Thursday, May 12, 2011

Categorizing CRM Contacts - Let me Count the Ways

Categories are frequently used to break your CRM database into more manageable groups or classifications or to target or segment your contacts. There are many reasons - and variety of ways - to categorize your CRM contacts:

They Love Me

One of the most frequently used categories is 'clients'. These are often ripe targets for cross selling and other business development efforts. The idea is that, since they already are writing you checks, presumably they like you - and might want to do even more work with you. They are also the ones you want to make sure you keep in contact with and communicate with regularly.

They Love Me A Lot

Some firms go a step farther and break out their 'top clients'. These are often the ones that contribute 80% to 90% of the firm’s revenue. As a result, you may want to single them out for special treatment. Some firms focus their most strategic marketing and business development activities, such as Client teams or Client surveys, on this group.  

They Could Love Me

Another useful category might be 'prospects'. For firms that are interested in developing business with new Clients, targeting prospects may pay dividends. Plus you may just want to keep in touch with these folks on a regular basis so that the firm is top of mind when that big case comes in.

They Love Me Not

Another type of useful category is ‘status.’ No, this doesn't refer to your really cool or celebrity contacts. It's actually a good way of identifying contacts of specific types that you may want to include or exclude from a particular list or activity. For instance you might want to categorize your adversaries or competitors so you don't send them your newsletters or invite them to your seminars. 

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