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Strategy – Cheap or Fast…What’s Your Choice?

Strategy – Cheap or Fast…What’s Your Choice?

Strategy and Sales Business Plans – Questioning the Reality

Strategy Overload, Strategy BS and Strategy Words Without Meaning!! I’ve seen it all over the last 4 months.

I spent three weeks in summer looking through some very ambitious sales strategy and business plans for a company that has huge ambition and even bigger potential.

Huge potential. In fact, off the scale potential.

Little competition. Great product. Demonstrable ability to deliver. Fabulous reputation. Outstanding service ethos.

Strategy – Why Bother?

As you would expect when the business needs to break through to the next level, then their senior business leaders put tremendous effort into pulling the business plans together.

That’s cost serious time and serious money.

We drafted, redrafted, discussed, argued, challenged, tested, refined, redesigned, road mapped, reflected, showcased and shredded…until the final business plan was alive and kicking.

At which point, the senior business leaders confirmed they’d all created a plan they knew they could achieve, something they could have faith in, fully recognising that if they didn’t take action now, then one of their hungry competitors would.

The value of a well designed sales strategy is not just making sure that it works on paper. That’s one aspect.

But it’s also about seeking alignment in the thinking of the key players.

It’s a chance for everyone to have their input into the sales strategy, everyone can say their piece, share their concerns before reaching a workable consensus.

So, by the time everyone has signed off on the sales strategy, you know everyone is on board.

That’s it. Committed to. In love with. Totally sold on what needs to be done…

Sales Strategy – That’s All?

No!

None of that is as important as the bit that comes next.

This is the most important bit.

It’s this question.

One single question.

That question comes when it’s time for action.

Time to make the dreams come true.

This is when I know whether the senior business team are really in, or if they’re just saying they’re in.

The question?

At this stage boards will ask one of two questions:

How cheaply can we get this done?

or

How quickly can we get this done?

Two completely different mind sets and two completely different trajectories to success (or not).

Of course, the ideal sits somewhere in the middle of the extremes…well, you’d like to think that, in an ideal world.

Because this is the truth, if you’re wholeheartedly behind what you’re going to do and you’ve been sensible, realistic and conservative with your projections, transparent in your risk analysis and have a business model you truly believe in them money is rarely as big an issue as time is.

Either way – the point of this: are you asking yourself the right questions?

Because the best sales strategy in the world is pointless if you don’t believe in it enough to make it go as far and as fast as possible.

Action is key. Action drives everything else. Action matters when the words are just words.

Think about it next time you have to commit to business changing actions.

In the meantime:

You can download a selection of free reports on how to improve your sales performance – just hit the link on our blog 

Plus you can sign up to a free weekly digest of practical and proven sales and business development improvement strategies – hit the link – The Advanced Business Achiever.

 

Problem Solving in Sales Performance and Sales Results Improvement: 3 Easy Steps

Problem Solving in Sales Performance and Sales Results Improvement: 3 Easy Steps

3 Easy Steps to Being a Sales Detective

Sales Performance and Sales Results Matter! Making sure that the key metrics are on point all through the month is key, plus having the skills and insights to reverse any decline and accelerate any upward trends is vital.

But, before that you’ll need to learn how to be a Sales Detective, embrace the fact that your  favourite question will now be ‘WHY?’

That’s the BIG WHY…

  • Sales results aren’t as they should be…
  • Consistent performance is so elusive because sales performance and sales results are is over the place…
  • Why profit is a fluctuating feast or famine.

In a nut shell…we need you to discover the answer to the question every sales leader asks himself on a very regular basis

Why Am I Getting this Level of Sales Performance and Sales Results?

It’s not what you think…the answer, that is. It never is because there’s always more. So much more!

So here’s your 3 step guide to uncovering they you’re getting the sales performance and sales results you are

The 5 Whys

Write your sales performance and sales results problem down and then ask why.

To that response ask another ‘why’

To that response ask ‘why’ a third time

And so on, until there are no more different responses

The truth is, you’ll get two dozen reasons…some of those reasons will be big, some small. Some of those reasons will be part of one bigger reason, some will be stand alone reasons, some reasons will already be known to you and others will be new.

The skill here is just to keep asking ‘why’ until you get to the fundamental and most basic of answers.

For example – why are the sales guys diaries empty?

Your first response could be – lazy sales team

Why? We recruited badly, cheap people, poor commission structure

Why? We’re not making any money, couldn’t afford better people

Why? Competitors are killing us

Why? We’re too expensive

Why? Competing with China

Why? We’ve always done it this way

Why? It’s all that we know

Why…..

Because the empty sales guy’s diaries is only a manifestation of a problem then getting to the root cause is what makes the solution much easier

Cause and Effect 

Get a large blank piece of paper. At the centre of the page write the problem…empty sales guy’s diaries.

Down the middle left hand side write all the possible causes of that.

Down the far left hand side write all the causes of the first line of causes.

And so on and so on…

Down the middle right hand side list all the implications, or consequences of that.

Down the far and side list all the further implications and consequences

What you’ll start to see down the left hand side is some of the common elements that cause the empty sales diaries

What you’ll see down the right hand side is an order of the impact…so you can see if this is a problem that is worth applying your time and intellect to.

For example, if the implications are few, it may be a problem you have to deal with, but perhaps there are bigger problems with more far reaching consequences.

You might come to the conclusion that actually the empty sales diary is the result of poor territory management, data selection and prospect clarity because that’s the REAL cause, rather than just blaming it on the reward and bonus structure.

Sales Performance and Sales Results – Best Practice Gap Analysis

Look at the whole sales process – you should have this mapped out, it should be universal and it should be standard practice across the business. If you want to know why you should have a well documented sales process – check this out – Companies with a Formal Sales Process Generate More Revenue

Look at which of the sales guys perform best in each section of the sales process.

Now look at which of the sales guys perform worst in each section of the sales process.

Now you’ve identified another set of causes or you’ve confirmed the causes you’ve identified above.

Pitfalls of Being a Sales Detective

In your role as Sales Detective, you’ll have to fight the continual urge to solve the problem immediately.

That’s not your primary concern…if you do that, you’ll simply be falling into the same trap that many sales leader do.

The skill is in being able to STOP trying to find the solution long enough to allow you to discover what the REAL problem is.

Once you’ve discovered the REAL problem then you’ll most likely be able to solve the sales problems in a heart beat.

Solutions

So now you have now identified all the key causes and problems that manifest themselves in poor sales performance and sales results.

Now you’ve identified some of the causes then you’re able to evaluate a plethora of suitable solutions because there is never just one simple fix.

Filter through the solutions – apply some creative thinking and beware of some of the pitfalls that will destroy your decision making capabilities 

If you’d like to understand more about the absolute sales performance of your sales and business development function and how to increase sales and reduce wastage in the sales unit – let me know.

The Morton Kyle Sales Audit is an intensive diagnostic and sales improvement tool, because it’s specifically designed to facilitate rapid sales performance and sales results turnaround.

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

For further insights into improving sales performance and sales results because every day lost really does cost you, then download Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow – a report on how to create value in your business

Plus – here’s a blog case study showing how to increase sales conversions and profits – Here’s the link

Your can also download some of our most recent sales improvement reports right here:

How to Generate High Quality Sales Prospects

10 Steps to Out Sell the Competition

How You Can Increase Profits by Avoiding the Commodity Gap

Fill the Diary with High Quality Sales Appointments

How to Recruit the Best Sales Talent into Your Business and Reduce the Costly Risks

Plus for other sales performance and sales results improvement insights – check out the blog – Morton Kyle Sales Improvement

 

 

Sales Performance – What Do You Really, Really Want?

Sales Performance – What Do You Really, Really Want?

Sales Performance – What Do You Really, Really Want?

Sales Performance – the puzzle for anyone in sales management.

Bigger? More? Faster?

But what does Sales Performance means to you, and how do you measure it?

I ask this question a lot.

Every business and sales leader I know wants better sales performance. Every single one.

Ask those same people to define what ‘better sales performance’ means and it gets more complicated.

It turns out a simple question generates a very long list, all under the heading of ‘better’

The mind-blowing thing is that the long list is long because it’s pointless!

While we’re on the subject of sales performance – interesting article on this very subject here – well worth a read.

Sales Performance – What Do We Mean?

Bottom line, for most businesses they want more customers, spending more money, more frequently.

They also want short sales cycles, decent margins and a flowing sales pipeline.

You and I can buy into that. It makes sense.

BUT, here’s what happens in reality.

The key person, or group of people, responsible for bringing on board more customers, encouraging them to spend more money, more frequently, are also the same people that are often handling customer account, queries, complaints, emails, and all manner of other functions that actually STOP them achieving their goal of recruiting  more customers, spending more money, more frequently.

What?!?

But it’s true.

How to ACE Sales Performance – The Plug and Play Sales Model 

Rule Number 1 – let the sales team do what they are good at.

Let the sales team so what you recruited them to do and what you want them to do! 

You wouldn’t expect a top level chef to wash the kitchen down at the end of the night, or have a major fashion designer order stationery…it’s not playing to their strengths and the truth is they’d be the most expensive cleaner and office junior imaginable.

It doesn’t happen.

Yet, it happens so frequently in sales teams – it’s almost like we imagine that anything to do with the customer is ‘sale’s job’

It’s not.

A slick sales operation has sales people selling 100% percent of the time.

Sales people don’t manage accounts – that’s for account managers.

Sales people don’t handle customer complaints – that’s for customer service

You get it so….I won’t go on

Rule Number 2 – isolate every function in your sales pipeline if you want real sales performance clarity.

Who’s generating the leads?

Then, who’s contacting the customer to sell?

And, who’s managing the existing customer accounts?

know this – Sales in a production line.

Think about the car manufacture production line – if the same guy that bolts the chassis is also running to the end of the line to polish the car before dispatch – well, guess how many cars get made and finished that day? NONE!

It’s the same with your sales production line – when everybody does everything – nothing gets done! Or if it does, it gets done more slowly than it should, which means it’s also more costly.

Even worse – if you do have sales performance issues…can you identify them in a heart beat? Not a chance.

Can you solve them easily? That would be no!

Having true clear transparency around every sales function in the sales production line with real time KPI’s and sales metrics can see your sales rocket.

It’s the fastest way to get your sales engine roaring.

Rule number 3 – monitor and manage your sales metrics religiously.

KPI’s at each of the gates in your sales process will let you see where you’re wasting resources – that might be time, leads, conversions or profits….or maybe all three.

Keeping a close eye on your key metrics is vital if you’re driving for optimum sales performance.

Sales is very scientific in that you can have a process of Continuous Sales Improvement – hour by hour, day by day, week by week…then all of a sudden you’ve had your best quarter yet because this the only way to consistently drive improved sales performance

Sales Performance – Quick Summary

Make sure your sales guys do what only your sales guys can do! Multitasking will kill your productivity and chances of success in a heart beat, because your sales people will never be your best administrators!

Have a very transparent sales function process with key metrics at each stage because that’s the fastest way to see where your sales leakage is taking place. Hit the link here if you want to know what sales metrics to monitor in your sales team.

This might mean having a research team, an appointment setting team, a sales team, a customer service team. Or maybe your team equates to just one person in each function. You can do the maths, moreover separate functions work best because you get total clarity along your whole sales process.

And Finally:

Know your numbers at each of the gates in the sales process because that way, if the sales results aren’t what you expect you can IMMEDIATELY see where the leak is…and that usually means a speedy fix too.

If you’d like to discuss your sales team and sales performance – do contact me on the details below, because every day wasted in sub standard sales mode costs you money.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

Plus check out my blog for further sales and business development insights because it’s the fastest and easiest way to start boosting sales performance.

How to Boost Sales Revenues and Profits…Start Your Sales Engine Today!

How to Boost Sales Revenues and Profits…Start Your Sales Engine Today!

How to Boost Sales Revenues and Profits – 10 Ways You Could Be Leaving Money with the Buyer…

You’ll know I’m a keen advocate of delivering exceptional value – just check out these two posts to see what ‘delivering value’ is and what it could mean for your business if you decide to go down that route and commit to building a business that never has to worry about finding prospects, customers, clients or buyers ever again. Continue reading

Don’t be a Tree!

Don’t be a Tree!

Where’s the Best Place You Can Think of to Hide a Tree?

There’s no great mystery. No mind games…

The answer is, of course, in a forest…right in the middle of lots of other trees.

Many identical trees. All looking vaguely similar. They may be different species of trees, with different characteristics, varying behaviours in different seasons, but still all trees.

Just trees.

You drive by such forests. You’ve walked though plenty of them. All part of the regular landscape…beautiful, yet typically indistinguishable from each other.

I bet you’re even picturing a forest of trees in your mind now…

What if this is exactly how your prospects views you and your firm’s position within your market place?

You and your business, well, to your prospects view, you’re just another tree in a collection of trees, in a dense forest of trees…

So, Do You Really Want to be a Tree?

I’m guessing not.

You know it’s all too often it’s too easy to get wound up in the daily grind and hustle associated with sales and business development, marketing, filling the sales funnel and working out margins to just sit back and wonder what kind of market place you’re in, as opposed to what sort of market place you SHOULD be occupying…

And even more importantly, to ask yourself…

…if you could fully communicate how brilliant your company is to your prospective customer base, what would that mean to your sales team, your profitability, your turnover and your market share?

Consider This…

Let’s just take a minute…because this is more important than you maybe think.

Imagine you’re seen to be ‘just like all the others’ even though you know you’re not…then it’s a fact that your competitors will be restricting your ability to charge anymore than you already do…what that means is your competitors are restricting your profitability

To break this forced control of your profitability you need to take a different position in the buyers psyche.

Position yourself in a sea of similar products/service providers, and your prospects will select the most transparent common denominator to buy from, this common denominator is typically cost…what this means is that it’s a continual race to the bottom in terms of charges, pricing and margin.

The fact is, if you can’t demonstrate your unique value to the market, expect to fight hard for diminishing returns.

What about if your competitor drops their price, you have no choice but to do the same, or lose market share and watch your sales pipeline collapse…which means that your competitors not only drive your pricing decisions, your margin, they also drive your decision making and your timing.

If you want to sever these shackles, you need to be top dog in the market space

So, let me ask you this.

Who is really running your business? Are you really making the decisions in your business? Who really has control over your business?

Stop!

Because the real question is this:

Are you just there to make your competition look good?

How Can We Help You?

Everything we do is based on putting you, your sales team, your business ahead of the competition.

Whether it’s creating a winning sales and business development strategy, delivering high impact sales training, coaching and mentoring key functions or undertaking root branch sales audits, our aim is to help you exploit your current marketplace, create, develop, expand your market position and create value overload for you with your prospects and customers…

Are You Ready To Step Up?

Book your free consultation on 0779 002 1885 or you can email carol@mortonkyle.com

Down load our free report on stepping up and running your market place – hit the link to get your free copy now Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow, in this report you’ll find insights to help you understand the true cost of being one of many potential suppliers to your customers and also what you can do about it.

Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow is free and you can download it instantly.

So, that question again…

…if you could fully communicate how brilliant your company is to your prospective customer base, what would that mean to your sales team, your profitability, your turnover and your market share?

Contact us now for a confidential chat, discretion assured, on 0779 002 1885 or email carol@mortonkyle.com

And stop being a tree…

P.S. Sign up for your free sales and business development insights – delivered straight to your inbox every week – totally spam free – perfect if you’re looking for new sales training/sales coaching tips to boost the sales team performance, or deliver as mini sales training sessions…always plenty of fresh proven ideas…register here – The Advanced Business Achiever  Totally free and always will be!