I’m willing to bet that many entrepreneurs, if asked, would say that product is most important for growing a business. It’s one of those things that, on the surface at least, makes great sense. After all, who wants to buy an inferior product of any stripe? Invest in engineers, scientists, and designers and build the best version possible. But when you pour all of your resources into one basket, a problem emerges: Sure, you’ve got a great product. But who’s going to sell it?
In the grand scheme of things, nothing is more important than sales because they are what keeps your company afloat. When it’s all said and done, the business owner with a reliable client base will outlast a competitor with a great product with no one to sell it. As Forbes Contributor Siimon Reynolds points out, the one thing that top companies across all industries have in common is a solid sales structure. In his opinion, because nothing is more important for a fledgling company, a new business should be spending 80% of their daily time and resources on the sales process. Administration jammed up? Don’t worry, pour it into sales. Company culture a top priority? It’s overrated anyway. It seems counterintuitive, yes. But bringing new clients and contracts into the door will help other “traditional” aspects of your business fall into line. Remember, no business springs up overnight that is fully formed. By shirking sales time, you’re building a magnificent house but have nothing with which to furnish it.
If you’re getting ready to boost your sales action, you might need to make a few changes to your department’s habitual approach. So, here are three things to keep in mind during your renewed sales quest.
Set goals early
No, not just quarterly goals or monthly benchmarks. Overall numbers are important, but your sales team needs to have tailored goals for each individual client call or meetings. These micro-goals may vary across conversations, but knowing ahead of time what you want to talk about, which proposals to put in place, and which introductions should be made will make that call go very smoothly.
Invest in Your Talent
Thanks to Salesforce for including sharing this insight. For a newly formed business (or even one looking to revitalize growth), putting a lot of resources and capital up front isn’t the most attractive option. But finding talented salespeople and compensating them for their track record will save you a lot of headaches in the long term. Remember, the whole point of increasing your sales efforts is to bring more business in the door. When it really starts taking off, your perceived losses will be seen as rock-solid investments.
Encourage a team environment
The rogue sales figure is a sexy concept for Hollywood, but it doesn’t translate well into real life. While there’s nothing wrong with fostering some healthy competition, don’t let your team hoard their secrets to success. Everything should be done for the benefit of the company. If one person is using a technique that’s pulling in three times the revenue of someone else, there’s no reason for keeping that technique a secret. Collaborate, find what works, and let your sales take off.