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Are you getting your 80% by focusing on the right 20%?

Are you getting your 80% by focusing on the right 20%?

David Brydson

We have all heard of the 80/20 rule in business. We’re sure you remember the adage that 80% of your business/revenue comes from 20% of your customers/efforts. It has been true for many years and it continues to be true today. Recognizing this as a universal rule of business is the most critical thing you will do. The question that naturally has to come next is: Which 20% actually generates 80% of my business?

In our example here, we are going to apply the methods outlined to your marketing efforts. We are going to show you how to KNOW, not guess, what 20% of your efforts are getting you the 80% of your business revenue. The same procedures can be applied to every part of your business, but this one has the most impact on your bottom line.

Do you have a way to find out, specifically, what activities are generating your 80%? Most small business owners and larger companies as well, do not have a system that can tell them which tasks generate the majority of the revenue that comes into their business. Guessing or “Gut Feel” is the method most small business people use in trying to identify the “Right Stuff,” and they will be right some of the time. For, even a blind squirrel will stumble onto a nut once in a while.

What would be more useful is a system that can tell, in a very short time, what result any effort has on the bottom line. While this does not denote a technology, per se, it does call for a system which provides information about results, or expected results, of every action that you do.

Technology, in today’s business climate, is currently the preferred way to gather information for most companies. Despite all the advantages of technology; it requires more up-front effort than a paper based system. Where technology really demonstrates its usefulness is in the retrieval and analysis of information in the “system.”

Manually entering information for retrieval and analysis can be (and has been) done, but there are easier ways to populate the database. The best way to do that is use your Contact Relationship Management (CRM) program to track who is getting your marketing message. Your CRM program should be able to tell you who responded to your message, and when. This same CRM system should also tell you how many of those that responded actually turned into closed sales and the total amount of those sales.

Armed with this information, your technology can now shine in the area where it is most helpful. We would now use it to retrieve following information:

• the number of pieces mailed,
• number of responses you get,
• response source,
• conversion percentage,
• income those responses generate,
• average order,
• percentage response,
• income per thousand,
• cost per order or cost per response,
• net dollar return,
• returns,
• bad debt,
• any other fact that you need to specifically measure your activity results.

Of course, this assumes the CRM software has been configured to capture the essential data and report it. If that is not the case then you might consider a change to the way you are collecting information or using a program that collects the information missed by the CRM system.

Summary Unless you set out to collect information regarding the results of actions taken, you will never know for sure if what you are doing is bringing the desired results. Manually recording results will work, but is wasteful of manpower. Using software that collects the results while you conduct business normally is more efficient, and less expensive. CRM systems can capture some of that information, but other software alternatives can fill the gap.

There is program which captures all of the information referenced above, and matches it to the information contained in the popular CRM, GoldMine. BestFit Business Manager integrates with the GoldMine database and is capable of performing this kind of tracking, analysis, and reporting. For more information about this software, visit: