Had a pasta night with family and friends while I was visiting San Jose in October. What I’m showing here is our workstation setup where one person is supplying the filling while the other person is wrapping. We all wanted to eat soon so it helped that the work was streamlined. Photo by D. Ramos

Recently I was at an event where a salesperson asked me if I could streamline sales. I laughed and bluntly expressed that I don’t think there’s a way around building relationships with customers. However, I think there’s ways to find more opportunities to be relevant to customers by collecting data and knowing how to analyze that data.

The example I gave is that when sales are made, some important data points can be collected. Who is this customer? Where is there business located? What kind of activity is the customer involved in? Just those three questions alone, you can collect through the invoice. Name of Customer, Address (at minimum zip code), and finally you might already have knowledge of the customer’s industry.

Using those three data points, the data can be compared to public information. In Hawaii we have The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism that provides quarterly and yearly reports filled with data. Not only do they provide the reports, the data warehouse is public.

It’s a lot of work to compare the data, but it’s worth it. I’ve personally used it to confirm my gut instincts and I hope that other organizations are using it, too. Everyone’s going to interpret the data differently but the value is in what you make of the data and if you already have a process to accomplish this task.

In any case, I’m blogging about this for two reasons:

  1. Blogging this perspective would helps others identify what can be streamlined in a company’s sales process.
  2. I can streamline explaining this story by blogging.

At the end of the day I want to empower people with perspective which would lead to better usage of technological tools. Do you have a hunch about streamlining a process? Are you spending a lot of time on an activity that seems redundant? Maybe I can give perspective and we can work on a solution together. Let’s talk story and see what we can streamline. Holler @ me.

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