Many companies effectively limit their ability to increase sales by taking a passive approach to their sales organisation. With only 17% of CEOs coming from a sales background, it is an area of the business that many are reluctant to approach. No matter how patched up or sputtering that engine may be, the mere thought of overhauling it fills CEOs and senior executives alike with dread.
Companies will make ongoing, piecemeal repairs as long as they can in a vain attempt to keep revenue flowing. They will tolerate behaviour in the performance of sales and marketing that would not be accepted in other areas of the business.
There is an over-reliance on attempting to boost sales through selling your products by word of mouth, focusing on your existing customer base. For small businesses they can fall into the trap of offering free services hoping to ‘get a foot in the door’. The focus of change at all times at the customer interface and not within the company itself.
To increase sales requires companies to make changes in how it operates as a sales organisation. To make wholesale changes to how sales operate as a business unit, how it is managed and the culture of the team toward sales growth. Increasing sales requires the support of both marketing and sales.
This reluctance can be overcome with the right information, guidance, and tools, CEOs can proactively increase sales in their business.
These are four steps that can assist you to start to increase sales.
#1 – Build a strong sales system. A sales system provides deep insights into how your sales organisation is performing and improves decision-making competency ten-fold. The sales system provides transparency through the functionality of sales planning to execution.
Sales activities and sales effectiveness, deal closing trends, horizon management for pipelines, and performance of individuals. A strong sales system methodology, such as Money Ball, places CEO in control with the knowledge of how to increase sales.
#2 – Promote a selling culture. A selling culture goes beyond discussing products and services attributes and providing sales reports and motivational cheering for the sales team. The culture goes deep into the company and affects everyone that is communicating with customers and potential customers.
The sales team does not run alone; they need to be part of the company team that is focused on fulfilling customer needs. From the provision of quality marketing, pro-active customer service or inside sales, focused operational personnel, clear quality communications in emails, telephone calls, and other contact points.
Everyone who interacts with people outside the organisation shapes how customers view your company. The sales team, in particular, need to have the energy and focus on prioritising selling and finding those pieces of gold in the market. Creating connections with them and bringing them back to the business as customers knowing the company will keep them and service their needs to gain lifetime value and a good relationship.
#3 – Ensure the right sales management in place. Sales management can make or break your company. High-performance sales managers are competitive and results-oriented. They are great mentors, have sound business thinking, systems-focused and good communicators.
They are dedicated to increasing sales through the team and not their own big deal and relationships. To succeed, you need your sales manager to have all these qualities to do their job effectively. Sales management is a specific trained skill and not a promotion of a good salesperson in the company that gets along with everyone.
#4 – A culture of finding opportunities. In many successful companies, significant sales revenue comes from upselling existing customers and reconnecting with former customers. Increasing sales is about looking for opportunities under all stones and not leave any un-turned.
Ensure your sales management, and sales team, are focusing their attention on the ever-changing needs and situations of current customers. Revisiting past customers and keeping them in conversations to address their changing needs. Ensure the sales team sells to customers, current and past; they are proactive each and every week in finding new prospects too.
Marketing must contribute to the generation of new opportunities by conducting market research of ideal customers in new segments, territories or regions. Create high-quality marketing materials that resonate with those customers and solve their problems. Conduct at a minimum email marketing campaigns with a well-qualified email list to start conversations for sales.
Operating sound strategies for new customer acquisition with contribution from marketing and sales will increase your sales.
If you follow these four key points, you will increase sales.
A well-designed programme can assist you to achieve these four points. Our sales improvement services being the right place to start. Please contact our office and discuss your specific situation and how we can assist you in proactively increasing sales.
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