Our estate has a chat group to buy fresh seafood. The salesperson will deliver the stuff to our estate without delivery fees. This week, there is one group buy. When she tally the orders, I saw the order was written on a piece of paper. There is nothing wrong in writing the details on a piece of paper. It is still a sales record, hence, it is still a database. The problem with this approach is that when she needs to collect money from the customers, she will need to re-organize the orders all over again, this time by customers.
A simple spreadsheet could have captured the details nicely. And if it is a shared worksheet, customers could still amend their orders on their own up to the order closing time. If she has used Excel, she could have pivoted the data and easily summarize the data by products/customers or by customers/products/total amount and avoid duplicate work.
This is just a group buy for one estate. If she has many such cases, she would have saved tons of time sorting out the orders. And over time, she could have created a long records to identify the product preference of customers in each estate and improve her product offering to each estate.
Without the proper tools, she has wasted time and opportunity to serve her customers better and grow her sales exponentially.
What is a sales database?
Sales database is a record of sales activities. In its simplest form, it tells business owners and sales managers how many units of each products is sold and at what price.
But knowing these 2 column of information is not sufficient to grow the business. It is important to know who the products are sold to, on which day, the size, colour, location (if you have more than one sales locations), salesman who handled the sales. By gathering these information over time, business can offer more products that meet the customers preference and increase their sales over time. For small business owners who do not wish to spend extra on a sales system, Excel is a good tool to create the sales database and level the playing field with the big boys.