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

The Next Level

How is your selling team handling the dose of medicine delivered in the last newsletter? Are they now embracing customer satisfaction as part of your company's culture? If they are NOT, then reread and implement last month's lessons -- this newsletter is for results, not contemplation.

Let's move forward to address a major obstacle . . .

With all the promises thrust upon Sales and Marketing Management about the power of Customer Relationship Management software, very few are seeing any worthwhile results. It's not because the software is bad, it's because the software is poorly implemented on roll out.

I go over this critical point in my tool kit "27 Ways to CRM Return on Investment" -- planning for return on investment, and in this case performance improvements, is something that happens before software integration, not retrofitted afterwards.

Many would want me to say it's the vendors fault, but I won't. Some want to blame it on the hype around CRM adoption, but I can't do that either. If you're serious about creating and keeping profitable customers, the only person to blame is yourself.

This is the same attitude you should insist your sales people follow -- no matter what happens you can only change yourself. Unfortunately some behaviors have been with us for so long that we forget how destructive they are, there are even things we know we should do but don't. That's why today's lesson is so important. What is it that you're not doing that is holding your back from moving revenue to the next level?

Stay tuned for the next lesson where I'll show you how to double sales productivity without spending a dollar more in training, this insight can turn your training expense into an investment with huge returns.

Meanwhile, why not invite some of your peers to join this newsletter by asking them to visit -- for a limited time they get a complementary (updated) copy of "101 Strategies for more Profitable Customers" after confirming their subscription. In addition, it won't cost them anything to join!

Happy 4th of July,

Justin Hitt
+1 (276) 254-8747

What You're Not Doing That Keeps You From Moving Revenue To The Next Level

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Are you sadly disappointed that your Customer Relationship Management software, and all those months of planning that didn't do a single thing to grow your revenue? Even worse, you've put out thousands on software that no one really knows how to use. What are you still not doing that is keeping you from moving revenue to the next level?

What would you say if I told you that you already have everything you need to produce the results you desire , and you're just too close to see this potential in an actionable way? It's even possible that people inside your organization have seen these opportunities but didn't speak up -- for what ever reason you're not taking advantage of certain actions that create great results.

Are you making these mistakes? Take this test to see which idea you're not using that keeps you from moving revenue to the next level: (To score: Just jot down the number of each item you are doing. )

  1. Not Knowing What That Next Level Is

    Too many business-to-business firms avoid the foresight necessary to plan, set goals, and design their future achievements. This leaves employees blind to "what's next" and then what's after that. You can't check this "Done" unless you have corporate and group goals posted where everyone sees them -- and they are the core of every planning meeting.

  2. Not Seeking Outside Eyes For Advice

    Are you afraid of what outside experience may reveal about your current ability to create and keep profitable customers? To say you are doing this, you must bring in "outside your industry" professionals, complementary peers from similar sized and larger companies, and your vendors every quarter to look candidly at your operation. Avoid the inbreeding common to "been there, done that" thinking.

  3. Refreshing Flexible Sales Methodology Practiced

    Not every sales person or marketing professional is created equal. Because of this, it's important to create and test a known working selling methodology, then constantly improve on them. Instead, industrial and professional services firms go to extremes with either no sales process, or a rigid process that can't adjust to customer / market behavior. Jot this down as "Done" only if you've measuring and testing your selling process monthly.

  4. Not Measuring Campaign Profits, But Instead Gross

    It doesn't matter how much you make if you're not getting to keep any. The only measure that matters and that will magically unlock revenue growth, is profitable business. After all, its profits you use to expand. So, without four key profit measures, focused specifically on customer attraction and retention, then you can't mark this as done.

It would take a day to talk about other areas, but these are most common. They are mental blocks, internal changes that unlock the potential of your organization to move revenues forward. In this test, you can't score 3 out of 4 to move forward, instead it's like tumblers in a lock -- you must be doing each of these things to take your revenue to the next level.

That's not the pressure of performance that you feel breathing down your neck; it's your competition. It's the heavy weight of disappointment when you achieve less than you know you deserve. What actions are you going to take to pass this final exam in revenue growth?

© 2006 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
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