From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Sustainable Growth Now

You may have to print out this issue, its several resource-packed pages to help you create sustainable growth with the sale and marketing people you already have. If you do anything with today's lesson, I recommend answering each question provided on a separate sheet of paper. I guarantee ...

If after reading this issue, you don't have at least 10 ways you can improve your selling efforts with the sales and marketing people you already have I'll take as long as necessary to work with you on the phone because you need help. The call will be on my dime, plus I'll give you everything I offer with a paid consultation.

Making the most of the sales and marketing resources you have is critical for success with business relationships!

It's sad that many business to business industrial services firms think they need something from the outside to make sales grow and profits soar. Sure, a little motivation to spark a new idea is fine, but most often you already have all the resources you need.

Everything in today's lesson builds on what you learned in the last lesson about what your customer relations group should do to generate sales and profits. Together these insights help you get closer to buyers , while retaining the customers you already have. However, if I missed anything, I invite you to ask your questions.

In the next lesson, you'll learn how to be the leader every sales team wants to follow and that selling professionals are motivated to please. Imagine your team really pumped up about selling, excited to share the good message about your solutions, and more connected with what your company has to offer.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Ps. If you haven't heard this months audio supplement, you'll find it in the members area by visiting the "Getting More From The Selling Resources You Already Have" tutorial. It covers additional areas to improve that gets you produce a sustainable growth rate with the sale and marketing resources you already have.

Creating Sustainable Growth With The Sales And Marketing People You Already Have

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

You have the right people, the right resources, and everything else you need right now to create sustainable growth rate today. The problem is that most sales and marketing managers are so busy with daily fires; they don't have the time to properly align these resources for the results they desire.

Here's a shortcut guide to sales and marketing productivity, plus questions to ask to get results now with the team you already have:

How Are You Focusing On Strengths?

Every team has weaknesses, and with those weaknesses come certain strengths. Since it's easier to use what you have, start with the strengths your team already possesses. Yes, work to eliminate weaknesses, but make the best use of what you have.

The reason this is so critical is because you need results now, not when your weaknesses are gone. Lazy, unproductive sales and marketing managers ponder their team's weaknesses instead of making the most of what they can do well. What kind of manager are you?

How Are You Selling What You Deliver Best?

Nothing is worse for a sale person's morale as selling something that can't be satisfactorily delivered by service departments. Before selling the "latest and greatest" try selling those proven solutions your customers are already buying.

You don't have to be the best, just a little better than other options in your market place. Business to business customers want reliable solutions, especially in the industrial world where so much is at stake. Don't experiment on customers, 90% of your selling effort must be on proven winners to maximum your selling efforts.

How Do You Utilize A Single Pool Of Contact Information?

This is the #2 mistake of customer relationship management software (right after not understanding your selling process). It's just not good enough to have the same names across your sales team, but across all areas of your business including accounting, fulfillment, and customer service.

Why do you need a big picture of what's going on with every contact? As a manager it gives you better metrics on selling efforts, but as a company it provides a clear measure of progress at each customer interaction point. This starts with an integrated selling system -- including basic access at each customer interaction point.

How Are You Cross Selling Customers Into Other Lines?

With a single pool of contact information, you will also details about what customers have purchased. More importantly, you'll be able to derive what they haven't bought. Even if you just have two one product lines (or services) you can double selling opportunities.

That means, 100 customers is 200 selling opportunities, with 3 lines it's 300. As you focus more on the buyer, less on what you offer, you'll find you can expand your core solutions to allow customers to get more of what they need from you. A warning here: don't diversify too much, business to business customers want to buy from specialists.

How Are Your Selling Efforts Developing Controls And Scripts?

Your best sales people and marketing tools are to be modeled then tested against. By looking for best practices in what you already do, you bring lesser performing sales people to par while creating additional materials that support the selling process.

Most business to business service firms don't have formal training programs to improve skills of sales and marketing professionals. While it is somewhat the individual's responsibility, it never hurts to standardize selling efforts around known working practices. Just don't make the mistake of staying solely instead "what your market does" or "what you've always done" be sure to test against known winners from other industries.

How Are You Tracking And Measuring Performance?

Every great sales person knows how many calls they need to make today to produce one sale and how many sales are necessary to reach the commission levels they desire. This same thing goes true for your entire company. By measuring and tracking performance, you can go back to what you know really works.

If you are already tracking performance and have a selling team large enough, then segment / split practices across groups. Get a few marketing and sales professions teamed up to compete against another group of the same. This invites creative competition since performance measures make it easy to determine what works. You'll be surprised how this can boost selling efforts.

How Have You Optimized Incoming Communications For Lead Capture?

Today you've had 20 or so interactions that could have provided the information necessary to initiate a selling opportunity. Unfortunately, most industrial business to business firms have very little lead capturing at customer interaction points. This doesn't have to be fancy, at least capture name, address, and phone number of every inquiry.

If you're not generating leads from incoming calls, letters, and association involvement, you could be missing out on a 10 to 20 percent increase in revenue. But this means getting administrative support involved in recording these details for even the most mundane inquiry, and for sale and marketing teams to follow up to further qualify each call.

You already have the right sales and marketing people to drive your company towards profits, it's only a matter of properly aligning your existing resources for maximum results. While this isn't a complete treatment on the subject, it can get you started today. What are 10 ways you can improve your existing team right now? Take action today.

© 2006 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
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