Happy New Year! Are you ready to grow sales and grow your business in 2018? Check these ten tips to get started:
“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions” – Benjamin Franklin
There’s never been a time in history when the pace of change has been so rapid. The Agile methodology for software development is now being adopted by businesses, as they seek to understand and benefit from their fast-changing environment and rapidly-evolving customer needs.
Very simply – you need a plan to move forward. However, if you’re ‘locked into’ that plan, you’ll quite possibly end up stifling the sort of growth you hoped for. You need to keep an open mind on the journey to achievement, to see that the landscape has changed. This will allow you to pivot and alter the steps you take in a new approach to achieve your goals.
Wellington in New Zealand, where I live, was originally planned by the NZ Company back in mother-England. They had a defined plan which they stuck to – meaning some of our original streets are extremely steep and take no account of 21st century vehicle sizes.
“All towns were laid out on a rectilinear or grid plan. This had a number of advantages:
If only the NZ Company had birds-eye view of Wellington’s topography, parking would have been so much easier!
What can you do today, to jump quickly at the opportunities presented to you, to anticipate the future ahead of you, to grow your sales and grow your business?
Clients ask many questions about their sales. At the heart of it, they're really asking, “How long will it take to reach my sales goals?” We understand this question. Who doesn’t want a bit of certainty in their life, especially when they're about to spend some budget?
Every client situation is different. Some clients have never talked to their customers, some have sporadic email relationships with their customers, others communicate regularly. Add into the mix industry factors, how your business measures up against competitors, the economy, the time of year (we’re about to hit the end of the March financial year) – and forecasting becomes a whole lot more complex.
Some clients have never mapped their sales processes, and do not know how long it takes for them to make a sale, how many touchpoints are needed, or how the customer experiences their business.
All of us want happy clients. Here at Magnify, we’d love to promise the moon and deliver it to everyone. But the reality is that sometimes people come to us because they’re finding the Sales Mountain hard to climb and need some help.
Just like our last blog, where we talked about the Seven Lessons that St Patrick (climbing a mountain!) can teach us about sales – a lot of what we do is sheer perseverance.
So – what do you need in place to climb your Sales Mountain and get the best from your outsourced sales campaign?
Your outsourced sales provider needs to ensure that your data is ready, and that you have good client documentation ready to go. It’s also important to discuss the sales processes already in place, and how the new business development you’re about to start will fit into that. Skimping on the preparation, just like a mountain climb, will mean a less successful journey to the top.
Are all your sales steps in place? Now you’re ready to start the climb.
Please note that no-one can accurately predict when your high-level sales goals will be reached. What you need most is an honest assessment of your sales situation. Your outsourced sales provider needs to prioritise your business needs over their need to make a sale. This may mean your campaign takes a pause for a week or two while you pivot your sales approach, to help your business meet the market needs and conditions that you’ve uncovered. Breaking through into that new market might take longer than you think.
However, much of sales is scientific. So you can predict some things.
When your sales team collectively put their shoulders to the proverbial wheel and P-U-S-H – uphill if necessary – you will generate sales momentum. Well-thought, appropriately spaced contact with your client database will provide the touch-points you need. Listening carefully to your customers will help you understand their experiences of your business. Which will ultimately deliver the results you want.
Good sales notes (in a CRM or database) will help you to see what’s happening with your new and existing clients. After a couple of months, you should be able to spot patterns to help you map your sales processes, number of customer touchpoints, and how long it takes to make a sale. You can then start to calculate the real cost of bringing on board new clients, and make more accurate predictions on how long it will take to reach your sales goals.
So – we can’t say exactly how long it will take to climb your Sales Mountain. But a good outsourced sales provider can provide tools, insight, and measurable results for the journey to help get you there, however long it takes. And a couple of coffees to start you on the right track!
Happy St Patrick's Day! Yes, that’s right – it’s the day that around 20 per cent of New Zealanders celebrate being Irish. For Saint Patrick’s Day last year, I posted on LinkedIn about Celebrating the Irish in IT.
This year, I thought I’d recount one of the stories of Saint Patrick, and extrapolate on Seven Things that Saint Patrick can teach us about Sales.
The story goes that Saint Patrick was attacked by snakes during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill (Croagh Patrick – known as Ireland’s holy mountain). Saint Patrick chased the snakes into the sea, banishing them from Ireland.
As they say in Ireland – Slainte!
Getting people and businesses excited about Sales.