Ask any business owner what their goal for the year is and many will respond with “grow sales.”
And as an owner, the pressure to motivate a sales team or your business developer can seem like a herculean task. Consequently, the owner ends up bearing the weight of selling and oftentimes, spends both their time and that of the sales team constantly going after new business. Instead, it’s time to take a step back and grow your team to grow your sales.
Grow your sales
Lofty sales goals, a quarterly quota, and revenue targets can backfire. The idea is to keep your sales team energized and motivated to bring in business–not just new business. Think of ways your team can drive business:
The first order
The reorder from an existing client
Customer referrals from outstanding customer service
Prospecting past customer lists
“Yes, the business owner should be the driver of the business, but the owner is not always the best to lead the growth and marketing campaigns,” says Justin Kalvitz, President of Spatula Consulting LLC.
Kalvitz believes three big things factor in with business owners that tend to stall growth:
Emotion – An owner’s emotion affects the vision. Owners believe SO much in their product or service, that they fail to see the reality and objectivity of what they need to do or do differently, to grow sales.
Execution – You can’t do everything! Entrepreneurs want to do everything and control everything. It’s hard to give up control but what happens is they find themselves overextended, stressed, and ultimately, they split decisions. Let go and grow your team
Vision – Business owners are leaders. They are either really good at where they want to go or they are really good at detail. However, typically, they are not good at both. Most business owners are good at the vision “we need to get here..” but most often, the day-to day things and micro decisions are lost.
Grow your team
Grow your team by sharpening their sales skills. Instead of relying on the salesperson to find business development opportunities through webinars and courses, consider bringing in a consultant. Polished sales tactics will help to grow your team that will grow your sales.
A consultant is able to look at the team as a function of the business and objectively identify the wheel that needs the grease. Not the person, but the tactic. Tweaking an existing approach can yield tremendous benefits and that is where bringing in a consultant can prove to be a great investment.
For that reason, we’re not talking about radically changing the way an owner does business, but rather, improving how they do business. And that includes the sales and marketing campaigns and efforts already in progress. Oftentimes, a contractor will come into a business and abolish everything that has been done and suggest costly changes to the software, collateral, or methodology. Consequently, that is short term solutions to a system-wide problem. Once the third-party contract concludes, the owner is left right back at square one, with the same team facing the same issues, if not more.
“You don’t always need to drastically change your marketing plan, but you may need to adjust your marketing approach. Some companies may not know how to measure growth. Owners may not understand metrics. Marketing may not know how to interpret the data from the metrics that tell the story,” Kalvitz added.
“Because we can” will not work
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Is your team spending hours, days, or months on a pet project that isn’t maximizing what you need to do to reach your four or five key goals? Owners realize they end up having a little money and little effort behind low-level projects that don’t yield the greatest returns.
Growing your team includes understanding the goals that will drive product development. This isn’t a list of 50 things. This is a prioritized and clarified list of the things that give them the best chance to win. Then, note those four or five things that give the best opportunity to win.
As you have read, before you sell the reorder, you should look at ways to grow your team to grow your sales. Human talent is your greatest asset. To quote Abraham Lincoln “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”
Learn more. Listen to Justin Kalvitz on the Biz Chat Ohio podcast. Justin shares great insight and business strategies that you can do today.
This blog is made possible by Lakeland Community College and the Ohio Small Business Development Center.
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