Lead the Sales Effort for Repeatable Success
The marketplace is unrecognizable compared to what it was a decade ago, or even five years ago. How have you adapted to keep up with the unprecedented rate of change in the industry? How are you going to market? How are you answering the prospect’s question of, “what do you do and why should I care?” And how are you making sure that your sales team continues to differentiate your business in ways that keeps you out of the commodity game? Taking a sobering look at these questions and questions like them may force you to reconsider your current sales leadership directives.
What does your new business development process look like, and are you happy with the results? You should have a scalable and repeatable process that is focused on targeting the right type of accounts for your business. And by the way, the right type of account is a lot more than those whose check will clear. You are looking for accounts that will appreciate, value, and benefit from the consultative and collaborative input that your sales team and company can provide. You are looking for accounts that look like the top 20% of accounts that represent 80% of your business and probably over 100% of your profitability – yes, those kinds of accounts.
And new business doesn’t only have to come from new accounts. If you are working, learning from, and adding value to your existing accounts, there will be additional opportunities for you there. That is, if you look for it, ask for it, and work to earn it.
Maximizing the value and return from your best customers and best prospects should not be left to chance. Build your plan, and as the CEO, make sure that it is being carried out every day. Build your score cards to focus on the upstream activities and meaningful conversations that will lead to new business opportunities, enhanced client relationships, and a seat closer to the head table. Show your team the value of transitioning from a vendor to a supplier to a trusted advisor for all the right accounts.
This is not a simple task to be delegated or addressed in a memo or email. This is a task that your business depends on for ongoing success. The bigger challenge may not be teaching this new pathway to growth, but helping your team unlearn some of their old habits. Make sure that your team is equipped with the tools and skills that are relevant for today’s marketplace.
Have a clear picture of where you want to go, a map of how to get there, and engage your team to make it happen. If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached these issues, please send me a note or include them below.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.