Issue No. 55 - October/November 2010
Sales records: a help or hindrance
by Craig Stubing
Record-keeping and analysis can be a pain in the neck. Because of this you need to be sure the time and effort you spend on record-keeping and analysis is worth the trouble.
Your records need to be a help, not a hindrance. You must collect the information you need without unnecessary detail. As with other things, sometimes less is more.
Having made those points, here are just some of the questions I believe your record-keeping system should answer for you.
Who are my A class customers?
The well-known 80/20 Rule applies here. Generally about 80% of your business profit on sales can be attributed to 20% of customers.
These are the A class customers. They need to be given A class service at all times by all the business’s staff.
It makes sense to identify your A class customers and ensure their status is noted in your CRM system so all staff know their status and treat them appropriately.
In line with this it also makes sense to set and adhere to a set of Customer Service Standards in respect of all customers – especially the A class ones.
These standards could cover points like frequency and method of contact, eligibility for special offers, turnaround times, delivery arrangements and payment terms.
Recognise also that some of your B and, perhaps, C class customers could be developed into A class customers. Be sure to note these potential A class customers as well so you don’t overlook the opportunity to develop them.
What items in my product line give me the best ‘contribution to profit’?