Tag: Sales

CRM for More Business

I know that before we can focus on closing sales, we have to button things up with putting leads on the table and keeping track of them. A couple proposals and follow ups slipped through the cracks recently, which has me worried. Want to work smarter, not harder. Need a system to know how we’re doing with the potential sales we’re working to get.

Thoughts of the Day: Marketing precedes sales, and it’s a huge topic. Build a system for tracking opportunities. Work that system to generate new business. Figure out how many opportunities convert from one stage of the pipeline to the next. Use the historical data to predict backwards and figure out how much you need at every stage of the pipeline in order to hit your goals.

Turning around sales, profits, and the business overall

We ran lean so we could take cash out for personal needs. Recently, we’ve seen a significant drop in net income. Think we need to spend money to get things moving forward profitably, but we’re going to be short on cash. What should we do?

Thoughts of the Day: Building a successful business takes planning for good times and for bad. Focus on sales and marketing first. Look for quick turnaround opportunities to boost cash from existing work and customers. Going forward, remember that if you take care of the basics of the business, it will take care of you.

Using Shop Downtime to Your Advantage

At certain times of the year people in our shop aren’t working as much as we would like them to be. We want them to be busy. We have plenty of work year around. And it’s nice to have some downtime, but we don’t want people to get “soft” when things slow down. How can we best use the quite times?

Thoughts of the Day: Quiet times in the business are a great opportunity for reflection on what works well and what could be done better. Imagining the future is essential for any production that intends to stay profitable. Make time for training in order to upgrade skills and boost efficiency. Use the time to celebrate and prepare for what’s next.

Help Your Sales People Deliver Better Results

We’re getting business in, but I wonder how much more are we leaving on the table. We could be out in the field more to drive training with sales reps and managers. We’re struggling to put together sales rep training manual into a form that we can actually use to train people with. Once that’s built then I have to figure out who should be doing the training, and how to get it done efficiently and cost effectively. I’m not sure what the best way is to increase sales efforts by our sales team, and training for our sales people.

Thoughts of the Day: Training sales people to maximize their results is a smart place to start when looking at how to maximize your sales team. Creating a set of sales materials to conduct and reinforce training will help you be consistent when you’re training existing and new sales reps. A good place to start would be assess the needs of various people in the field, as they’re probably not all at the same stage of development. Work smarter, not harder – look for tools that already exist on the market and build on them. Be sure to measure before and after results to see what produces the best results.

Building a Sales Plan

We’ve never had a sales plan – a planned out way to get leads and work the leads. What should we use as a template? How can we make sure the plan works?

Thoughts of the Day: Most small businesses are light on written plans, and that can get in the way of producing consistent results. Mapping out your sales strategy and tactics gives you and your employees a roadmap to follow. Consistency in approach allows you to measure what’s working and identify what needs tweaking. Knowing how one stage relates to another helps you forecast what it will take to get the results you want.

Turning leads into closes

“Lots of activities but not enough closes. Lots of leads, just have to light a fire to get going faster to turn leads into work. How do we do that?”

Thoughts of the Day: Good news is you have opportunities coming in the door. Should you be closing the leads you have in front of you? Do you understand your clients’ needs, and how well are you doing at conveying that understanding? Is this the right time for your client to buy, and what can you do about adjusting the timing?

Growth by acquisition

  "We’re trying to do an acquisition, but as we get into the opportunity there’s one surprise after another. Seems like it’s always something else, and not necessarily good. Should we keep on pursuing this deal? Is there any…