The brutal reality is most SME businesses feel the pain at some point because of a lack of sales or by taking on work delivering a very low or even negative margin just to keep workers ‘busy’.
Without a strategic plan or sales plan, businesses can easily become engaged in selling based on price, engaged in a ‘race to the bottom’ and falling into the toxic habit of regularly discounting goods and services just to win the work, regardless of whether it is the ‘right’ kind of work for that particular business.
Business Doctors works with its clients to help them understand what makes them distinctive and stand out from the crowd, and importantly which clients truly appreciate the value they offer and are prepared to pay for it.
This exercise allows them to focus their energy and efforts in a very specific way and create sustained growth, only targeting certain businesses or sectors, rather than the whole market, simply to chalk up sales and revenue at the end of the month.
Once the target market/s and clients have been identified, formulating a ‘sales plan’ is the next step. Simply put, it’s a plan that identifies where your sales will be derived from.
Here are a few quick and easy tactics that you can take to help grow your pipeline, keep in regular contact with your prospects until they are ready to buy and sustain your differentiation in a crowded marketplace.
Reach your target
Join two professional networking groups or organizations that your target client is likely to belong to. Look at the other members of the group and ask if they are targeting to the same audience as you, as they could make great referral partners. Regularly speaking in front of an audience and delivering your ’60 second pitch’ will help you to hone your proposition.
Engage your target
Ask yourself which social media platforms your target client or referral partners use and expand your presence by creating a LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram account. Post one question, helpful article or comment per day. Consider writing a newsletter and updating your website with information that includes your latest blog items, tips, upcoming events, product launches or exciting changes within the business.
Sustain your differentiation
Solicit feedback and opinions from your clients to stay current with client needs and wants by using a Net Promotor Score (NPS) system, which will also help you to understand the likelihood they will buy from you again.
Also, identify ways to connect with your clients and prospects on a personal level. For example, send a hand-written ‘congratulations’ note to a client when their company reaches a milestone or receives an accolade.
Prospect to your client base
Much of your sales revenue can come from your existing client base, so schedule a catch-up meeting over coffee with the decision maker at each of your accounts on a periodic basis. If you have 100s, then target your top 20% of revenue earners. What else can you sell them from within your range? Schedule a time every day to scan at least five clients’ social media outlets for leads and to identify opportunities to sell additional products and services.
In conclusion, an effective sales plan provides you with strategies to acquire new business as well as expand business with your existing accounts. It includes key metrics such as your closing ratio (number of proposals delivered before an order is received) and average order values.
Business Doctors can help you to create a strategic plan of action to take your business to new heights and help you start drafting your sales plan today. Simply visit our website www.businessdoctors.ie/bromley and fill out a free health check form for a no-obligation consultation.