The first step to developing your Zebra profile is to build your Zebra team. It is critical to include key individuals from appropriate departments to form a cross-functional team. This ensures great input and buy-in across the company and gains the cooperation necessary to gather and analyze the necessary information.
It’s essential to include all major functional areas of your business — they may have insights you would never consider yourself. For example:
- The legal department may have important points to make about negotiations with your best customers.
- The human resources department may have input on the staffing changes necessary to support your Zebra’s needs.
- Also, HR may need to know about changes in how you hire salespeople in the future based on your new Zebra method.
Focus on meeting the needs of your Zebra from a cross-departmental perspective. Soon, you will have your entire organization working to ensure customers receive the value they expect, not just the sales team. Your organization can commit entirely to creating happy customers.
Who Should Be on Your Team?
A Zebra team deserves the time and energy of the leaders of all departments, not just those that touch customers and prospects. Ask the appropriate team members why products have been purchased and the value your offerings have achieved.
Gather information from the various departments about your company’s working relationship with existing customers. Include publicly available financial data for each one, along with a clear understanding of why you won any recent new business.
Also, analyze why you lost recent opportunities.
Consider the following team members to include on your team.
- Sales engineers
- Customer service
- Executives from marketing, finance, legal, and human resources
Each department and individual has unique insights into your best customers and why you may have won or lost opportunities in the past.
Why You Need to Know Your Zebra
Knowing your Zebra impacts every area in your organization.
Marketing strategy and plans must be customized for each prospect. Your sales strategy and plans rely on both the right marketing strategy and the insights from creating your Zebra profile.
Product strategies and road maps also change according to your new Zebra protocol. Your Zebra analysis highlights the customer’s real needs and uncovers the information your Zebra wants.
Your service strategy may change according to the type of service plan your best customers require. The clues uncovered in your Zebra analysis can streamline your service level agreement offerings. Customer service and support have a deep understanding of how your customers engage with them. Use their expertise to reorganize the way you sell and deliver services.
By putting together your Zebra team, you are assured of gathering the right information. Team members all speak the same language after helping put together your Zebra profile.
Some of them may surprise you with the depth of knowledge they have about various aspects of current customers and things to incorporate into your marketing and sales to gain the attention of new prospects.
Once you have your team put together, you can move on to the object of the next post — the source of your Zebra profile.