From a culinary point of view, we are thinking of layers of fresh pasta in lasagna, layers of biscuits and butter in a biscuit cake, layers of puff pastry where you can’t miss an excellent filling. It doesn’t matter what the initial or final layer is, as they are all equally important and identical. But customer layers? How to visualize these layers of fantastic customers that we all have in companies? And what do these layers mean?
I bet not all customers are the same. Although all are important and fundamental to the survival of each company, we can say that the top layer is often unique.
So, the layers of customer classifications will be different depending on billing and billing potential in the near future, in which case we have several layers. The time horizon for this classification is typically one year, but it can vary depending on the type of business and the duration of the business cycle.
It is the customers who bring us about 80% of the invoicing or represent 80% of the invoicing potential. Have you heard of Pareto’s law? In fact, 80% of something is often based on 20% of another variable.
In a billing context, “A” customers are too important for companies and, as such, can never be neglected. There must be a fully controlled visit and follow-up plans. In certain companies, they are visited by more than one employee, and all members of the team recognize the importance these customers have for the billing and growth of the company.
If we talk about growth potential, they are even more important because the possibility of generating business is very high, and all interactions and negotiations with these clients have to be closely monitored. In terms of potential, we may be talking about existing customers or others who do not yet buy everything they could buy from your team.
They are important customers in terms of billing, consistent, and may even become “A” customers in the near future.
Again, they require close monitoring, but probably with less intensity. They do not fail to have the follow-up and follow-up they deserve. Still, we cannot fail to appreciate the difference in contribution to invoicing, and the move to “A” customers has to be reviewed whenever necessary.
The main fear of “B” customers? That they pass for some reason to “C”.
C customers often bring us low invoicing and reduced potential, but they bring problems and issues in abundance! Curiously we observe an interesting phenomenon. Customer “C” is more comfortable to sell, and many commercials tend to spend more time with these than with those who can bring a little more billing volume. We are not saying to neglect “C” customers, but to dose the investment of time in these customers against the return they bring us. Of course, the exception is if a “C” customer has a high potential.
That’s why you’ve seen that the layers are diverse, and only dividing customers according to billing can be tricky. The same happens with the question of potential. If you can classify according to billing and potential, then you can conquer the best of both worlds.
Opinion Leaders or KOL (Key Opinion Leaders)
In the lasagna, it is a slice with a little more cheese and sauce, or on top of the biscuit cake, we have a generous layer of cream that lets you foresee the delight that will follow.
These are clients that may represent little invoicing or lower potential, but they are clients that we are interested in having because they are references in their sector. They are always an excellent showcase and recognized by their peers as reference entities and of extreme importance and relevance to companies. Opinion Leaders typically bring other clients due to the influence they have.
For this reason, their clients may be in layers, of varying sizes and categories, but always so that all in their context are important and only all together complement each other.
Also published on Medium.