople and product managers to figure out what the best and worst customers have in common. Customer attractiveness, for example, can be determined by the size of the company (number of employees, turnover), development forecasted, solvency.
Step 4. Fill the database with the necessary data of persons who make and influence decisions.
We had a sorted database based on this ranking of and client’s attractiveness. Now we must fill in the following information:
The full name of the decision-maker and their role – it may be the general, financial, commercial, or production director – would be different with each decision.
Everyone’s place of employment and cell phone number, email, and address of the office.
The most time-consuming and, in many ways, imaginative stage of work is filling in decision makers’ details, which can take anything from a few weeks to several months. Where can I get data?
To get started, download company details from CRM – A lot of data on key market players has undoubtedly accumulated over the years of your work. Then look for information from public sources.
Step 5. Search for contacts.
As public data runs out and the database is full of gaps, there are a number of non-standard methods for locating contacts that rely on social engineering, social networks, and data selection.
- Using LinkedIn to look for employees will help you locate decision-makers, particularly in large businesses and Western companies. We look for a business by its name in Russian or English.
- Searching on Facebook is a little more complicated, but if you find one or two tops by name, for example, you’ll be able to compile a list of workers down to a particular department with a high degree of probability.
- If you know the decision maker’s name and the email template, you can possibly choose an address based on the employee’s last name and first name. Small to medium-sized businesses benefit from this approach.
Finding officials and their connections can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the creativity, time, and budget.
Customer bases require constant attention and refinement. Ideally, check them every quarter.
- To expand the list of persons (deputies, line specialists are added).
- Change the statuses of clients (new, current).
- Make adjustments to the assessment of attractiveness.
Don’t overlook the importance of safety. For the rivals, the consumer base is a delicious morsel. Businesses face a difficult task in protecting their intellectual property. It makes no difference how much it costs. If your base falls into the hands of a third party, you’re in for a lot of trouble. Up to and including criminal cases. As a result, don’t skimp on creating a database protection scheme. Do not know how to do it yourself, recruit experts or soon there will be nothing to protect.
Originally published 2021.04.26