Understanding Your Building Product Customer: A Data-Driven Approach
As a seasoned professional in the realm of Building Product customer data, I’ve come to realize that one of the most challenging tasks in the building material manufacturer industry is defining the customer accurately.
After all, you don’t want to be caught selling ice to Eskimos! To assist you in this endeavor, I present five essential steps to define your customer and develop a comprehensive data plan.
Clearly Define Your Goals and Objectives
Before delving into your data needs, it’s vital to identify your objectives clearly. Your goals will shape the type of data required.
For instance, if your primary objective is to empower the sales force with a potent tool for managing customer and prospect data, your data requirements will differ significantly from those of managing a customer-centric marketing database.
Determine Whether Your Focus is on Companies or Contacts
Establishing whether your customer data is company-driven or contact-driven is crucial in structuring your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Many CRM rules prefer a company-driven approach with contacts associated with their respective companies, creating a hierarchical structure.
Categorize Company Types
When planning a building product marketing campaign, understanding the different types of companies is essential. Are you targeting manufacturers, distributors, or other entities within the industry? This insight will help you tailor your approach and messaging accordingly.
Identify and Segment Contact Types
For an effective CRM strategy, it is imperative to segment your contacts within each company. Determine the key contact roles that your building product marketing efforts should target, such as marketing managers, general managers, builders, sales representatives, and others.
Establish a Source Table for Data Maintenance
Your data is only as reliable as its source. It is vital to track how your company obtains customer and prospect information, what is commonly known as the “source.” By maintaining a clear record of data sources, you can ensure data accuracy and make informed decisions.
Implement a Data Audit Trail
Data integrity is paramount in any CRM system. Establish a data audit trail to track changes made to customer and prospect records, allowing you to identify the last person to modify the data. This ensures accountability and helps maintain data accuracy over time.
CRM principles have stood the test of time, and they continue to be highly relevant today. Understanding your building product customers, identifying data sources, and clarifying goals and objectives are the foundational steps to developing a successful communication plan and effective sales force management system.
TIP: Communication is key in the Building Product industry. Always inquire about your customer’s preferred communication methods and honor their requests. In today’s interconnected world, there are numerous options and tools available to deliver messages in the formats they prefer.
Understanding customers helps tailor products, marketing, and communication to meet their specific needs.
Clearly identify your goals and objectives to determine the type of data required.
Establish a company-driven CRM structure with contacts associated with respective companies for better organization.
Identifying company types helps target specific segments like manufacturers, distributors, etc.