When gathering sales data, you need to make sure that you are gathering data that is actually useful.
The amount of data that a company keeps on its clients is normally massive. Many companies use Customer Relationship Management programs to keep track of every interaction that they have with customers and potential customers. Every company gathers and keeps information on their customers, but very few are using the sales data to effectively increase their sales. Possibly because there is so much information, it is hard to know where to start and what to use. Even if your company does not have a CRM program, you should be gathering sales data to increase your sales.
When gathering sales data, you need to make sure that you are gathering data that is actually useful. Some of the information that you may want to keep regarding specific clients:
This information is very basic. What is the customer buying and how much are they buying. By analyzing past buying behaviors, you can get a general picture of what they will be looking for in the future.
Keeping track of how often your customers buy allows you to plan and schedule when you should be meeting with the client. You don’t want to waste your time by contacting the customer too frequently, and you certainly do not want to be too late in reaching out to your customers leaving an opportunity for you competition to get there first.
As part of your sales data, you want to keep good information about whom you need to contact and who is involved in any buying decision. If you are dealing with a large company, there may be many people in different departments and at different levels that you will have to meet with. Not knowing who these people are could lose the sale. If you deal with smaller companies, you may be dealing with a manager or you may have to deal directly with an owner. It is important that you know that you are talking with the right person. If at all possible, you should try to gather some personal information for your sales data on the clients and prospects as well. Finding out information about birthdays and anniversaries helps you to develop a more personal relationship.
As you collect your sales data, it is important to find out if the customer has specific needs or requirements that are pertinent to the sale. Once you know the details, particularly of special requests or needs, you need to make sure you are able to meet those requirements and can meet them each time the customer buys. You may also determine from your sales data that meeting special requirements is not cost effective and not worth the sale.
As you meet with prospects you should be gathering information about how you discovered the prospect, what they need and determine how likely they are to buy in the future.
Collecting the sales data will help you to get organized and be focused on profitability. Use your sales data to focus your marketing efforts directly to the client. Once you determine the needs of the customer, how often they buy and what they require, you develop a detailed picture of the customers buying habits. You will learn which customers are producing the most profit for you.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.