The concept is not new: not all customers are equal, the 80-20 rule (80% of profits come from 20% of your customers), loyalty, relationships, etc. From what I can see this tends to work really well in two types of organisations; those large enough to have the systems, training and management to develop and implement the right strategy and those small enough to manage this in sales people’s heads.
The challenge lies with the company of that medium size, and they make up a very large chunk of the economy.
They often don’t have the resources to get experts involved in developing the strategy and the systems to support this kind of customer management, but they understand the need.
So a software package is bought at great expense, it is installed and everyone goes back to the way they worked yesterday.
So what can you do?
I believe that it’s more important to get the thinking right first. Understand what you want to do, what you can do (considering the size of your operation) and how you want to do it. And don’t forget to get the people involved first…
You may not even need a new software applications when all is said and done.