Monday, November 21, 2011

Global Accounts

One of the first things I promised my new boss that I would do at Vocollect would be to try to increase our "share of wallet." Even for B2B customers, share of wallet is a critical concept: how much of the total potential spend do you have? We sell primarily to the distribution center (DC), so if we have a customer with four DCs and we have Vocollect(R) Voice in one DC, we have 25% market share.

Ask yourself which is easier: expanding from one happy DC into the other three or introducing a completely new customers to the concept of the voice-directed distribution center? Based on the obvious answer to this question, we have started to look for places that we have business in one geography and get referrals to other parts of that company in another geography. It's a lot easier to say to an American distribution center manager, "We work with your DC in France" than it is to say, "Let me explain a technology you may have never heard of before or don't understand and try to convince you why it applies to you."

The concept of improving share of wallet by looking beyond your region can apply to many B2B companies. Do you sell only in one country but have a customer with overseas branches? Do you do business with a customer who is trying to expand in a new region? Does your product or service work with only minor adjustments (including minor channel changes) in a market with the same language? Each of these situations present opportunities to expand your business that may cost you a lot less than finding new customers.

By the way, expanding share of wallet also makes it a lot harder for your competitors... a fact that many companies ought to consider in this age of value-conscious business shoppers.

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