Using Data to Gain Big Results In Your Business
There is much gold in the transactions that you make as a business. Customer and prospect lists, proposals, and operational results tell an ongoing story. All of our businesses collect a tremendous amount of data that can be utilized to produce terrific results.
We have proposal records; both accepted proposals and proposals that never made it to fruition, and those that were given to competitors. Each of those can yield a wealth of information for us to make better decisions going forward. For example, looking at the proposals that were issued but not accepted for service agreements will tell you the potential expiration date for a competitors contract. Simply following up with those prospects may yield improved results.
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Ways To Gain Big Results To Grow Your Business
Well-Organized CRM Database
Maintaining a well-organized CRM database will allow you the ability to sort through data properly. Imagine two sets of agricultural fields: one where we have nice and neat rows and another that appears to be a field of weeds. If the database is neat and orderly, we could utilize the data to help us search out opportunities and produced better results. The database that is disorganized and full of weeds will generally be useless.
Utilize your database software to set a reminder to automatically prompt you to follow-up at a given date. While it is difficult sometimes to draw an absolute, direct correlation between activity and results, my experience is that following up on a regular basis does produce an increase in sales. Studies have demonstrated significant increases in top line sales through the effective use of CRM systems. Similar studies have shown high failure rates in the implementation of those same systems. You must be diligent in adopting the consistent use and management of any CRM system.
Organized Sales System
Keeping and organizing good data can also increase sales between operating divisions within a company. Cross-sell opportunities develop through the sharing of information. For example, if you are an installing contractor for an item that requires regular maintenance you may want to have a system by where your contracting salespeople can refer the lead to your maintenance salespeople, allowing them to pick up the recurring revenue contract. Yes, it does require a bit of effort to accomplish this and a willingness on the part of your people to share and collaborate, but you’ll find the results thoroughly worthwhile.
External Ways To Gain Big Results In Your Business
I want to spend a few moments describing how we, at Catapult Groups, discuss data in our executive coaching and peer advisory sessions. During the executive coaching session, our coaches would ask one of our CEO members about what they measure. The question might involve reviewing financial statements, it might involve what is captured during the bidding process, or it might look more like a discussion or fact-finding mission. We would discuss the purpose of the data and then perhaps what the use of data could achieve. Together, we would likely find a way to to refine the data into plans and processes that would engender increases in sales or increases in productivity and the like.
Peer Advisory Boards
In our peer advisory boards, the discussion is in a mastermind setting where we have a dozen other CEOs asking probing questions. The CEOs would provide counsel and experiences based on ways that they have been able to utilize data to come to better decisions and better results. For example, someone in the computer business might ask the question about measuring some operational results. Another member in a totally unrelated business might have a method that has not been used in the computer business before but works great in their company. Typically members can go back to their offices and directly implement their learnings to produce better results.
Consider examining what you measure (or could measure) and see what you could do with the information. Organize it, act on it, and you will be on your way to producing better results.