Monday, April 03, 2006

Value Based Prospect Relationship Marketing

If you want a Prospect Relationship Marketing program to work, first step is to envision the win. Then backtrack through your organization and map all the steps and people who touch the that win that you can so clearly see. Everyone in that stream is either a propellent or a detractor. Politics will weigh heavily and unless you are very strong willed in developing a PRM process, get ready for disappointment ... in most organizations politics trumps strategy, everytime.

So evaluate that stream of people touching your PRM and determine where politics is most likely to sink the system. Then work on overcoming this internal drag by getting more people on board. Isolate the doomsayers and foot draggers. Work on them to figure out what their motives are and then help them see where the PRM will actually help them win.

A PRM program needs a voice at the C-level. It needs a core team to work through the issues from a variety of viewpoints. This team should then be empowered to transform the company so it is focused around bringing in more "new name" accounts (don't forget to maintain a high focus on current customers while you concentrate on growing new accounts).

Determine the metrics that will indicate the process is working or not working. Put the various metrics into a top-down scale, the most important measures at the top of the list.

Look outside for best practices ... but don't force these into your organization. Your company is unique and what works for someone else likely must be altered to fit your situation.

Do your homework. Talk to enough people who are in your prospect class so that you know what it is that they value most. This input should not be limited to things you discover during sales calls -- a sales call is a negotiatory process and you won't always hear the truth from the prospect. Get real and objective input.

Then look back at the stream of people and steps in your existing prospect development process and improve it so that it delivers value at each step. Stay focused on how you can deliver true and appreciated value to each prospect, at each stage of their buying process.

Just these few simple steps will vastly improve your Prospect Relationship Marketing Program. Best of luck!

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