You have many customers from the manufacturing industry? You believe that factories could run much better with the help of digital solutions? You want to show your customers that you are their partner for the digital transformation of production? This guide will help you to find customers in your own portfolio who are suitable for a digitalisation approach. 

By completing this guide you should be able to create a list of customers who are very likely to listen to you when you pitch digitization to them.

Step 1 – Gather a list of relevant customers

The first step to identify relevant customers is of course gathering a list of all your existing customers. You might be able to export the list of customers from your ERP or CRM system or go through our emails and note them down in a spreadsheet. 

Apart from the customer name it’s helpful to list the industry in which your customer is operating, and when your last interaction/ project was completed. If you are exporting the data from your CRM you might want to add name, telephone number, email address, and position of your stakeholder at the company. Your list, in the end, might look something like this:

Step 2 – add further context information

Now it’s time to add more data to the list so that you can qualify your customers better. There are five criteria, that you can grade with low, medium, or high, that should help you prioritize who you should contact:

  • Openness: how open is your customer towards trying new things. Is the customer always trying new things and is innovative (high), or has he expressed distrust towards new trends and technologies (low)? 
  • Level of trust: how good is your relationship with the customer. Is the customer trusting you blindly (high), or is your relationship rather distant (low)?
  • Relevance of stakeholder: are you already talking with people from production/ logistics (high) or are you rather in contact with other functions like engineering (low)?
  • Decision power: how much decision power does the stakeholder have? Is he a managing director with budget responsibility (high), or more low-level in the operations (low)?
  • Potential for digitization: are there many manual or isolated processes that can be digitized (high) or does your customer already have a lot of software systems in place (low)?

The grading of these criteria is very subjective and based on your feeling and experience. You can add these criteria with the relevant values to your spreadsheet. We suggest using 1 (=low), 2 (=medium), and 3 (=high) as values in your spreadsheet (you will learn about the reason for this in step 3). Your spreadsheet now might look like this:

Step 3 – prioritize your list

Now you already have all the information that you need to rank and prioritize your customers. You only need to follow two simple steps. Add a column (e.g. Score) next to your criteria, and calculate the sum of the five criteria: Level of openness, Level of trust, Relevance of stakeholder, Decision making power, and Potential for digitization. Your spreadsheet now might look like this:

Now you can simply sort the list from highest to lowest number in your new column. Congrats, you have a prioritized list of customers you should contact. Now you are all set to start picking up the phone and start a conversation with your customer about digitization. You might want to take a look at our guide 5 Steps To Get A 60 Min Meeting To Pitch Digitization to learn more about how you would approach your client. 

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