Hunting, Farming and CRM
We all know the mindset difference between hunters and farmers. “Hunters” have a strictly “one-time engagement” model with their prey as to salesmen or companies who have modelled their business on hunting. “Farmers”, on the other hand, cultivate their customers, their accounts and take a long term view of every relationship.
Both are useful. And, at different stages of the company, one role is better suited than other. It is however safe to say that as in the history of human evolution, farming follows hunting. And, it is a rare business model and in my opinion, even rarer to find a successful one, which stops at hunting.
Closed loop marketing: it takes a lot of effort to convince a customer to buy from you the first time. As you move the customer from a state of non-awareness to indifference to active interest to trial and purchase, it is important to understand that each purchase is potentially the door-opener to another, future opportunity.
So, even if you are a month old start-up to whom new business from new contacts is life-blood, I hope you treat your first sale as an opportunity to gain a customer for life. And, what better way to do that but to invest some little effort to log what you know about the contact, about his/ her employer, about the transactions that you have with her and her company in a systematic, easily retrievable way?
Memory is short; you are better off trusting a computer program to do that. That, in a nutshell, is all there is to CRM. A CRM system/ software is an important facilitator to close loop marketing. Happy farming.