Ways to boost revenue next year

The end of the old  and beginning of a new year is often a reflection time (as well as having some relaxation/recharge time) for Partners, Directors and Managers to reflect on their how Firms and Businesses can improve their marketing and sales results in the coming year.

Having managed many sales and marketing teams over the years as well as speaking and working with hundreds of Businesses, there is one fundamental that Businesses overlook.

That is to have a marketing and sales process that ensures there is a constant "pipeline" of new business opportunities that are able be converted into new work.

So as we heading into the new year, it is a great time to reflect on how to boost your Sales/Business Development results and I hope this article will give you some ideas on how to do that.

The obvious way

The obvious way to boost revenue  is to undertake multiple marketing activities that generate new leads/opportunities. Whist that's important, it is where most Firms and Businesses spend all of their focus. The trouble with this approach is that the Business or Firm then starts every next month looking for more and more new opportunities - and it gets harder and harder (and usually more expensive) to get more new leads.

Three alternatives to generate new revenue

There are three alternative ways in addition to generating new leads, that will often cost less and build better long term revenue. To use the old cliche they simple though always as easy to implement:

  1. Revisit the opportunities/leads that have come in, but have not purchased immediately/weren't ready to buy/haven't been followed through consistently;

  2. Sell more products/services to your existing clients; and

  3. Ramp up your referrals from existing referral channels

The Sales Pipeline

But this is just stage one. Remember I said its simple though not always easy? To make your business development efforts work effectively, you need build a "Sales Pipeline" of all the opportunities above (plus new leads) and map out the different stages of the buying process. A "Sales Pipeline" is just a way of describing the stages of the selling process from when you identify an opportunity through to the prospect becoming a client and buying your services or products.

For example the steps in a sales process for a client you are cross-selling to could be:

  1. Identify client's possible need

  2. Initial call to say hello and arrange catchup

  3. Meet with client, share expertise, understand needs

  4. Send relevant material

  5. Followup call

  6. Client requests quote now they know your other products

  7. Prepare proposal and send

  8. Followup call

  9. Followup email

  10. Negotiation

  11. Purchases  - Yes, No, Future

Whilst the steps in a  sales process for a past opportunity/lead  could be:

  1. Review all past emails (or quotes if you have a quote system)

  2. Prepare a phone/email/LinkedIn script that says something along the lines of "just thought I'd reach out to you and let you know about...."

  3. Reconnect with previous contact, share expertise, understand needs

  4. Send relevant material

  5. Followup call

  6. Prospect requests quote now he understands your value better

  7. Prepare proposal and send

  8. Followup call

  9. Followup email

  10. Negotiation

  11. Purchases Yes, No, Future

These are just two examples and your sales process may be very different.

How many are in the Pipeline?

Next it's critical to monitor how many prospects you have in each stage from all the different sources like:

  • Past Prospects;

  • Client Cross-sell;

  • Referrals;

  • Inbound leads; and

  • Outbound prospects;

The best way to to this is by using specialist sales CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. For a relatively small investment, this will help you sell Better and Faster.

A word of caution though, Many industry-specific legacy systems promise to deliver the functionality of a CRM but can't because they are designed for managing work in progress and billing rather than sales opportunities - so beware of the system that promises everything!

Working the Pipeline

Measuring is not enough though. You need then make sure your team is closing off these opportunities through a regular sales work-in-progress review where you discuss:

  • Possible new opportunities;

  • How many opportunities there are at various stages;

  • How to move prospects through the stages;

  • What the barriers are and

  • What support is needed to help the team move the opportunities through the pipeline

Some next steps

  1. If you would like some DIY assistance, our free Guide to Selling Better and Faster is a great starting point. You can get a copy by completing the form on this page.

  2. We also provide a $297 "Sales Reality Report" that:

    • Audits all your current lead generation strategies to find improvements;

    • Uncovers new opportunities from old leads, cross-selling and referrals;

    • Defines "sales pipelines" for your Firm or Business;

    • Recommends  low/no-cost CRM options for converting leads; and

    • Provides report templates to track progress vs targets.

    • You can read all about and book in for a Sales Reality Report here.

  3. You can also contact us obligation-free to discuss how we can boost your revenue through our Sales Process and Sales CRM consulting services.

Kym Heffernan

Kym Heffernan

Kym works with Businesses and Professional Practices through The Marketing Strategy Company, to increase their revenues through analysing, improving and optimising their marketing and sales activities.

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