With a strong sales pipeline being more critical than ever to power your business through four years of flat growth here are the top 6 steps that What If Forum members – comprising owner managed and family run businesses across Yorkshire – have taken to turbo charge their sales operations and power their long- term growth trends.
1. Refresh the Sales Leadership
Search out and recruit new sales leaders with the track record and fresh ideas to open up bigger sales opportunities and potential new business and with the skills to coach, develop and motivate your salespeople to raise their game to meet the new challenges.
2. Sharper Customer Focus and Targeting
Identify current and potential customers with the capacity and commitment to grow, find out what their goals, objectives and plans are – and who and what their key people and profit drivers are. Identify how these growth plans can be harnessed to accelerate your business.
3. Get Closer to Customers
Spread the level of contact you have within your major customers and engage effectively with them, don’t leave it all up to the field salesperson. Involve your accounts people, marketing, production, logistics, technical and customer support to gain as much information as possible about your customers and what is happening inside their business. Regular top person to top person contact is crucial, not only does it open up new opportunities but helps to cement business.
4. Boost Sales Knowledge and Skills
Hire a part time sales coach to breathe new life into the sales team, run refresher courses, revamp product and service knowledge and bring them up to speed on new sales and negotiations tools, techniques and technology.
5. Stimulate and drive a Continuous Improvement Culture
Ask everyone in the business: “Is This the Best We Can Do?” and keep on asking them until they come up with better products, services and availability that offer the customers better value.
6. Pump Up the Pipeline
Call in a lead generation specialist to give you processes a thorough going over – identifying weaknesses, missed opportunities, poor co-ordination and sloppy behaviour. Get them to point sales and marketing in the right direction, sharpen their focus, hone their lead generation skills and enhance their ability to harness the power of new lead generation technology.
As a business strategist with more than three decades of expert, I’m all too aware that Sales Insanity is defined as “Doing what you have always done and expecting a different answer”. These six steps have helped What If Forum members significantly power up sales and the payback has been outstanding.
What new things have you done – or will you now start doing – to kick start and boost sales?