For those of us on a January-December fiscal year, Q3 is NOW – and it is the time when we are very aware of exactly where we stand for meeting our year-end sales goals. If you're concerned about reaching your goal, you might want to consider forming a Customer Advisory Council (CAC).
Over my six years with Geehan Group, I’ve worked with many CACs. I've seen our clients bring together decision makers from their top customers ... and it's a powerful thing! Listening to what those customers have to say is even more powerful, and I’ve witnessed the incredible insights uncovered as well as the positive benefits as a result of our client taking action based on their customers' feedback.
Learning from Your Top Customers
What happens when you engage key customer decision makers directly with the leadership team? You gain an intimate understanding of their needs, aspirations, and the direction of the market. Those learnings then become the foundation from which your strategy, planning, marketing, innovation, acquisitions, sales and service will be designed, executed, and altered to maximize organizational success.
Your leadership team listens as your customers discuss their biggest issues, challenges, aspirations and priorities. You learn how they think, how they manage, lead, and make key decisions; how their environment is changing, and what they are doing to address it. You have the opportunity to understand their world through the eyes of the decision makers who will ultimately decide how their resources and dollars will be allocated.
Driving Predictable, Sustainable, Profitable Growth
All of this gives you an edge … an edge your competitors don’t have. Your strategic direction is guided by those top customers - and they see the value of their role on the Council. Their feedback becomes instrumental in both business and product planning. They become personally and emotionally invested in your success; they become advocates for you in the market. In addition, they help identify new prospects, drive market awareness, accelerate sales cycles and close deals.
By listening and investing resources in areas that are viable and important to the decision makers of your most important customers and markets, you will consistently drive your firm’s revenue. It will also cut out the time, energy and money investing where there is little or no business value.
If you’re not currently gaining the insight from your top customers through a Customer Advisory Council, perhaps now is the time to take action. Engaging your top customers will drive revenue for your company – I’ve witnessed the results firsthand! Make the last two quarters of this year a success – build a powerful link to your customers and ensure you meet – or better yet, exceed – your year-end sales goals!