How to Avoid Picking the Wrong Sales Growth Tactic!
It’s that predictable time of the year: the time to stop pondering all the possible ways to grow sales for the next year and make a decision. You know what’s expected: MORE new clients and sales from existing clients, HIGHER retention and customer satisfaction/loyalty rates, BETTER margins. The quandary: which strategy has the best probability of success and/or the least amount of unintentional consequences if it’s wrong?
Do you change compensation, hoping to better motivate the right behaviors? Do you change the structure or territory coverage, hoping to better leverage your team? Do you hire more people, hoping more feet on the street generates more opportunities? Do you invest in technology tools, hoping to improve the sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness? Or do you invest in more training, hoping a better trained team can generate more sales? Or do you simply increase the sales goals, hoping your top performers will figure out how to make it happen?
We all know “hope” is not a strategy. So how do you take “hope” out of the decision making process?
There is no way to guarantee a strategy is best but there are a few super simple steps to not skip when deciding which to pursue. When you review these three, first you’ll say “well, those are obvious”, then “of course we’ve done those” and then “hm, maybe we haven’t…” See if you can put a check in each of these boxes:
- Determine the GOAL: How much growth is wanted, from where and within what period of time is always step one. Imagine trying to head out on a journey without knowing where you have to be by when. You can’t make much progress without these answers.
- Can you put a check in the box indicating there is great clarity, alignment and commitment to next year’s goal?
- Choose the PRIMARY GROWTH STRATEGY: What are you going to rely upon to ensure you end up with the right people executing on the right activities in the right way with the right clients/prospects to drive the right results? We all know our organization has strengths to build upon, weaknesses to avoid, threats to minimize and opportunities to leverage.
- Can you put a check in the box that indicates you have picked the most important ways to win that you have the best chance of executing based on your realty?
- Prioritize what sales BEHAVIORS MATTER MOST: What sales activities must be done well if the chosen strategy is to accomplish its objective? Before any changes (sales growth tactics) can be chosen, it is vital you know what behaviors the tactic is trying to drive. Nothing ruins a strategy’s chances of success faster than not knowing what really needs to happen with the customer or prospect.
- Can you put a check indicating everyone is on the same page regarding which behaviors need to be sustained, changed, stopped or added?
If you have put checks in all three boxes, you can now choose a sales growth tactic based on careful planning, not hope!
However, there is one more factor – a factor that supersedes everything else. Sales management must be engaged, committed and equipped to drive execution of the chosen strategy or tactic. Without sales people being focused, motivated, accountable and prepared to do what matters most, there is little chance the desired behavior change will occur. Very few sales strategies or tactics generate sales growth without management. Without making sure your sales manager(s) are ready and willing to drive the sales tactic into execution, it will not generate outcomes! Bottom line – after you choose the sales growth tactic: engage and equip sales management to drive it. That’s your success assurance!
Want the Cliff’s Notes on how to choose the best sales growth tactic(s) for you? Don’t rush into whatever looks like the simplest, fastest, easiest way to grow sales. It may have worked for another organization but that doesn’t mean it will work for you. Make sure you are ready to choose the right sales growth tactic(s) by not taking short cuts and skipping any of the above three vitals steps. Ensure you have the clarity, alignment and commitment to all three. Then choose the right sales tactic that you can, with confidence, engage your sales management team in aggressively pursuing and implementing!