A new year is upon us and like most entrepreneurs I’m really excited for what it has in store for us. A new start, a fresh beginning for many startups. Let’s be resolved to make this the best entrepreneurial year yet! What are your New Year’s Sales resolutions? Have you spent time working out a strategy, putting an action plan in motion, formulating ideas on how you’re going to grow your business this year?
I spent last week doing exactly that. I’ve mapped out the entire year to come so now I know exactly where I’m headed, what steps I need to take, and when, in order to achieve the goals I’ve set out for my businesses.
So let’s help you with an action plan to not only make sensible sales resolutions to grow your business, but also to see them through. After all consistency is key and the sales buck really does stop and start with you as the business owner.
Sales Resolution #1 : Increase sales frequency
It goes without saying, when your sales frequency increases your profitability increases. To achieve this you need to have a working sales process in place and a sales strategy. This strategy should include the likes of cold calling a minimum of 10 prospects per day, making sure you have on average a quote a day out, a sales pipeline filled for the next 2 months at least. Put in place actionable and achievable steps to increase your sales frequency. Use social media and digital marketing to help you achieve this. If you are fortunate enough to have a sales rep, meet with them daily and ensure they really do get your vision and that they are aligned with your business goals.
Sales Resolution #2 : Increase your profit margin
You are here to make money, plain and simple! If not, then you have very compassionately started an NGO and dedicated your life to being a social entrepreneur, for which we honour you. But if you are not running an NGO, then you are running a for-profit business and that is what you should be doing, making a profit. Take a look at your offering and see where you can increase your margins without sacrificing quality. Make a resolution this year to cut as much unnecessary expenditure where possible. This includes hosting fees, petrol costs, unnecessary add-ons to the business that won’t help the proverbial boat go faster.
Sales Resolution #3 : Sell with a sense of urgency
Forget the objections! In most sales transactions you’re going to be faced with “Our budget doesn’t allow for this right now” or “Check back with me in a few months”. I say if you can show your prospect the value in what they are buying from you and you can prove that you have a solution to their pain, then you won’t leave room for objections. Overcome these obstacles early on in the sales cycle so that you can take immediate action. There is no time like the present, manage objections before they are raised and ensure rapid but professional execution of services. Not only will you get your sale now but more than likely your new client will refer you to someone they know.
Sales Resolution #4 : Become a thought leader
Your prospects are looking for a service provider who really understands their business and the challenges they face. Therefore make the time to do extra research on your prospects including their competitors. Become the go-to person in your field and a trusted advisor for your clients. With the advent of the internet there is no excuse to be uninformed.
Sales Resolution #5 : Set sales goals and follow sales processes
This year be resolute on becoming proactive and work with a plan. Don’t make the same mistake most entrepreneurs make – they rely and depend on the handful of clients that they signed up and if an anchor client ups and leaves they are left in a pickle. You need to market your business and services on a daily basis. You need to have set sales goals for every week of the year, there are only 52 weeks and we are already into the second week as it as. Reverse engineer what you want to have achieved by December 2017. Set weekly goals and milestones to achieve them. See what tasks need to be prioritized and outsource the rest. 2017 is the year for outsourcing so get comfortable with the idea of growing your team remotely. Do what you need to in order to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself.
Consistently follow your sales processes, work to a plan and you will achieve sales success!
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support; and is also the co-founder of SnappSales, a company that generates quality sales leads for its clients. Prior to establishing both her companies, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. This experience has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run her two successful business ventures. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
Read more of Karen's blog posts....