Some people find that keeping comprehensive records of their products, sales, customers, etc. is an onerous task. I know I do, but I always regret it when I need to uncover some aspect of my business that I don’t understand and then have to either guess or start from scratch to compile the data before I can start to analyse it.
Starting with the end in mind…
A great way to review your sales and marketing is to understand which customers buy what products from you so that you can look for opportunities to sell them more of the things they need that they perhaps didn’t know you sell. You can also use this analysis to identify target markets and marketing strategies.
Now if you’ve got thousands of customers, or if you are in a retail environment, doing this on an individual customer basis may be impractical. Two ways to rationalise this include:
- identify your A-Grade customers (see Review Your Customer Base), and concentrate on them in the first instance. Include B-grade customers if you can handle the numbers or,
- group together customers according to buying styles, seasonality, departments, etc.
Making a list of customers (or customer groups), their average sale value (or lifetime value) and the products they buy can lead you to see patterns and opportunities for other sales that you are currently not exploiting.
So keep a database of customers and what they buy, compile the table and then start looking for opportunities. I’m sure you’ll find it to be a very profitable exercise and a vital part of constructing an effective marketing plan.