Most companies have a list of their clientele in one form or another. In this day and age, we should hope that this data exists in some digital format; an address book, a database, spread sheet or something similar.
NOTE: If your data isn't digital, stop reading, hire an intern and start converting those files immediately.
However, there are a great number of companies who do not use or know how to use this data - other than in basic rudimentary forms. (Address Book of contacts, seasonal mailings, etc.) While those tools are useful, they are just scratching the surface.
A trend with some of our customers is developing custom maps utilizing Google Maps (and other mapping software) indicating where their customers are. Customer Data can be in the form of an address book or an exported query from their sales/accounting software. The power of visualizing this data geographically is immense. For Example:
- We can develop a map of customers by region for travelling sales staff - indicating what customers are en route and even include directions as well. Management Staff can also browse this map and compare it to the recent sales reporting - and make recommendations for future market penetration or customer retention calls.
- Additionally, you can generate a map of corporate locations and customers by location. This way you can quickly see what customers are aligned with which location and divide sales and support staff accordingly.
- Color coded map of customers by Gross Annual Sales.
- Color coded map of customers by type of Service.
- Multiple Location Map - to assist the public with finding "The Nearest Location to you."
The possibilities are only limited by the type of information you maintain about your customer base. The more data you maintain, the more useful and powerful your analysis can be.
By visually analyzing the geographic locations of your customers you can quickly see where your customer concentrations are and what markets your company should focus on expansion.
Start today! Go through your existing customer list and ensure you have a valid Contact Name, Address, City, State and Zip for everyone - and make sure you collect it from everyone your company has contact with. It is the building block of Geo Locating your customers and the beginning of one of your most basic sales tools.
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