Before anyone buys anything, they have to complete their own buying or Buy-In Continuum™, process. This is true whether they are from the government, a non-profit, a consumer, or another business. From your point of view, you want them to accomplish this process and in a specific order. If they do, your sales cycle will shorten. It will result in a win-win for you both or you will be able to cull them as a prospect with a clear conscience that this was NOT the sale for you. [Read more…]
Get a partner or set up a strategic alliance — which is better for your business growth? Many business owners want a “partner” to share the load. Partners exert a lot of control no matter how little of the business they own. Use a strategic alliance instead to grow your business and keep more control.
What is a Strategic Alliance?
“If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill
In 2005, companies reported that 18% of their revenue was generated through strategic alliances. The economy has changed but there are still thousands of alliances formed each year and are critical as we re-think business post COVID-19.
According to Ard-Pieter de Man and Dave Luvison, authors of Collaborative Business Models: Aligning and Operationalizing Alliances (from Business Horizons Volume 62, Issue 4, July–August 2019, Pages 473-482), “the big challenge is to align company interests with alliance interests”. This peer-reviewed article is definitely worth reading and thinking about especially for larger organizations.
It pays to know more and think more before deciding that a strategic alliance is right for you.
There are 7 potential customer types you could have — Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Lead, Concrete, and RAW (Radio Active Waste). But you should have only the best, the Platinum Customer. They give you money and a lot more.
If you aren’t satisfied with the value of your current customers, make better choices by setting up a Platinum Customer Profile™ identification system. This is more than just “target” or “niche” marketing. The four parts of a Platinum Customer Profile™ are demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and geography. [Read more…]
Your customer’s attitude is your guide to how you sell and how you market. It also helps you make decisions about adding to or changing the services and products you offer. Attitude is not all about a customer’s wants, desires or needs. It is about their point of view (POV)— at least as it relates to what you have to offer them. The good news is you can choose what is the best customer attitude and POV for your business success from three options. Then you can focus on attracting customers who have the right attitude match. This will make your business a lot better for everyone.
There are good, better and best sales. You may have thought all sales are equal.They’re not if you are trying to build a successful business that is sustainable, profitable and transferable.
Focus on Sales Value
Sales people (even if it’s the owner) need to concentrate on finding and getting sales that add the most value to the business. This requires a sales process that doesn’t just look at the dollars coming in from this sale. It also can’t include only the costs — money going out, time to get and manage the sale, profit level, and any “hassle” factors.
4 Ways to Measure Sales Value
The value of each sale must also be measured by:
- Its ability to add to the reputation of the business and the product or service
- How it affects company image,
- Its ability to attract customers of the same or higher value to the business,
- How well it supports brand and company positioning.
Sales commission, bonus, and career advancement should be based on the salesperson’s ability to bring in good sales and to prevent spending time and effort on bad sales.
Use Sales Value to Prioritize
I have seen it written that 50% of all sales leads are not followed up. That sounds bad. What I don’t know, because they don’t say, is how many weren’t followed up on purpose. Maybe they were right!
Choose sales opportunities at your own risk. Choose wisely and succeed. Choose poorly and there are long term consequences.
Use Sales Value to Allocate Resources
Don’t go after every sale equally. Evaluate and prioritize those new leads, upselling opportunities, or repeat sales in terms of those with the highest value.
Also, make sure your sales process gives you and your salespeople a way to quickly identify bad sales opportunities that should not be pursued or only under restricted circumstances.
The less the sales value, the more likely it’s a bad deal or at least should not be given the same time, effort and resources.
In the end, it’s the quality of each sale, not the quantity of sales that matter.
Here’s to your success!
Repositioning helps customers think of your product or service in a new way.
Sometimes it works. I grew up with $10 tennis shoes. Nike told younger generations they were “training tools” (with appropriate tool and endorsers names) not just shoes. Nike got it right and made big profits. [Read more…]
Can SPIFFS generate sales? Yes, but. They may be somewhat questionable ethically since it can appear to a potential customer that a salesperson is unbiased in their recommendation when they really are not.
SPIFF or SPIF or SPIV refers to the practice of paying a small, immediate bonus for a sale to a salesperson. It’s a way to encourage a salesperson to push one product more often than a non-SPIFF paid product. It’s usually paid to the employee by the manufacturer whose products are recommended or by their employer. [Read more…]
You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”. He identified how a person’s needs dominate motivation and behavior and that there is a specific order in which they should be met.
His theory suggested that the basic needs (physiological, safety, love and belonging) had to be met before the individual will desire and pursue higher levels of needs (esteem, self actualization, and self transcendence).
If a need is not met, the individual will feel tense and anxious. Although people may have several needs at any time, one will dominate their actions. [Read more…]
What can a CFO do to improve the company’s sales system? What do they even know about sales? You’d be surprised.
If you’re the CFO and CEO, the following applies to you. If you’re both of these plus the Director of Sales and maybe even the Chief Salesperson, you still need to include the tasks below in order to improve the results of your sales system. [Read more…]
Your sales projection formula is key to more accurate financial projections and to the success of your business.
Sales projection formulas are always wrong. Here are six ways to improve them.
Sales projection formulas are wrong because…
- Sales projections are not supposed to be right.
They’re a snapshot of what to expect each month based on relevant criteria and are defensible. Improve the sakes projection formula you use by making sure you don’t accept the projected sales numbers without question. The answers you get from salespeople in terms of what they think will close have to be reasonable and with some sort of basis not just hope. [Read more…]