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.
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.
- 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.
- Promote a selling culture. A selling culture goes beyond 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 do not run alone; they need to be part of the company team that are 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.
- 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. Learn the warning signs of under-performing sales management.
- A culture of finding opportunities. In many successful companies, significant sales revenue comes from up-selling existing clients and reconnecting with former customers. It is about looking for opportunity under all stones and not leave any un-turned. Ensure the sales team sell to customers, current and past; they are proactive each and every week in finding new prospects too. 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. Operating sound strategies for new customer acquisition.
If you follow these four key points, you will increase sales.
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