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Business Growth - You Must Have A Living, Breathing Customer Database

Your customer database is, or should be, much more than just a list of your prospects and customer records in a box, on a spreadsheet or stuffed in a file cabinet.
It should also be more than your email address book or your contact manager.
Your customer database shouldcombined into one, easy-to-use, easy-access application that stores every piece of meaningful information about every contact, every prospect and every customer who can help you build your business.
Think of it this way: without a customer database, your company doesn't really have a customer base.
Instead, you have a customer scrap-heap.
Alternatively, if you have a living, breathing customer database you have a powerful asset that can help you grow your business year after year.
So, what is a "living, breathing customer database?" First, it is something that you actively build--every day, every week, every month!You do this with systems that store all of your contact, prospect and customer data, as well as, order and billing information in a single comprehensive database.
These people need to be organized into meaningful groups and your system needs to be flexible enough to allow you to sort through the database so that you can pull up prospects or customers that might bring you more business on a moment's notice.
For instance, you may want to pull up a list of all the customers in your database who did business with you where the sales total was above a certain amount.
Or, you may want to look at all prospects you made sales presentations to over the last year who didn't do business with you because of a specific reason.
Your system must allow you to slice and dice your data in different ways so that it provides you with the names of prospects and customers who are likely to respond to a particular product or service you offer.
Your system must also include the capability for doing sequential follow-up campaigns.
Having a comprehensive database combined with follow-up functionality will give you the ability to land lots of new business in a short period of time.
With this ability you can easily run a customer loyalty campaign that keeps your name in front of your customers...
and keeps repeat business and referrals coming your way.
You can do marketing blasts, loyalty campaigns, special announcements, newsletters, courtesy calls, and much more.
The sales and marketing possibilities are endless when you have a strong customer database combined with follow-up functionality! You are more organized.
You know what to do, who to do it for and when to do it.
You are able to do what you say you'll do with professionalism and deliver superior service.
In short, you can use this type of system to cultivate a relationship with your customers and prospects that will cause them to bring you business when they (or their friends) are looking for your product or service.
This philosophy is at the heart of a movement called Customer Relationship Management, or CRM.
It's a hot topic in the marketing world because it is all about helping businesses win and keep customers.

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