Making sure you pay the most attention to clients who are not only going to bring you the most profitable revenue today, but whom you can continue to grow with in the future, is a business construct many understand, but few fully implement. Stephanie Winters McConnell, Managing Director Pursuit & Reputation Marketing at Accenture, explains why it’s important to put this principle into practice.
Think long-term for your top 20%
When you have recognised that Pareto’s 80/20 rule applies to your business, the next step is identifying those customers that are delivering the highest returns. However, even within the top 20% of your customers, there are often big differences between those in the very top tier and those in the bottom of that tier. Decision making about how to partner with these clients, and how to identify and allocate the most productive levels of talent, resources and investment, needs to be very clear.
Some companies do this really well, not only considering where growth comes from but also co-investing and co-innovating with those clients because they see the benefit of truly partnering in new ways. Others struggle, looking for short-term successes rather than making the time and investment needed to build a deep partnership.
What about the other 80%?
It’s important to strategically nurture and grow the remaining 80% – and not lump that 80% together. Consistent use of criteria, access to solid data, and acting on the data are all important to inform where to target to keep the growth engine running. Split them up too, and intentionally target your efforts at the different tiers.
What drives 80/20 behavior?
If you have a trust-based relationship with your most significant clients and you are regarded as a business partner that has you client’s vision and objectives in mind, the opportunities for continued growth and expansion can be significant. This has been particularly true in the last couple of years when companies have faced some the biggest disruptors of a generation.
There is still a long way to go for many companies to drive client centric collaboration across all functions. Looking at client interactions in a truly integrated way can help shape the client’s experience. If all teams put the client at the centre, it results in a more consistent approach – and much better outcomes.
Read Stephanie Winters McConnell’s full Viewpoint in Account-Based Growth by Bev Burgess and Tim Shercliff, published by Kogan Page