As we enter into the fourth quarter of 2009, many businesses take a moment to reflect on what they did or didn't accomplish, as well as what they should have done (or done differently).
As a sales leader for 20 years, I would historically get a surge of energy on October 1st to execute aggressive sales strategies, so that the positive effects of our efforts were felt come January. There would be a direct correlation between our Q4 proactive sales efforts and activities, and whether the new year would start off on the right track and with the right amount of new sustainable business.
At the same time, I would feel the pressure of planning for the next year's sales strategy, reflecting on past performance and business trends, and establishing the "go-forward plan." After all, we're starting from ground zero again, right?
Next would be the dreaded quota-setting process and aligning individual goals and objectives to the company's overall plan.
Are you feeling overwhelmed yet?
This year, let's take a deep breath and execute a simple, proven method for business growth. Over the next few months, we will challenge your thinking, help prepare you for next year, and ultimately create your own go-forward plan.
K.Coaching has a methodology in place for creating a profitable sales and marketing strategy for your business. It is based on 20 years of successful sales leadership and comes directly from knowledge gained through real-life experience in entering new markets, gaining market share, and achieving quick, yet sustainable results.
Often in these new markets, we had no name recognition, no distribution center, no sales team, and had to be built from scratch. This included strategic vision, hiring and retaining great people, establishing clearly defined goals, and building sustainable partnerships and relationships with customers, employees, and business partners.
When I reflect on that experience, coupled with sales leadership within Boise Cascade and Corporate Express, I retreat to the basics. The blocking and tackling, so to speak. At K.Coaching, we coach, consult, and train using the sales model of CPR, and have helped hundreds of sales leaders look at their business model and their sales plans very differently. Not only does the CPR model work, it is memorable and a proven method to have sustainable profitable growth.
Ultimately, you want to have specific tactical plans in all areas of CPR: converting new business, penetrating(selling more to your existing customers), and retaining your current customer base. With the right conversion, retention, and penetration activities going on simultaneously, your business will grow.
It is exciting to engage sales leaders and build creativity around this sales model and approach, but most rewarding when we see companies and their sales teams being more strategic in their approach to growing their business—focusing on the right activities that are going to make them the most money.
The K.Coaching methodology begins with discovery:
• Understanding your strengths as a company, so you can play big from a position of strength. A great exercise is to conduct a SWOT analysis with your team—identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
• What is happening in your market? What is the competition doing? Not so you do what they are doing, but what you need to do better.
• Where and how is your current business growing? Get the facts, gather the trends, and analyze the data intelligence so your strategy is built from a position of fact, not opinion.
• What are your ideal customer's needs and circumstances? What is changing and what are their requirements? After all, it is all about them, not about you.
Whether you are creating your Q4 push, wondering how you are going to grow your business in 2010, or wanting new creative ways to stay focused on the ideal sales activities, the CPR model is for you.
Let's commit to roll up our sleeves and begin the planning and preparation for sustainable and profitable business growth. Stay tuned over the next two months as we continue our coaching around the CPR sales strategy.
SMM online columnist Krista Moore is president of K.Coaching, LLC, an executive coaching and consulting practice. For more information and free resources, go to www.buildyourships.com or www.kcoaching.com.