Are You Managing Your Business Revenue?
Over the last few years we have helped numerous business owners become Sales Managers, they may not have a massive sales team, in fact more often than not, the business owner is the sales team, but that doesn’t mean they should manage that part of their business.
In our experience it is one of the least organised, least thought about parts of the business, why? Because as business owners we just do it, if we didn’t we wouldn’t have any customers and so, would not be in business! We don’t need processes for this part of the business because we already know what we are doing …. right?
We would say to some degree this is true, but what we see are huge inefficiencies in sales processes which regularly lead to missed opportunities, lost sales, slow growth or declining revenue, but it doesn’t need to be like this. There are four key areas any business owner should focus on to help grow their sales revenue.
Every business should have a process to record ALL sales activity done by the business owner and their sales team, if you do not continually record who you have talked to, what were the conversations about, what opportunities may arise (now and in the future), what quotes have you done, how many have you won or lost, the list goes on, how are you ever going to understand if what you are maximising your efforts and getting the returns you want? Our next blog will concentrate specifically on this subject and will be published within a week of this article.
I would ask you to look at your current sales system, are you in a position to answer the above questions right now, do you have this information at your finger tips?
Every sales process has a life, it has a natural cycle of growing, harvesting and re-cultivating, we call it farming. When was the last time you spoke to your current customers to get their feedback on your product or service? When was the last time you actively networked with other professionals that also have access to your customers, have you thought about educating them in what you do or provide, so they in turn can refer you on to their customers? If you do these things, when was the last time you spoke to them, do you need to speak to them again, how soon is too soon?
Understanding what farming your client base means, will minimise the loss of opportunities and will reduce your cost of sale to, again more about this in this article.
How are you or your sales team approaching the market? Is there pressure to get sales quickly, do you have a more aggressive approach to ensuring your sales figures are met? Maybe you already have a substantial customer base and most of your time is spent looking after your current customers, when new ones come along they are usually being referred from other customers so you have a more passive approach to sales. It doesn’t matter whether you approach sales from one extreme to the other or hover around in the middle somewhere if you don’t understand what works best for your customers, again, you will not be optimising your sales team. We will talk about this specifically in a separate article.
What is this? How does it affect the sales process? This is one of the least understood principals of sales, yet it is one of the easiest to apply, if you, as a sales person can understand how to “resonate” or connect with your current and potential clients almost immediately the the rest of the sales process becomes so easy, you wont even have to think about it. Like the other three points I will be talking about this in a separate article, that will be published soon.
As a business owner you may well have some of these areas covered, I would encourage you to read the supporting articles of the areas that you cannot comfortably say you have and if you know any other business owners that may benefit from these articles, please forward the articles link to them.