customer structure analysis

A customer structure analysis enables to make sales-related statements about the allocation of resources and the focus of market development.

Considering the increasing productivity pressure that the market cultivation faces in many companies, a focused market development becomes increasingly important. Companies need to deal more intensively than before with the question which resources to use for which customers. Focused market cultivation means to abandon the “scattergun approach”, which can still be observed in many companies. Nowadays, three approaches are particularly suitable for customer structure analysis:

  • The scoring model is a relatively simple instrument that is primarily used to assess the attractiveness of customers. Scoring models generally pursue the goal of identifying the customers with the highest purchase probability and attractiveness.
  • In the ABC analysis, customers are classified into A, B and C customers according to turnover, contribution margin, sales potential or support costs. Very often 80:20 structures are identified, showing that many companies generate about 80 % of their turnover with about 20 % of their customers. Both the scoring model and the ABC analysis provide initial indications for customer-related resource allocation.
  • The customer portfolio is formed by the two dimensions of customer attractiveness and supplier position. When evaluating customer attractiveness, it is important to do this completely independent from the position of the supplier at the customer and the revenue / contribution margin / profit achieved with this customer. It is about the potential business relationship, not the actual one. The supplier position is usually determined by the relative Share of Customer covered by the supplier. This means, a kind of “customer-related market share” is calculated. This key figure can be complemented by additional qualitative criteria (e.g. quality of the business relationship).