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Explore Service Directions with Customer Analysis

Even with the customers you know well, sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. By stepping back to look at the forest -- the whole of your customer base -- you'll gain insights to help guide your firm's growth. Through an analysis of your current customer base, you'll undoubtedly identify specific opportunities, but you may also uncover vertical or service-line service potential that you hadn't noticed.      

Collect the Data for Your Customer Base
This is where the time commitment comes in, but the exercise can be well worth the investment. Complete the data sets for your customers as much as possible to provide meaningful depth to your analysis. Steps should include: 

  • Update the company profiles, including revenue, industry and number of employees in your CRM system. There are service providers on Microsoft's Ready-to-Go marketing site to help augment your data.

  • Ask the consulting team to identify the clients they believe are the best-managed and highest-growth companies. Tag those clients for special notice.

  • If not already in your CRM system, merge past sales, solutions owned and projects delivered.

There is no doubt that gathering this data is no small task, but it is the perfect job for a summer intern. This is the time to put that plan in place.

Putting Your Data to Work
Once you have gathered the information on your customers, analyze the data. This is a great opportunity to practice with Power BI for Office 365. (When you have completed the exercise, you'll be able to show your clients how to analyze their own customer base.) There's no limit to the ways you can look at the customer data set, but for starters:

  • Compare the services that you have delivered to your top customers, looking for gaps in high-potential clients.

  • Look for patterns in industry, company size and types of projects that could provide the basis for a new line of services.

  • If you identify opportunities not in your wheelhouse, consider working with a partner. Help them perform the same analysis on their customer base to identify more opportunities you can pursue together.

With new insight into your customers, you can plan the future of your service lines with much more confidence. This is a transformational time for partners and a better understanding of your current client base can help guide your future direction. As the summer approaches, consider putting an intern to work collecting the data that will not only uncover immediate opportunities, but will also pay long-term dividends.

How are you expanding service opportunities? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share your story.

Posted by Barb Levisay on April 09, 2014 at 10:14 AM


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