Incumbent Checklist

Back when the Earth was flat, One training session I had was How To Protect Your Customer Base. Apparently, competitor reps were shady and sneaky and would stoop to unimaginable lows to break into our accounts.

Although these papers I recently came across in almost dark and moist cobweb ridden storage are from 1994 (really!) I think it retains relevance as a decent starting point for assessing the strength of your position in any environment where you must either keep or grow existing client spend. There were three categories.

Results

Are your customers realising their full potential?
Do you have documented metrics?
Does upper management know about these metrics?

Relationships

Do you have the right champions?
How often are you in touch with each of your accounts?
Are your customers happy with the support they are getting?

Additional Revenue Opportunities

Have you told all of your customers about [specific newish product set]?
Are any of our competitors sharing any of your accounts?
Are you selling [named add-ons/peripherals]?

Note for newcomers:
Metrics are tangible stories about how wonderful you’ve made their life with an explicit significant documented financial pay-off.
Champions are those clientside that propel your cause with clout to gain professionally and personally.

There was a delightful sign-off. “…And remember, you have the best product out there“, with a brief paragraph explaining why, before the final line, “Make sure your customers understand this!“.

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