“Dare to be….have a sales process”

Despite the importance of the sales function and the enormous cost of employing and managing a sales team, from my observations of working with 00’s of companies and 00’s of sales people over the years too many companies “allow” their selling activity to be undertaken in a haphazard way. Selling is often handled differently by each individual salesperson, sales meetings are often based upon what individuals are comfortable “selling” and constructed around a one-sided regurgitation of product features and benefits. Not surprisingly results are often hit or miss and owners/directors often become frustrated at the lack of sales success.

If you’re running a business (or a sales team) you shouldn’t rely on the “naturally gifted” – instead make sure that your sales team is using a proven sales process/methodology that works for a wide spectrum of people. Your sales team should have a “common language” that will enable everyone to discuss sales activities in a uniform manner and undertake the key sales skills (questioning, listening, rapport building, product presentation etc.) to best effect.

“Dare to be….Key Account Management Essentials”

What I want to look at in this article is to focus on the specific role of Key Account Management.

For most businesses 80% of revenue comes from 20% of their customers so it is vitally important that you identify who these top 20% customers are. My first recommendation is for you to VERBALLY ask your sales, marketing, production, accounts and admin teams to identify who they think are your most important customers. I suggest verbally because you want to get at their instinctive understanding of who they think is important not to do some research and come back after detailed analysis………….I think you’ll be surprised at the answers that they give!

“Dare to be….and hold people to account”

One of the most common problems that I regularly discuss with my clients is the perceived lack of accountability in their employees. Business leaders are very often frustrated at their inability to get people to do what needs to be done quickly with a greater level drive and determination.

Business leaders talk about wanting to establish a high performance culture where people accept responsibility for achieving goals but are constantly frustrated at the lack of progress despite spending significant amounts of money on training and people development.

They believe that they have good understanding of what needs to be done to achieve business success yet implementation and execution of agreed actions is often very poor. Employees let them down; don’t meet the goals set; miss deadlines; don’t focus sufficiently on achieving the agreed objectives; pay lip service to improvement plans; continue to do the same things they’ve always done or like doing rather than what is needed.

In simple terms they have a business with a culture that accepts mediocrity as the norm reinforced by a lack of personal accountability.

Too Busy To Write A Business Plan? Create It On One Page Instead

Every organisation should have a good, solid business plan. A well-structured business plan shows where you are now, what you intend to accomplish and how you plan to do it. However, the problem with most traditional business plans is that for the most part they just gather dust because they are often seen as too wordy, daunting to read, difficult to appreciate the nuances of phrasing and often lack connectivity.

“Dare to be….An Olympian.” 15 attributes Olympians have that business leaders should learn from.

Inspired by the London 2012 Olympics, we identified 15 attributes that contributed to the success of some athletes. Look at this PDF and see if your business would get a podium finish or would you need to do a lot more work and training?

Dysfunctional Team or a High Performance Team – It’s Your Choice!

“If you can get all the people in an organisation rowing in the same direction, working as a team you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”

Most business owners, directors, leaders and managers I work with are very keen to improve the effectiveness of their team working. Most will “buy-in” to the Patrick Lencioni quotation above, but few have the knowledge, experience or framework to achieve such a desirable outcome.

If you want to know if your team is dysfunctional please click here to find out more and to answer a few questions that can help you decide whether you’re happy to carry on with “your choice” of team.

Answer the questions for each section. If your answers are predominantly “never”; “rarely” or “sometimes” then you should consider giving me a call to discuss what can be done to improve things:

“Dare to be….IP aware”

From my experience of working with many businesses IP is a subject that is often misunderstood, undervalued and frequently neglected by many business owners and directors. It is often considered to be a legal issue and not a commercial one that is potentially worth more than the traditional physical assets of a company.

“If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brand, and I would fare better than you.” John Stuart, former CEO of Quaker Oats

I urge all of you to visit the following link and undertake the IP health check that is available free of charge on the IPO website – http://www.ipo.gov.uk/whyuse/business/iphealthcheck.htm – alternatively give me a ring and we can arrange a meeting to discuss the matter of IP on a one to one basis.

“Dare to be….engaged!”

How do you think your employees would respond to the 12 questions in this article to? If they predominantly answer “strongly agree” or “agree” then you probably don’t need to read much further – you’re already in the top 30% of British companies and are probably performing extremely well. However, if they predominantly answer “disagree” or “strongly disagree” then you should consider developing a plan of action to improve employee engagement.

Engaged employees deliver improved business performance. CIPD research has repeatedly demonstrated the links between employee engagement and overall business performance.