No doubt you know exactly who your A customers are: your cash cows. But being absolutely honest, is their importance fully reflected in the way you organize your field sales?
In this article, we shed some light on the importance of ABC analyses and, above all, how portatour® can help you capitalize on customer prioritization – not just in theory but in practice.
The theory: What are ABC customers and ABC analyses?
You can use ABC analysis in field sales to identify your key customers. These are usually the contacts that bring you the most sales and therefore have a particularly high priority.
Here’s an example of how ABC customers can be categorized in practice:
A customers: The very important customers who make up only 15% of your total customer base but account for 70% of sales.
B customers: Medium-priority customers who make up 25% of the customer base and generate 20% of total sales. These customers often still have cross-selling or upselling potential and so can also be important.
C customers: These customers are of minor importance. Although they make up the majority of the customer base (60%), they only contribute 10% of sales.
Why is proper ABC analysis a must in sales?
In short, so that you can target your resources efficiently, which is the only way to maximize your sales.
A thorough and up-to-date ABC categorization has a direct impact on the following factors, among others:
- Resource optimization: Always keep in mind that your A customers have by far the greatest influence on your business success, and plan accordingly. This doesn’t mean you should neglect your B and C customers. But especially at hectic times like Q4 focusing on the revenue generators is crucial. Also, by doing the analysis, you’ll identify more quickly which customers with low profitability require a high level of support and therefore tie up resources unnecessarily. If you still want to visit these contacts, consider extending the intervals between visits to create more space for promising (new) customers.
- Efficient field sales route planning: Your customer prioritization stands and falls by how your sales team implements it. You can only exploit your full potential if you focus on your key customers.
So that’s the theory. Now let’s talk about the practicalities.
Putting it into practice: Operational implementation with portatour®
Most sales teams plan shorter visit intervals and/or longer visit durations for their A customers. With portatour® Route Planner, it’s incredibly easy to set this up:
For example, you can specify to visit your A customers every 30 days, your B customers every 60 days and your C customers every 90 days.
Customer needs vary, so there’ll also be exceptions. But you can easily enter these different planning parameters in portatour®.
- Maybe you have A customers that you’d like to visit more often than every 30 days? Or a B customer that you want to visit more often because they have great upselling potential?
Nothing could be easier. You can shorten these visit intervals in a matter of seconds. For example, to 14 days for an A customer and 40 days for a B customer.
- Of course, you can also set significantly longer intervals, e.g. for C customers: portatour® accommodates entries of up to 730 days (i.e. every 2 years).
Likewise, if you need a variety of visit durations, you can map these in no time at all. portatour® then automatically takes your manual specifications into account in route planning. Without targeted planning, some sales reps may tend to pay more frequent visits to customers who serve the best coffee, or where or the contact person enjoys chatting.
Note: Well-maintained data = optimal planning. So please be sure to keep your customer data and planning parameters up to date.
More tips on implementing your ABC strategy with portatour®
To provide your team with transparency concerning sales priorities, display the ABC categorization with user-defined fields in the customer name.
Of course, in day-to-day sales there’ll be times when your customer prioritization doesn’t go to plan. When this happens, the portatour® Report feature helps you understand how to set your priorities efficiently. For example, one approach could be to visit your C customers less frequently or to shorten the duration of their visits.
While you’re at it – why not take it a step further? Our portatour® Territory Optimization solution is an extremely powerful prioritization tool that’ll save you time and money. See for yourself: arrange a free demo with our experts.
For seasonal initiatives (like your Christmas campaign), it can be helpful to change your usual prioritization and only visit A customers. The best way to do this is to use Reservations.
Try out portatour® Route Planner for free, no strings attached
There’s no blueprint for a successful ABC analysis – sales structures, sectors and customer needs are simply too diverse.
This is precisely why portatour® is such an agile co-pilot, helping you optimize strategic and operational sales.
Have we sparked your curiosity? Try portatour® Route Planner now, with our free, no-obligation 30-day trial.