Focusing On Sales Is the Wrong Focus
Shoot Your Arrow at Lead Generation
We need more sales! Our cash flow sucks and we need to increase profit…so, we need more sales!” This is the distress call of almost every company that has ever dialed my phone number.
I have always demonstrated to new clients that if you’re not profitable or as profitable as you could be or should be with your current revenues, what makes you think that focusing on and getting more sales will translate to more profit?
Business Owners, CEO’s and Sales VP’s of privately held companies (my typical client) focus on increasing sales. Though this is a logical assumption, it is wrong. Focusing on Sales doesn’t increase sales.
You’re probably thinking, ‘that makes no sense Ron…of course focusing on sales will increase sales!’ Really, let’s look at the idea of focusing on increasing sales.
Usually there is an immediate focus on increasing ‘potential’ sales, which means there are prospects in the pipeline. This is where the problem begins and when several things can start to happen.
1. The salesperson begins to move the sale forward. Translation – ‘apply more pressure’. If conditions haven’t changed for the prospect, they more often than not, shoot out of the pipeline. So long sale.
2. The company will spend more time training salespeople to be better at closing. Naturally, if the prospects are questionable in the first place, this won’t help much.
3. Special offers (discounts) and additional bonuses are thrown in to persuade the prospect to buy. The profit margin of the sale may suffer considerably or, in fact, take a loss just to close the deal. You get the customer, but at what price.
The reality is, when you focus on sales, you are actually focusing on the wrong part of the process. Let’s use the shooting of an arrow as an analogy to the sales process.
The arrowhead, like the shaft, has to be strong and above all, sharp. The arrow head represents ‘Lead Generation’ and goes in front of the shaft (your sales process) to the target.
Unfortunately, most don’t consider ‘Lead Generation’ as important as the ‘Sales Process’.
Do you believe you need to keep putting things out there? Do you accept the “7-touches of marketing” premise, plus a few more in case the first 7 didn’t work?
The job of ‘Lead Generation’ is to set up the ‘Sales Process’ for a comfortable conclusion to close.
Now you’re probably getting motivated about improving your ‘Lead Generation’. That’s good, but whoa, there is one more step.
You have the shaft (Sales Process); you have the sharp arrowhead (Lead Generation), now you need to ‘Aim’. Aim where your competition aims and your arrow will be jammed in with all the others…just another ‘me too’ approach. Aim too far away and you won’t hit your target market. You must aim at your target market ‘Sweet Spot’.
To find your target market ‘Sweet Spot for ‘Lead Generation’ you first need ‘Positioning’. As I taught in my program “The 5 P’s of Marketing”, available on my website, Click Here, Positioning is not branding!
Branding has become an all-encompassing term to make marketing activities sound cool. Branding refers to putting your mark on something so people know it belongs to you, like branding a cow. Of course, since you want to sell your products / services, you’d be a fool not to put your ‘brand’ on your marketing and collateral materials.
So if ‘Positioning’ is not branding, what is it? ‘Positioning’ is locating or creating a gateway in the mind of your prospective customer where your company or your product / service offering can position itself in such a way that is incomparable to your competition, i.e. the only option. ‘Positioning’ is ‘Aiming’.
So the approach for more sales is not, focus on sales. It is however focusing on ‘Positioning’, your aim – in order that your ‘Lead Generation’ is more productive and your sales are set up for a more comfortable close.
So, if you want to increase sales, look at what comes before your sales process. Devote planning time to improve your ‘Lead Generation’ and your ‘Positioning’ and then you’ll find that sales growth is faster and easier.
Would you like ‘Positioning’ and ‘Lead Generation’ that grows sales, profit and cash flow, but you don’t have the time or talent on board to develop and execute?
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