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Joe Truncale on growing sales by studying your customers

Published on May 3, 2010

Hi.  I'm Joe Truncale, President of NAPL and I'm pleased to be able to talk to you here today about a new technique NAPL has developed called the Customer Analysis Process.

It begins with this proposition: suppose there was a way for you to increase your sales by anywhere from 10 to 15 percent without adding one new salesperson, one new customer, or one new piece of equipment.  Would that be something you'd like to know more about?

Well, the fact is there is a way to do just that and we call it the NAPL Customer Analysis Process.  Here's how it works:  we start out with your top 20 accounts, based on sales volume, profitability, or value added, we look at those accounts and we determine what they're buying from us now.  We may have a mix of offering, we may have offset, digital, variable, data, design services, mailing fulfillment; we list all of those out and we identify, of our top 20 customers, which ones are buying which product and service lines from us and which customers are ignoring us in those areas.  So we create a visual, a graph, a worksheet, if you will, of where all the gaps are between our product and service offering and where our best customers and our best relationships are buying from us and where they're not.  That creates a very compelling visual as a starting point.

The next step is we take a cut a little bit deeper.  We go back and say okay customer A is buying offset printing from us, what percentage of their spend are we getting.  You might not know.  It's forth finding out, even if you estimate it.  Are we getting 20 percent?  Are we getting 30 percent?  Could we get more?  If we're not getting more, why not?  Again, you create this visual.

The next step in the process is to lay out a plan working with your sales team and this is where it gets a little bit more challenging, to develop the full potential of these existing relationships.  We've been doing customer surveys for years.  We've bought a research group called EKG some years ago.  Almost every time we do a customer survey for one of our accounts and we present the results, one of the questions on that survey is we ask print customers, "If there were one more thing we could be doing for you, what would it be?"  Many times the customers will say, "Well, it would be great if you guys did mailing services."  And what happens we review the results with the company ownership and the management team and they say, "I don't understand that.  We've been offering mailing services for years.  How come our best customers don't know?"  Good question.  What if they did know?  Better yet, what if you had a plan for really maximizing your best relationships to develop the full potential of your top 20 accounts?

Our guess is that you would grow your sales somewhere between 10 and 15 percent without adding one new salesperson, one new piece of equipment, or one new customer.

The NAPL Customer Analysis Process, watch for more or go to NAPL.org for more information.

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