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ERP_Mar05_AWhile you are undoubtedly looking for ways to attract new customers, are you spending enough time building the revenue from each of your existing customers? Customers who have had positive experiences with you in the past are more likely to do business with you again. They trust you.

You also have information about those customers. You know what they purchased, whether they paid on time and where they are located. An integrated ERP system allows you to take that information and analyze it from different angles. By looking for trends and similarities among your existing customers, you gain insight that can build all your accounts.

Identify your best customers
The first step you should take is to determine which customers deliver the most profits to your business. That may not mean the highest revenue customers – high volume customers may demand reduced prices from you with threats of going to the competition.

By matching up the actual costs of dealing with each one of your customers you will get a better understanding of their contribution to your bottom line. From sales expense through cost of delivery, evaluating the actual costs compared to revenues from each of your customers may deliver some surprising results.

The real benefit of an integrated ERP system is that it allows you to combine the information from different departments and different locations. With centralized information, you can evaluate customer value based on the all the interactions that they have with your business.

Predictive sales and packaging
When you can identify similarities in the customers you serve, you can predict what products and services they may buy next. For example, if you supply grocery stores with specialty food products you could compare the product mix that each customer purchases. Some stores may be missing opportunity with a product set that sells well for other customers.

By sharing data from across a wide range of customers, you provide additional value – without naming competitors. You are providing market information that helps your customers win more business.

Through the sales analysis, you may also identify a pattern of customers purchasing the same combination of products.  Combine those products or services together as a “package” and promote to all of your customers. You’ll expand your footprint with some customers and provide a benefit to loyal customers who take advantage of all your services.

Put your data to work
Are you making full use of the data your business gathers? The integrated data from an ERP system allows you to analyze information from a number of angles to identify trends and uncover hidden opportunities. Let’s put your data to work.

Published on 5th March 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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