In today’s world, time seems to be going faster than ever before. By the end of the day we look back at the ‘To Do’ list we had at the beginning of the day and see it is now longer than the one we started with.
As our environment around us continues to change, we have to adapt and also change if we are to keep up and grow our business. The number one thing any business can do to not only grow but also create a system around increasing sales and demand for their product or service is: delegation and systemisation.
Too often I walk into a business and notice the owner being the sales consultant, boss, manager and every other role you can think of within business. Doing this is not only stressful for the business owner but also for the staff as they feel inadequate and unchallenged.
Soon enough staff will start looking elsewhere to work, somewhere that can give them variety, freedom, responsibility and ultimately job satisfaction. Sure, controlling every sector within the business can be good short term; it is a recipe for disaster long term.
Now the solution to this challenge looks all too easy, just delegate and systemise what you can to others and as a business owner just concentrate on what you are best at.
Well if it’s as easy as that, you might be thinking why aren’t most business owners doing it? Well there are two reasons:
Most business owners are working in their business rather than on their business. Because of this they develop a belief and love for the business so they think that no one else would be as passionate or knowledgeable about their product or service, so they try to do everything themselves.
And the second reason why they don’t like to delegate or systemise their business is because they simply can’t due to a lack of funds. After the global financial crisis a lot of businesses have taken a backward step and their sales have dramatically reduced.
As revenue decreases so does the number of sales staff within the organisation; most businesses have reduced their sales staff by 25%, and in some extreme cases by 60%.
So how do you drive revenue and increase sales if you have a very tight budget and you really can’t afford to hire sales staff on a full- or part-time basis? First things first: The business owner must get more creative.
Below I have listed seven different strategies any business owner can use not only to increase sales but also to systemise the sales process so that they can achieve more in less time:
1. Create joint venture relationships
By far the quickest and most cost effective way to increase sales is to partner with other industry-related businesses who could create exposure for your product or service through their customer database. When creating joint ventures think of businesses who your customer would go to before or after they purchase something from you.
It is important to know your outcome before contacting possible joint ventures. For example: do you want them to send an email to their database, or are you going to give them a free test of your product.?
Think of a strategy that is going to be a win-win situation for each party involved.
2. Systemise your sales training
One of the main reasons why hiring new sales is an expensive project is the time and resources it takes to train a new sales consultant in your product and company. Start systemising this part of your business by creating videos, manuals and scripts which a sales person can study before even stepping in to their first day at work.
By doing this you cut down the amount of time and money it takes to train new staff and increase your bottom line quicker because your sales staff can start selling from the very first day.
3. Get creative in finding sales staff
Don’t just follow the traditional way of finding sales staff. Recruitment cost these days can become very expensive and it does not necessarily guarantee you a solid candidate. There are many job boards these days that allow you to place an ad for free, use the power of social media, and what I believe to be the best form of recruitment – internal staff members.
4. Hire on attitude not skill
A key ingredient in hiring quality sales staff is to hire on attitude not skill. Someone could be the best sales person in the world on paper but their attitude might not be right for the current role. Generally it is very hard to change someone’s attitude.
5. Invest in your staff
Encourage every member of the sales team to read a book on sales each month. Purchase the book for them and let them know that you want to help them grow and become as good as they can be in sales. After being in sales for over 12 years, I can tell you first hand that it’s not always about money when it comes to sales people, growth and job satisfaction play a major role.
6. Create consistent challenges
One thing sales people love is a good old challenge. If they come to work every day and it is the same old thing then soon or later they will get bored and start looking elsewhere. Think of new challenges and sales targets you can create every month that are going to stretch their comfort zone.
7. Find out what the salesperson wants
You need to find out what each individual sales staff is looking for by working in your business. Too many times I have asked sales manager/business owners what their team members look for in their role within the organisation and 90% of the time they tell me what they think rather than what their staff members think.
Don’t assume, ask!!
By implementing the above seven steps on a consistent basis you will start to notice increase of sales, staff satisfaction and, most importantly, growth in sales revenue so that you spend more time working on growing the business instead of being stuck in the business.
Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory Pty Ltd www.RIDC.com.au