Have you read this blog post?
Seven Great Reasons To Do Three Things You Never Thought Of To Achieve One Guaranteed Result: NOTHING!
Blogging lists suck hard, usually being no more than a way to peddle a tool, technique or service. But there are key themes worth thinking about if you want your business to succeed. In fact, (spoiler alert “list” coming – but it’s a good one) argues Bryan Gray, CEO Revenue Path Group, there are FIVE GREAT THREATS to revenue growth through effective selling. You can choose to ignore them. They will be unlikely to return the favor.
Okay, we’ve opened this blog by deriding those endless lists of things you must avoid/embrace/do now/never do again/make a priority/put to the bottom of your priorities. That could be a high risk strategy, since you might already have concluded our thinking falls into the same instantly ignorable category as all those other attempts to hook you in. Trust me, it doesn’t.
In this introduction to our series on The 5 Great Threats To Revenue Growth Through Effective Selling, we promise you won’t find ANY lists! (You won’t see any in the individual articles either.) This is time for grown ups. We know that life in business isn’t simple. If the path to sales led revenue growth were a gentle downhill stroll through a flower filled glade, we wouldn’t have founded Revenue Path Group. It’s tough out there.
To succeed by design rather than accident, it helps to have some accurate coordinates. And that’s what we’re offering: a set of key coordinates to help identify what really matters. We’re not claiming to have all the answers in advance: that would be impertinent as well as dumb. We are stating, based on the strong foundation of successful experience, that if your business depends for its growth on revenue generated by sales, there are five very focused and practical areas you need to take a close look at.
Think of them as the key function checks a pilot would carry out during flight. You don’t have to be in a tail spin already to do them. But they will reward you with information and improvements that make for a smoother trip. And yes, occasionally, they will help to head off disaster. What are they?
The five “instruments” we monitor on our sales led revenue growth dashboard relate to:
- Your Sales Pipeline
- Your Website
- Your Sales Cycle
- Your Sales Message
- Your Sales Offer
We said we’re not in the lists business – and we really aren’t. But we cannot see how any business where sales matter can ignore these five key areas. If you don’t have the instrumentation to monitor them, or if you just don’t bother to check your readings, then at best you are missing out on a bunch of key data and insight. And at worst? Well you could be flying through fog at 400 miles an hour towards a mountain.
Let’s look at each instrument in a little more detail.
Your Sales Pipeline The sales pipeline is the aorta of your business circulatory system. So what kind of shape is it in? Strong, flexible and healthy? Is it pumping a variety of new and regular business into your organization? Or is it perhaps a little more sluggish than you would ideally like? Are you fundamentally fearful of what a detailed examination might reveal? Overcome that fear. You really need to know what you’re dealing with, so that you can take informed and effective action.
Your Website Is your website doing all it could and should be doing to help grow your business? To make the question more personal, imagine your site is a human member of your sales team. Is this guy appealing, hard working and a star player? The best possible ambassador your business could have out there in the market? Or, if you could, would you put him on a month’s notice? Or fire him today? And how much are you doing to ensure he knows what is expected of him and then to help him succeed?
Your Sales Cycle Are your sales cycles typically a straight arrow’s path from initial engagement to deal closed and long-term relationship initiated? Or do they more closely resemble a roller coaster, with steep dips, side loops, sudden mid-air halts and multiple twists and turns before you’re deposited back where you started? If you’re regularly taking that roller coaster, you may want to consider what it’s costing you in terms of sales time, misdirected effort and lost opportunities for an easier ride.
Your Sales Message Do your customers get yours? Do you?! Who owns what you say to your key targets? Do you have a “magnetic” message? Does it pull prospects towards your business? Does it give your sales team a single platform to operate from? Is it making sure your marketing is crisp, consistent and convincing? Or is there as much variation in voice as there are people doing the talking? One message: the strongest. One owner: you. Anything less and you risk problems down the line.
Your Sales Offer A great sales message won’t work (for very long) without a great offer to support it. So how great is yours today? Is it surviving commoditization and pressure from customers to pay the least they can? Or is it stand-out, commanding a premium on quality? Either way, you need to know. And then you need to act accordingly, with clear action to overcome customer indecision, cut through the noise and make the sale (or disengage before you waste resources and weaken your reputation).
At Revenue Path Group, we believe that keeping an eagle eye on these five areas will reward you with the insights you need to take timely and effective action. Of course, there are numerous other areas that impact wider business performance, ranging from product quality to innovation to the price of gasoline. But when you focus in on sales – and the effective selling you need to do in order to ensure revenue and growth – it’s hard to see how any of the issues we have identified can be ignored safely … or for long.