What does an engagement with StraterEdge Consulting look like? It could include any or all of the services below.
Assess Your Offerings
Evaluate your product offering and positioning relative to the needs of your target market. (Read more…)
What are the needs of firms in your target market? Do your marketing materials talk more about you than your clients’ needs? In the context of your clients’ needs, how are you different from your competitors?
Even a highly motivated team of talented professionals will struggle if your message to the client is not clear. Your clients’ needs must be the foundation of your marketing efforts. The job of your sales producers is to become experts in your clients, not for your clients to become experts in your firm.
The objective of a first meeting with a prospect is to determine whether or not it makes sense for you to have a second meeting. Proposals need to clearly demonstrate an understanding of client issues and priorities and serve as an effective decision support tool.
Clients buy from people who can demonstrate that they can and will deliver solutions that address their needs.
Analyze Your Numbers
Compare your sales results to your plan to determine opportunities for improvement. Includes a review of sales activity tracking and reporting and introduction of a CRM when needed. (Read more..)
Are you meeting your sales goals? How do you track and report activity? Are you managing to results or are you managing the inputs that drive results? What is your win rate on proposals? What is your conversion rate of initial meetings to proposals? What is your average deal size and how many target prospects does each producer need to meet your sales goals?
Most firms don’t reach their productive potential because they are ineffective at tracking, reporting and managing sales activity.
Without proper activity management, it is much more difficult to identify opportunities for improvement, resulting in higher turnover among producers and suboptimal sales productivity.
Effective activity management, coupled with client-focused marketing will significantly improve sales results.
Review Your Compensation
Is your sales compensation promoting the behavior you want or are you sending mixed messages? Are producers paid for top-line growth without regard for margin impact or net revenue growth? Who is pricing deals?
Because many sales compensation plans are overwhelmingly based upon top-line revenue, producers should not independently price deals. Even appropriately priced first-year business is rarely profitable.
Retention, however, is generally more critical to meeting ongoing margin objectives. When compensation is sloped too heavily toward first-year business without regard for net revenue growth and direct margin, organizations can inadvertently send the wrong messages to their sales teams.
Fortunately, these issues can be readily addressed to promote new business while achieving retention targets and margin goals.
Build Your Team
Is your sales leadership team actually leading? Are your producers meeting your sales goals? What is the turnover for your sales team?
Successfully and profitably growing your sales requires strong leadership, setting clear expectations, hiring producers who will and can perform and holding them accountable for their activities and their results.
Even when you set clear expectations during the recruiting process, you will hire someone who won’t do what you ask. None of us has time for the individual who says, “I’m not going to do it and you can’t make me.” Eliminate that person as soon as possible.
What sales leaders must do is work closely with those producers who “can’t” do the job to help them quickly become successful sales professionals. Monitoring activity, measuring results and hands-on training and coaching are critical to the development of your sales staff.
Ongoing Sales Management Support
Are your sales producers becoming more effective each year or do even your successful producers tend to generate less new business over time? Can you re-energize your firm, taking it to new levels?
Entropy is a thermodynamic measure of energy that is not available for work. It explains why warm food cools to the ambient temperature and why ice melts.
Even a dynamic sales organization will slow over time if it is not excited. Ongoing oversight of sales management, including proposal and deal review can help provide the additional support necessary to maintain high levels of activity and results.