Sales is the lifeblood of every business. Without sales, we haven't got a business. So, the question comes - how do we generate more sales?
Every business wants to grow (or should do!). Growth is what every business needs - and it's the fundamental goal of every successful business and entrepreneur. Some business owners are more ambitious than others, but at the end of the day growth won't just happen by itself.
To grow sales you can increase volume through existing customers, or bring new customers on board or secure new projects and contracts. Then there are lots of factors that influence sales success - for example, you need the right team, the right KPIs, the right tracking measures and accountability in place, the right marketing and sales process, and a whole lot of other important components.
Generating leads = New business growth
This article focusses on how to generate more leads and win- this might be either new customers or new projects. Whatever your business, it is essential that you focus on winning new customers and new business as part of your sales plan and strategy.
Whilst in many businesses there is massive potential to grow existing customers, through lots of different ways, a vital ingredient to business growth is NEW BUSINESS! If you aren't focussed on new customers and new business, you are really going backwards - so how do we win this new business? By GENERATING LEADS. You need a regular stream of leads and opportunities every day, week and month flowing into your business and this will not just happen automatically - it needs strategies!
Here are 5 key strategies to generate leads, and WIN new business and new customers:
1) Define a ultra-clear value proposition
A concise statement describing your offering, why that is relevant to customers' needs and improves their situations, and how you will deliver that promise. A strong value proposition is the core of your competitive advantage, and we know from working with hundreds of businesses over the years, that it can be the difference between losing a sale - and closing it. Make it relevant to your target customer (only), ensure it is easy to understand, communicate outcomes and value for the customers, and explain how you are different and better than your competition.
2) Set up your marketing team to generate leads
We find in many businesses, that in reality, the marketing efforts are all about making things 'look nice'! Whilst your brand and image is very important, and needs to link with your value proposition and market positioning, we strongly believe that the main goal of any marketing department, should be to generate qualified leads. Ensure your marketing team has clear targets and KPIs for the number of qualified leads they need to generate, particularly for new business, and ensure this target is enough to hit your new business sales goal. It is then vitally important for this to be tracked on a regular basis, and the team to be held accountable to the whole business on this key number.
3) Ensure you have robust sales systems and process
Imagine leads were like apples on a conveyor belt. Your marketing team has put an apple on the start of the conveyor belt (i.e. they have generated a new qualified lead) - what happens next? You need an immensely robust sales process to ensure that none of these apples fall off the conveyor at any point. Sounds obvious, but we often see it - there is a weak link in the sales process, and apples are just slipping (or even might be pouring!) off the conveyor and into the 'bin'! What a waste of all that resource and effort so far! Every sales enquiry must be recorded, respected, and actioned - sales enquiries are the life-blood of the business. Use your systems to capture the opportunities and track through the sales process; then through regular sales meetings and accountability and rigorous follow-up programmes, you can be laser focussed on ensuring those apples don't drop off until they reach the end of the conveyor belt - a secured sale!
4) Devise a clear sales strategy to win
You need a strong sales strategy behind your sales process, that delivers results. This might be a secret game plan or hidden DNA within your business that has been built up and refined over years, but you know it works! Or you might have to devise a different strategy for a particular lead/opportunity to secure the order. Use powerful sales presentations when in front of potential new customers, communicate a clear honed sales message, provide value through the process, and ensure you demonstrate that you can resolve their problems and meet their needs.
5) Ensure team buy-in
You need to get the whole team behhind the strategy to win new business, especially your sales team. Strong business growth also comes from the marketing and sales teams being clearly aligned, focussed on generating leads and winning new business, and have got clear-cut targets, KPIs and strategies to get there. As a business owner, you need to ensure you are passionately leading the team, and living and breathing the vision and future direction of the business, and demonstrating how winning new business is a key part of the business success!
As we know, sales is the engine of success in your business. Without enquiries and leads coming in, your business will starve, and eventually shrink. Be passionate about business growth, and be zealous in going after new business!
To be successful, you need the strategies and tools to generate leads to achieve this. Then you need to be sure that your growth is 'smart' - that is, that you are generating cash as you are growing! If you'd like to find out more about our formula for success, please get in touch with us.