An unfortunate reality of managing a small business is the balancing your time between each of your divisions. Does marketing need an hour here? Sales an hour there? R&D needs me for an off-site workshop?
We see so many executives struggle to manage themselves, let alone their company, and this often correlates with sales difficulties. Time and manpower being scarce, executives sometimes watch big deals fail to close or new deals fail to begin. Here are our four tips to manage your teams for optimum sales growth.
1) Make Small Corrections, Not Big Ones
Focus on the market that you need. That means not cold calling thousands of potential customers in no specific order. Qualify the leads. Pare down your lists into something smaller. Make a list of people you’ve met at trade shows, for example. Try following up with them first. Then try picking 10 companies that are your dream clients. Research them. Focus on them. Sell to them as best you can. Prioritize them.
These steps do not require a restructuring of your sales team. Instead, it requires small corrections and shifts in prioritization.
2) Join the Team
Your time might be scarce, but that doesn’t mean you should be hands-off with your sales team. Meet the reps. Spend time with them. Go on sales meetings with them. Mentor them. Ask what you can do for them and what you can do to help them close deals. Listen to them and implement their feedback.
3) Productize Your Products
As mentioned before, scarce resources — aka time and manpower — harm your ability to grow your company equally across all divisions. For example, you might not work on marketing functions to support revenue growth strategies, leaving them to make it up as they go along. In order to create clarity among each of your divisions, “productize” your offerings. Group your products into logical packages and prepare templates customized for any new opportunity. The market can then self-select the desired deliverable so you can dramatically shorten sales cycles.
4) “No” Is Not The End
Instead of walking away from a potential sale, do more homework about that company. You want to be ready to resume discussions when you are better informed. Ask yourself:
- Do I understand the challenges this potential customer faces every day?
- What do I know about the potential customer that can help them do their jobs better starting today?
- How can I prove to the potential customer that we will not give up on their success?
- What do I need to do to earn their trust and their business?
Ask for their business after you’ve answered these questions. Remember to “always be closing.”