race leader

Published: May 5th, 2017

This column is the first of two parts from Colleen Francis. Look for part two in a future edition of CDN Now newsletter

Improving the revenue-generating capacity of your business hinges on accelerated sales. The more you sell in less time, the faster you grow.

The secret to achieving this: build your own inside track for sales. Create your own advantages, working within the budget you have in front of you.

Over the next two articles, we’ll review the six key steps to achieving this success…

  1. Be shrewd in identifying best opportunities

Golden opportunities take discipline to recognize and act on. It’s not luck. Organizations that fail to meet growth targets do so because they waste time chasing the wrong prospects and the wrong deals. That comes from having a mindset limited to just solving present-day problems.

Your best opportunities are future focused. Companies that are agile enough to identify and map out future opportunities grow faster, because they’re able to seize market share before the competition realizes it’s even there.

Look at Salesforce.com: they became the dominant CRM in the market today because they were among the first to correctly understand the role and value of web-based services for teams of people spread out across a large territory.

While competitors were overly preoccupied with reinforcing their existing services—ones that hinged on syncing a client and a server—Salesforce powered ahead with cloud-based services, offering an all-new way of looking at CRM services. Customers loved the new approach—especially the ability to see information in real time—and Salesforce zoomed past their competitors.

  1. Apply the right route to market

Decide what your structure needs to be to serve the future opportunities that you’re going to pursue. Companies who overlook this step get stuck because they try to make their current structure perform differently to meet those future goals and opportunities.

Instead, plan the channels you’re going to use on the road ahead. Will it be a direct field team? Inside sales? A reseller channel? Choose now. It will determine the marketing support you’ll provide and the profitability you can expect from each channel.

  1. Assess whether you have the right people in the right role

I see companies struggle with this step all the time. They want me to help them grow, but they’re entrenched in keeping the status quo intact as far as staffing is concerned. They don’t have growth-minded people in growth roles, and they get frustrated rather than make changes to get better results.

Those who do say yes to a growth mindset embrace the three Rs of staffing: retrain, replace or reassign. This is crucial. When you do this, you create roles for your future needs—not the present. You assess people based on the requirements you’ll need moving forward—not what you needed last quarter.

Therefore, get the structure right and match it with the right talent. For example, a large software client of ours discovered their best future opportunities were in pursuing the franchised restaurant market. Working with them, we identified the best channel to market was with a direct field team selling to prospect’s headquarters staff. This also meant having to activate each individual franchise location using inside sales.

Pick the right structure and choose the right people. Not only did this result in a boost to activations, it did so at 50 per cent less sales cost, because there was no longer expensive travel and salaries for pay for.

Look for our next article for the last three steps…

Colleen Francis has been a successful sales leader for over 20 years. She is the author of Nonstop Sales Boom, and is recognized as a top tier sales consultant. She understands the challenges of selling in today’s market and that business leaders can no longer rely on approaches to sales based on techniques from decades ago. In this blog series she will share her experiences and predictions as she looks towards the evolving sales landscape.