Updated: Dec 2, 2019
It’s almost Q4 and many companies are scrambling to “make their numbers.” For some types of businesses, it maybe too late. Their sales cycle is long, their pipeline isn’t full and it’s a definite problem of too little, too late.
I’m not much of a fan of “quick fixes” because I believe that sales is a process and it takes time; certainly more time than the next few months. With that being said, it’s a good idea to look forward to 2020 and to make certain you have your processes in place for the year ahead.
Overall, these tactics will help pave the way to sales success and it is worthwhile to see if you’re executing each one.
It seems like everyone is networking but not everyone is getting the results they desire. The key to getting results from your networking endeavors is to engage strategically. This means paying attention to where and with whom you network ("ya never know" is NOT a strategy), establishing quantitative goals, creating a networking touchpoint management plan and working at it each and every day. It’s not called NetWORKING for nothing!
Many business people dislike prospecting and it's easy to understand why. It's difficult and time-consuming but one thing is for sure, for every day and week that goes by without any proactive prospecting, you will see a corresponding decline in business, maybe not that week, or month, but somewhere down the road you will find your sales funnel is very thin and your prospect database too small to give you the results you want and need.
Stay on the grid
Pulling new business through the sales funnel usually takes time. Months can go by before your networking contact can give you a lead; prospects can take even longer before they are ready to do business. If you disappear from sight, there is a very strong chance that you will never recognize successful results from these relationships. Use the three I's to add value to the relationship as it is being nurtured (and before there is a “real” relationship). The I's include invitations, introductions and information and help you to stay visible without “checking in” and “touching base”, two of the most worn-out clichés ever used by salespeople everywhere.
Don't hang on to unprofitable clients
This can be a tough one as many entrepreneurs and small business owners follow the “something is better than nothing” rule of business. I disagree and while it might be difficult to “fire” a client, there is no reason to work hard for and with a client that isn’t profitable. Prior to cutting ties, however, you should attempt to renegotiate their contract or change the terms of the engagement. If they aren’t receptive to making any changes, it is time to get divorced and move ahead to greener pastures.
Know your numbers
Oh man, this isn’t my strength at all but one thing I’ve learned is that if I don’t know my “numbers” there’s no way I can know where I am going and how to get there. Many business owners feel knowledgeable and hence empowered, because they know their finances, cash flow, accounts receivable and payable and the like. What they don’t often know, however, are their sales stats and that’s where there is the potential for big trouble. You MUST know who is in your sales funnel, the percentage likelihood that they will close and within what time frame. Armed with this type of information you have a much better chance to have a pipeline that can sustain your business.
Invest in marketing
A good salesperson can generate business based on their skills and dogged determination. Armed with some excellent marketing materials and recognition grown through a sound marketing game plan, they will win even MORE business, and have a much easier time of it as well. Marketing and sales are not the same things. Of course, you can have terrific marketing materials and a sound marketing plan but have very weak sales; that’s not the fault of the marketing. It’s usually directly attributable to a lack of a comprehensive sales plan (they’re not the same thing!) or perhaps, the sales competencies of the people tasked with doing the selling are not what they should be. Here’s the truth – you need both!
Do exceptional work
Quite frankly there’s nothing more to say about number 7!
If you have any questions about one through seven and if you think it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at your marketing, branding, content or sales, give us a call at 516-445-1135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our mission is to see our clients thrive.