Why Measuring Customer Growth Matters
By Colleen Francis
Measuring customer growth regularly and consistently will increase sales. How? Because measuring customer growth allows you to find accounts that can grow, buy more products and become even bigger customers.
The best, fastest way to increase your sales is to work within your current customer pool. You already know that incremental sales opportunities (selling up and cross selling) are effective ways to make more sales, but how do you know which of your customers will be most likely to respond to your sales pitches?
Measure customer growth.
Without consistent measurement, you have no way of finding these prospects and risk missing out on a lot of sales.
The Sales Leader Classification System
The Sales Leader Classification System we discussed in a previous article is a process of indentifying key traits in customers and then classifying accounts into one of four segments. It allows you to manage your time more profitably and also helps you measure customer growth more effectively.
As we discussed, you will use engagement and potential growth opportunities to analyze each of your accounts and classify them as a Maintenance, Key, Service or Growth Potential Account. Each of these accounts has different characteristics and requires differentiated attention.
While these classifications will help you find the best ways to manage each account profitably it’s not all the system can do. It can also help you keep tabs on your accounts and measure their growth so you can expand them even more, making more sales.
Measuring customer growth entails spending time internally with your sales team monitoring your accounts. Each type of customer should be reviewed at a different time so you can see what goals are being met and how the account is growing.
My suggestion is to measure your accounts as follows:
- Maintenance Accounts – Quarterly
- Key Accounts – Quarterly
- Service Accounts – Annually
- Growth Potential Accounts – Monthly
What is the point of measuring your accounts?
Besides giving you the ability to see how well you are servicing each account, this practice allows you to see how accounts are changing and how they may be growing into different segments of the classification model. Remember that it is possible for some of your customers to start in one segment and grow into another. In fact, this is very positive and being aware of it will help you grow your business.
Measuring regularly also allows you to get ahead of any issues, slowdowns or losses quickly. When you discover growth is not happening as expected quickly, you can make changes, adjust your approach and find new opportunities. If you wait until the end of the year to measure progress it will be too late!
When you measure accounts, reevaluate their classification and decide if they should be moved into another segment. But, don’t stop there. After you measure growth and move customers into new segment, make the necessary internal changes to better service those accounts.
For example, maybe you weren’t spending much time on one of your Service Accounts, but now that account has grown and is a Growth Account. These two segments require differentiated attention, and Growth Accounts deserve more of your time. By changing the way you work with growing accounts you will be able to leverage current customers and increase your sales.
Measurements allow you to see what is in the sales pipeline, what opportunities are active, and what resources you need to grow your accounts. Constant measurement also gives you a chance to reassess account classifications and make changes so you can spend your time and resources most profitably. Consistent measurement makes it possible for you to fully leverage your customer base so you can sell more in less time while making more profit!
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Make sure you check out Colleen's latest book, Nonstop Sales Boom for powerful strategies to drive consistent sales growth quarter after quarter, year after year.
Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.
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