In today’s blog post I want to focus on the secret to achieving a short term sales lift.
As sales managers, all of us have experienced times when we find ourselves slightly behind our targets which, inevitably, leads to frustration and a desire to get that short term sales lift in place.
This frustration drives some of us to shout that little louder at our team and whilst this may have a short term impact, this technique isn’t sustainable and is definitely not the best approach to achieving that short term lift. Without consideration of an alternative approach, this knee-jerk reaction soon becomes the normal response to a dip in the numbers; throwing you and your sales team into a vicious cycle, where you never actually move forward.
The eagle versus the dodo
As in everything, prevention is better than cure, so perhaps understanding why these dips occur can offer a solution. If we look at the life cycle of a sales person, each individual can be said to start out like an eagle; the large wings represent the amount of sales lift they have and the small, relatively light, body being the only obstacle in the way of sales. Agile, efficient flyers; the eagle represents the new, focused and driven salesperson.
Over time, however, they start to get more and more distracted by other activities outside of those that will help generate sales. As a result, they become more representative of a dodo; stocky, weighed-down and with small, ineffective wings that represent what’s left of the sales effort.
My advice to you as the sales leader is therefore to refocus the sales team and understand that you need to re-prioritise sales in order to get that short term lift.
Something we’ve found that works for sales team members is getting them to split their diary into three areas:
- Revenue Generating – how much time are the team spending generating revenue?
- Admin – how much time is being spent on administration?
- Growth – how much time are they spending on growth based activities such as prospecting?
We typically find that around 40% of the time will be spent on revenue generating, 40% on admin, and 20% on growth. But imagine if we could reduce some of that admin time so that we could dedicate say 60% of our overall time to revenue generating? This simple shift could result in us achieving that short term sales lift that we’re looking for.
Where to focus your attention
The second key element you need to be aware of is knowing where to focus efforts in order to achieve the biggest short term impact.
We know that the cost to retain existing clients is much less than the cost to acquire new customers, in fact to a factor of 6:1.
It is also known that, with new customers, we have around a 20% chance of winning business with them, whereas with our existing customers this rises to around 70%. It never fails to surprise me how few sales people are going back through their existing customers and looking to find some additional opportunities there.
One thing we’ve found that really helps accelerate this process is something called white space analysis. Essentially, this is an account review, which involves listing all of your customers against the products and services you offer, ticking off the current sales that have already been made with each customer. You will begin to clearly see some white spaces emerge, which highlight the opportunities you should be targeting.
I guarantee if you start to do a regular review of those white spaces, you’ll find that you can get that short term sales lift that you were looking for.
If you’d like to chat about this topic in any more detail, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Found this post helpful? Take a look at how to run an impactful sales meeting here.