It’s important to continually assess whether any of these five areas are out of sync, and if so what you can do in order to remedy the situation and grow your business further.
Growing sales is not as easy as just having the right product or service at the right time. One needs to look at a bigger picture.
Below we look at five simple steps to grow your sales
1. Have a core purpose in your business
Without a core purpose, your business or venture will only be as good as the quick buck it makes. A core purpose talks of a higher purpose, an ethos that will steer your business into the future. It has been identified by the most influential business authorities in recent times as one of the key ingredients for a high-performing organization.
A deeply held core purpose creates a deep sense of identity, both internally (staff need to believe it) and externally. It is the fundamental reason the business exists. It is more than just making money. A core purpose is bigger than any individual and is not about what you sell or make, it is about what your organisation stands for.
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Jim Collins, an authority in this area, sums up a core purpose beautifully: “Leaders die, products become obsolete, markets change, new technologies emerge, and management fads come and go, but core ideology in a great company endures as a source of guidance and inspiration”
Defining your core purpose is all about:
It doesn’t have to sound impressive on a billboard or as a tagline. It does, however, have to be meaningful to your business and its people. A true core purpose will endure throughout the lifetime of your company.
2. Have a sales strategy
Why have a sales strategy? Why does a good soccer team have a game plan? It defines their style of play. A sales strategy is essentially your Sales Game Plan, it will define how you tackle the market. It will help you to:
- Identify what you will sell
- Who you will sell to
- Who will sell for you (your people)
- When you will sell
- What channels or structure you will sell through
- Define your sales process
An effective sales strategy will have targets and simple steps on how to achieve those targets. These targets will be measurable. They will be broken down into individual sales targets and these will further be broken down into how those individual sales staff will work to achieve sales based on their overall sales goal and strategy.
A sales strategy will set a very clear goal so that everyone knows where they are headed and what the expectations are.
3. Practice listener driven sales
What is listener driven sales?
Listener driven sales is effectively a method of understanding what your clients want and adapting your product and services accordingly. It’s less shouting and more listening. Customers are continuously bombarded by sales noise. Limit the noise and appeal to the need. Get that right and your sales will increase.
4. Become a trusted advisor
Clients want someone that they can trust and rely on. People are let down far too often by false promises. Become a trusted advisor to clients so that they turn to you for assistance. Sales come from trusted advice given. Always focus on the long term gain instead of the quick buck.
Becoming a trusted advisor is made up of three blocks.
- Putting your clients’ needs before your own self-interest. If a client feels that your advice is for your own self-interest, trust will not materialise.
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5. Create alliances
As a new venture, start up or small business, it’s important to consider alliances with other companies that compliment what you do. This allows for a mutually beneficial relationship with the end goal of growing eachothers businesses.
What is an alliance?
An alliance is generally a formal or informal arrangement between likeminded businesses to assist in achieving collective goals. It will allow you to target markets or customers that you might not have had exposure to and achieve growth more quickly than trying to do it alone. Joint ventures, franchising, cross-licensing, cross-marketing and co-manufacturing are just some of the formal structures used to govern business alliances.
Growing sales is generally up to the sales leader or sales director. The five steps mentioned above need to be passed down into the sales team and incorporated into your sales process. Growing revenue is a targeted, precise, aligned set of objectives across these five areas.
If your venture is not delivering you will find the problem to be in one of these areas; the strategy isn’t sound, the structure doesn’t support the strategy, the wrong people are in the wrong roles or the right processes aren’t in place.