Sales is the bedrock of a growing company. Notorious B.I.G. is famously quoted as saying “mo’ money mo’ problems” but in business, revenue is the best aspirin. Take a look at companies like Amazon that have yet to turn a profit but whose growth is completely powered by revenue. In a previous article by sales consultant Mark Mitchell of Whizard Strategy (Denver, CO) he lists a few notes on how to push your sales growth into double digits. We went ahead and added on some insight from different searches and conversations we have had with top sales executives within the industry.
1) Grow your sales within current customers.
Within the building materials industry, associates at Legacy have seen more entry-level positions focused around account growth under the title “Account Developer”. In this unique position, they are essentially an account manager, but doing no new business development, all current business development. The line of logic here is to let your new business sales focus on new business instead of encroaching on that time with the account management function.
2) Update your sales and marketing messages.
Look at taking a more consultative approach. Don’t be so quick to shorten the lead time, you may not uncover the actual pain points and true strategic problems within the company. Businesses have shifted from looking for commodity-based purchases to partnership-based purchases. Look to add value outside of the physical product you provide.
3) Make it easier for your customers to find you online.
Your website is a storefront. Don’t expect your to fully convert a customer, but look at it like window-shopping – they view your website to get a better idea about your business and products, to eventually “walk inside” or contact you to discuss their needs more specifically. If you give too little information, they’ll never be interested, give too much information and they may be so overwhelmed they write you off. Keep a fine balance and SEO your heart out.
4) Focus on fewer opportunities, providing higher quality.
We actually find this happen a lot in the recruiting industry as well, where a company or a specific recruiter will be working 10-20 different jobs at once, which averages them out to 2-4 hours per week per job – not quite enough time to be thorough and accurate. If you spend more time on fewer opportunities, you can work at a higher level in the market and provide a much better and higher quality product to your customers. Not to mention – less stress!
5) Pursue new opportunities for emerging sub-markets.
Keep ahead of new developments within the construction industry. We have seen plenty of actions and murmurs around innovative developments like tiny home villages and mill re-purposing (into lofts). Again, focusing on emerging trends and the ‘higher level’ of the market. Get in during the bloom and you’ll be established when the market flowers.
6) Create more effective and differentiating marketing.
In Jon Spoelstra’s book, Marketing Outrageously, he suggests a couple of different outside-the-box strategies and opportunities. My favorite of which he suggests getting into a very tight market (for example, tiny homes) and absolutely dominating one of the leading networks for that market. Become the “go-to” for a very tight niche. Become the Coca-Cola of a small segment and you can easily grow around the segment.
7) Invest in your sales force and increase recruiting quality
Every business has been through the woes of turnover, low-performers, uninspired associates, and sales rep vacancies that impact overall revenue. Invest in your sales force in ways of compensation, consideration and consultation in order to improve retention. In addition, focusing on the front end (recruiting) will lower turnover and under-performance. If you hire the right person the first time, you will have less issues to get involved with later on in their tenure.
In an ever-changing market, business owners and managers cannot depend on the same styles they’ve always used. It’s been said a million times, but with the rise of the internet, information exchange and market change is at a pace we haven’t seen before. Stay ahead of the curve, stay nimble, and stay at the top of your market!