As salespeople we all start the year with lofty goals of increasing revenue. Yet, the reality is many, very talented professionals fall short of achieving their targets because they are simply not utilizing fundamental revenue-increasing strategies.
December is not the time to start scrambling for business. Now is the time to think differently, try a fresh approach and hopefully meet, or exceed your goals. The famous Albert Einstein quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” certainly applies here. The same tired techniques are comfortable yet they will always bring the same disappointing results. Are you ready to reach your goals? Great! Here’s what you need to do now:
Dig deeper into existing accounts.
Hey, they already know you and love you. You have credibility and demonstrated competencies. Mine the gold that’s already within reach.
One way to do this is to begin with a little sleuthing. Peruse your account’s company website on a regular basis. You can find valuable information by reading their press releases, company blog and other news items that are continually being updated on their site. Are there any new or upcoming projects that might require your products or services? What about mergers, acquisitions, or changes to their corporate structure? Have there been any new decision-makers hired recently? You might be surprised by the plethora of new opportunities that are prime for the picking. And you can out about them just by a little detective work and by simply, asking. (Many sales reps stop actively probing once they have landed an account and are servicing the business!)
Cross-selling is another way to dig deeper into your existing accounts. Never assume that a customer will only continue to buy what you’ve sold him or her. If you are not regularly introducing new products or services, you might be leaving potential business on the table that your competition just might take.
Become a strategic networker.
Develop a networking plan of action and follow through with your action steps. Screen events carefully and don’t miss opportunities to make valuable connections. Set concrete networking objectives such as establishing a number of people to meet. Quantify the results of your networking efforts, and nix networking strategies that haven’t been effective.
Initiate an effective touch point management program.
Falling off the radar screen is never excusable for a sales professional. There is excellent technology available to help you stay in touch. Email communications, especially those with value-added information or links, are well-received and take very little time to execute. Establish a set number of contacts that you can make each week and stick with the plan. Once you’ve lost contact with a customer, they’re almost always gone for good, and for sure, you have to work harder to get them back. Business redevelopment is costly and unnecessary if you are diligent about staying in touch.
Refine your sales platform and value proposition.
Take a hard and critical look at your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities (SWOT). The market is not static, and you should be continually reevaluating your position in it. A SWOT analysis is not a one-time event!
Outsource all activities that cost you time and don’t bring in or drive revenue.
It’s an easy trap to fall into – devoting too much of your time to taking care of administrative and clerical tasks. The reality is if you’re spending your time filing, you’re taking away from your time that you could be generating sales. Work smart and outsource your non-sales tasks to someone who can assist you.