Build a Sales Process 101

Are you a new business that needs to develop its sales process? Or, maybe you're an established firm that sells things the same way today as you did 10 years ago.

Many companies are finding that their sales processes aren't keeping up with the times. Selling techniques have evolved significantly over the years, and companies must adapt their sales methods to meet customers' changing needs.

The vast majority (83%) of senior-level B2B executives report that business needs and priorities have resulted in them either accelerating or postponing purchase decisions in the past year.

Topics: Business Development Planning

How to Develop Your Company Mission Statement

While creating a mission statement is typically an early step in starting a business, many mature companies have outdated versions, poorly written attempts, or are missing them altogether.

Most frequently, time is the limiting factor. Business owners and founders can be reluctant to invest the time needed and effort required to craft an effective mission statement. They wonder whether it is truly essential for growing their businesses and if customers will ever read it. These doubts can relegate creating or updating a mission statement to non-critical status, freeing up valuable time for other essentials.

However, a mission statement is a crucial document that describes the purpose of the business. It states what the business is going to do, for whom, and why. A successful organization should know the answers to these questions because they speak to the most basic elements of a business plan. As such, the company mission should essentially write itself. Yet, owners, founders, and executive leadership still struggle with formulating an effective mission statement.

Topics: Business Development Planning Revenue Development Action Plan

Anticipating Economic Downturns and Maintaining Revenue Growth

When the economy is strong and business is booming, it is easy to focus on present success and delay planning for future challenges. Newer business owners and entrepreneurs often prefer to delight in their own accomplishments rather than engage in long-term strategic planning. However, no boom lasts forever, which means that this naïve approach can be quite costly.

Contrary to popular belief, it does not take a severe recession to hinder business operations. Even small changes in the overall economy or an individual vertical can negatively affect revenue growth. Economists and experienced business owners understand that waiting to plan until an economic downturn has occurred can be a catastrophic mistake.

Topics: Revenue Growth Planning Forecasting

How to Identify Quality Sales Leads

Your best client might be those that purchase your most expensive products or services. Or not.

Either way, you need to know who your ideal client is. Who are they, where are they, what motivates them to buy, when do they buy, why do they buy, how do they buy? (For help begin with the Resultist Ideal Client Persona Worksheet.)

After identifying your best current client and creating your ideal client persona, the next step is to evaluate your prospects as compared to your ideal client. This will ensure that your sales team is investing in the “right” opportunities. Our team uses the  Sales Qualification Matrix.

Topics: Sales B2B Sales Evaluation Planning Persona

Simple Marketing Strategies (and the Strategy Frankenstein)

Strategy is not a top priority for startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers.  The leaders are hunters in unfamiliar territory. To consider a strategy in the early stages seems a bit like making a plan to survive on Jupiter. Relying on theory, science and data works until it becomes apparent that it doesn’t.

What is it?

Think of a strategy is a directed plan to which you commit your time and action in a single direction. A strategy aligns how you spend your time, money, resources, and your communication. This increases your chance for success.

Topics: Strategy Strategic Revenue Growth Planning

How Experts Fill the Knowledge Gap (Including Bill Gates)

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Some have referred to September as the “New January.” They consider it a time to make good on resolutions.  For that reason, I think this is good to use this season of change to focus on goals, and to realize this year’s potential before you again sing "Auld Lang Syne" for the new year.

It may seem more difficult for an expert, after decades of success, to ‘raise the bar,’ ‘achieve a personal best,’ ‘learn something new,’ or set new goals to excel. Especially for someone who has ‘seen it all.’ Investing time in education paid off in the early years, but 20 years later there are fewer resources or people who can be trusted to provide valuable new insights. As a result, it appears to me that a personal/professional skills plateau is reached, even as better results are demanded.

Carol Dweck: “Many people have told me that when they were promoted to a prestigious position, they suddenly felt, now I have to have all the answers. Now, my period of growth is over. I have to be a fully mature person who knows everything. So yes, at any point, you can fall into that trap. People who become CEOs suddenly feel they have to be gods goddesses, and not people who say, gee; I don’t know. Let’s talk about it. Let’s think about it. Let’s feel our way through this problem.”  - Source: Great article/interview on Harvard Business Review

When does personal development become a factor? I believe more than ever that an improvement in revenue and profits also relies on developing the skills and wisdom of the team and leaders.

Topics: Assessment Training Recruiting Planning Professional Development

Smarter Sales Forecasting - Important Questions You Must Ask Your Team

“The goal of forecasting is not to predict the future but to tell you what you need to know to take meaningful action in the present.” - Paul Saffo

Market volatility and economic disruption are once again becoming the norm, making it more vital than ever that businesses have a strong grip on their revenue forecasts. Not only does strong revenue predictability provide a solid platform for critical decision-making, but it has also proven to be a winning business practice.

Topics: Leadership Planning Forecasting

21 Revenue Strategy Examples to Kickstart Your Revenue Growth

Aka: Revenue Strategies - the Foundation for CRO Success 

In a recent confidential interview, a CEO shared his thoughts about the next 12 months:  "We believe we will achieve our revenue and profit goals over the next 12 months with our current resources. We have the right team, the latest software and tools, effective processes, remarkable products & services, strong branding and a unique value proposition." He went on to admit “… but we are not achieving our revenue and profit goals and we are still unsure why.”

The proper revenue strategy aligns marketing, sales, and customer experience teams around a singular goal: drive profitability. Without a strategic roadmap, healthy and sustained growth simply cannot flourish, which is why organizations put so much emphasis on the planning process. In fact, studies reveal that tightly-aligned sales and marketing functions result in an average of 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales closing rates, than their more loosely aligned counterparts.

Unraveling such a puzzle to understand what is ‘broken’ has us first visiting the revenue strategy. Choosing a revenue strategy impacts all other aspects of planning and whether goals are achieved.

Topics: Strategy Strategic Revenue Growth Planning