The Customer Review Document: Gathering Content

The last place we often look is in our own backyard when we brainstorm on new ideas.  I want to take some time today to provide some thoughts on who within your own company can provide valuable insight on the content for the Customer Review document. 

Who within your company delivers Customer Reviews today?  Seek out best practice leaders in your sales force and ask them for examples of Customer Review documents tsprhey have presented to their customers.  Evaluate the Customer Review examples to identify common elements from each.  Interview the best practice leaders and ask them questions such as:

• Who is the audience for the delivery of the document?
• Who from your company attends the meeting?
• How long does a typical meeting last?
• Where does the content for the document come from?

The answers to these questions might help steer you down the right path, but could also lead you down a black hole if you don’t keep the purpose for the document in mind at all times. Remember, the Customer Review is not a show-and-tell for your company; it is the opportunity to have an open dialogue with your customer about their business.  This type of approach might be a new concept for your sales force; take that into consideration when determining how strategic and dialogue-driven the content for the document needs to be.  The content may need to evolve over time. Begin by taking baby steps.

The Customer Review document isn’t meant to be an advertisement for your new solutions.  Use the document to present key information about the value you can provide and ways in which you can solve your customer’s biggest business challenges.  The Customer Review meeting serves as the launching pad for new opportunities and relationships with your customer; the document you present is the instrument that can help get you there sooner.  

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