CEO Advisor Newsletter November 2016
CEOs Get Serious About Growth
CEOs that put sales management at the top of their agendas outperform their competitors in revenue and profits by up to 80%. While CEOs and presidents of small and mid-size companies play a key role in driving performance improvements across all aspects of a company, sales has traditionally not been the main focus of business owners for many companies. This is a very costly mistake.
CEOs, presidents and business owners of top performing companies are very hands-on in driving the business forward. Setting budgets and sales goals are just the beginning. The best CEOs pinpoint a specific sales strategy, tools, sales management processes and analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure substantial growth (at or above industry growth rates) in revenues, gross margins, and profits in order to substantially increase shareholder value. They also ensure that they have the right people in the right positions and that each sales team member is performing consistently as a well managed "A" player.
Similar to marketing, sales is both an art and a science. Here are 5 key sales issues that will create a tremendous return on investment and grow your business to the next level. If sales and sales management are not your strengths, gain the help you need as failing in these all important aspects of sales can cost millions of dollars over a short period of years.
1. Deep Dive on Sales Goals to Increase Results
Well managed sales teams produce big results. CEOs must go beyond monthly sales goals for each member of the sales team. CEOs must develop KPIs that produce heightened, consistent results to meet goals. A direct sales team should have clearly defined goals for each salesperson that include, for example:
A) Dials per day B) Live contacts per day C) Opportunities created in your customer relationship management (CRM) software per week and monthD) New sales appointments per week and monthE) Proposals presented per monthF) Closed sales per month G) Closed sales in dollars per month, etc.
2. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Drive Sales and Profits
Additional goals that can be readily tracked monthly (in real time if possible) will be the difference in a proactive, results-oriented sales team vs. a sales team that is always behind the curve. You should monitor and track:
A) Average size of each sale (ensure you are selling to larger customers with larger budgets)B) Average length of contractsC) Renewal rates of contractsD) Track the amount of sales to your top 25-50 customers per quarter and year to ensure you are properly servicing them and hitting sales goalsE) Gross profit marginsF) Net profit marginsG) Industry growth rateH) Your total market shareI) Market share of your key competitorsJ) Growth rate of your market share, etc.
3. Build a Sales and Marketing Machine to Optimize Sales and Value of your Business
By building a sales and marketing machine within your company, and this can be done very cost-effectively, you will optimize your gross and net profit margins and tremendously increase the value of your company. As part of your sales strategy, expand your direct sales efforts with indirect sales by formulating a Reseller Channel Program and then recruit, build, train, motivate and support these Resellers and Referral Partners. Making this a top priority is the greatest return on investment you can make. This takes some planning, focus and attention to details to put in place and manage, so gain the needed outside help to get this right the first time.
4. Get Out of the Office and Visit Customers
As the CEO of your company, get out of your office and go with sales managers and individual salespeople and visit your major customers at least annually. Understand the customers' needs and satisfaction level, understand how you can help them by upselling and cross-selling additional products and services, renew annual contracts and secure a tighter relationship by demonstrating real interest and commitment to your customers.
5. Make Sales and Account Management (Servicing, Upselling and Cross-selling Customers) the Life Blood of your Business
A) Strong sales management should be part of the fabric of your companyB) Making top sales performers heroes at your business should be paramount to youC) Training your sales team should be exciting and part of every weekly sales meetingD) Designing the right sales compensation plan and retention of your best performing sales team members should be a top priority E) Consistently held sales meetings that are motivating, numbers driven and training- intensive should be a weekly occurrence like clock-work.
Maximizing sales will be the difference in reaching your goals and a successful exit in the future versus strained cash flow and diminishing value of our business.
Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today for a no cost, no obligation meeting at your office to discuss your key business and sales issues. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520 or email MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com.
Invest in Yourself and Your Business
Investing in yourself and your business enables you to dictate your future and your success. Investing in yourself and your business also enables you to increase sales, profits and the value of your business toward an exit and the largest payday of your life. Different than investing in real estate, bonds or equities, investing in your business is the key to your success provided you have the proper road map to achieve your goals. Don't go it alone - this may be the most important step of your life. Meet with a business advisor to discuss the steps below.
Here are 5 steps you can take right now that will pay tremendous dividends:
1. Strategic Direction The direction of your business is critical to your success. Now is the time to re-assess, strategize and review the year-to-date progress and make adjustments for the new year. Growing 10% year after year is not a gauge of success, and certainly will not increase the value of your business. Approach the next year with a productive plan, clear strategy and sales focus to ensure success in 2017. For a dozen years, CEO Advisor, Inc. has helped CEOs create strategies for increased sales, profits and business value.
2. Set Your Goals Establish clear near-term and long-term goals for your business. Create and prioritize tasks and deadlines around what is needed to accomplish these goals. Then, assign personnel, management or advisors to ensure timely completion of these tasks and projects. This can be one of the best investments you can make.
3. Review the Numbers Create key metrics for your business that will clearly tell you if you are on track to achieve results. Review your financials and make sure to understand them thoroughly so you can address inquiries on specific aspects of your business and make needed decisions based on your financials. Track these key metrics monthly (in real-time if possible) as a critical step in the health, growth and success of your business. Defining and tracking these key metrics will substantially increase sales and profits, enabling you to make faster and improved decisions. CEO Advisor, Inc. regularly assists CEOs in setting up these key metrics to drive success, and can help you analyze your financials and provide feedback on how to maximize your valuation.
4. Focus If you are not sure where you're going, you will never get there. Focus on your highest priorities and document what needs to be accomplished, who will accomplish them and when these priorities must be accomplished by. Focus on what meets prospects and customers' needs, drives sales and profits, and builds value in your company.
5. Invest in Needed Advice The business issues above are just some of the more critical issues that you must tackle every day. The impact on your business, your life, your bottom line, your cash flow and the value of your business is tremendous. A trusted, seasoned business/M&A advisor can be the difference in your business success and achieving your life's dreams of a successful exit. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.