By John Oechsle
President/CEO of Swiftpage
One of the universal truths of business ownership is that—no matter what your product or service is—you’re going to have to find someone to purchase your wares eventually. For most of us, that means owning a healthy business that keeps and grows a healthy customer base. Everyone wants to make money, and there are a few simple techniques to make this happen.
With busy schedules, finding the time to chase down prospects and connect with customers is easier said than done, but it can be accomplished. One way organizations are able to improve outreach is by automating customer outreach processes.
If you know that it would be a strategic advantage to reach out to your customer base at a particular time of the month, develop a process to automate it. Utilize software automation tools that will send an email programmed for a specific time to a targeted contact list, schedule an activity for you or your sales team and help minimize the time it takes to execute an effective emarketing campaign. No one knows what works for your business better than you, and automation provides the opportunity to personalize processes without spending as much time overseeing execution.
The Calendar & Your Customer
Another tactic is to focus on your calendar. Many business professionals already use calendars to schedule appointments. But does your calendar have functionality that adds notes and follow-up activities, right from the meeting detail screen—eliminating time normally wasted trying to scribble notes on post-its and scrambling to find them when you need something days, weeks or months later?
Can you attach files associated with each client or customer meeting to individual meeting screens? Owning a business pulls you in a million directions at once, but this advanced level of organization can pay dividends and help close sales when instant access to customer information is invaluable.
Finally, sometimes a little more work now can mean time saved in the big picture. Always log your current and potential customer interactions in a database the entire sales team has access to. Track communications regarding where projects stand. This enables you to seamlessly pass things off to others and see trends effectively.
Affordable predictive analytics technology is available to small businesses that saves time by analyzing all previous interactions and suggesting the next action to maximize the possibility of a sale. A thorough customer database is the best approach to saving time and successfully growing a customer base.
Developing a strategic customer acquisition plan is challenging. Finding the time to successfully execute a plan for growing your customer base can be infinitely more so. There’s never enough time. I wouldn’t have time to be writing this story right now if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s helping me organize my own thoughts on how to keep my company on the path toward growth. There will never be enough time to commit all of the energy you want to you customers, but time management tools are becoming increasingly available to businesses of all sizes. Take advantage of these tools and techniques and see your business reap the benefits.
About the Author
H. John Oechsle joined Swiftpage in July 2012 and currently serves as president and chief executive officer. John came to Swiftpage with a 25-year track record of building highly profitable and sustainable revenue growth for emerging companies and established global leaders. John is an advocate for technology and education in Colorado and has been an active contributor to the Colorado Technology Association (CTA). He has been recognized several times for his involvement in the tech industry. In 2006 and in 2009, John was awarded the Technology Executive of the Year, and the Titan of Technology awards by the CTA. John was also awarded the Bob Newman Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by the CTA in 2011