When one of our clients asks us to work with their sales team on revenue growth, we first conduct some interviews of the sales people and ask, “What do you need to do your job better?” they usually answer with one of these two responses:
“More aggressive pricing” and “More new leads”
The first answer makes my blood boil because EVERY lazy salesperson thinks that if the price was lower, he/she could sell more. Which is another way of saying, “If we lowered the price, I wouldn’t have to establish or demonstrate the value.”
So, let’s just say that the first request is almost never the right option (and that probably explains why we’re “on the case” to begin with).
The second response is not a whole lot better.
Note – you should ALWAYS be prospecting and looking for new leads. However, finding or generating fresh new leads is an expensive and time-consuming process. It requires a dance with an ensemble of efforts and costs: marketing, email, calling, campaigns, advertisements, lists, measurements, et cetera.
Keep prospecting but look for those intensive areas to strategically focus your time, efforts, and investments that have potentially higher conversion points at less time and cost:
3 Alternative Ways to Strategically Increase Revenue:
Ask for Referrals – are you asking your happy, satisfied and appreciative customers for referrals? If you aren’t asking because you’re not sure if they’re happy, satisfied or appreciative . . . well, then that’s a whole other issue. Both sales people and business owners are largely guilty of not asking for referrals.
No matter what your industry you’re in, your customers have connections, colleagues, and influence. Have a conversation with them about why they value working with you and ask for introductions and connections. They’ll feel important and even more appreciated and you can deepen your trust by making them look great to the referral.
Improve Lead to Conversion Rate – Instead of trying to round up more prospects and generate leads, what if you focused on truly understanding the needs of those that are engaged with you and your company. Being intentional and specific with your selling messages, speaking directly to the heart of the problems, and empathizing deeply with your customers can increase both the leads that are drawn to you as well as closer rate from lead to customer.
Show your prospective customers that you understand more than YOUR product or your business, but that you understand how their business operates, what competitive forces they face, how they generate revenue, and you reflect their reality and the context within which they would work with you or your solution.
Be the best at demonstrating how well you understand your customers and speak very specifically to them and you will increase your conversion of leads to customers.
Retaining/Upselling – Not only are your existing clients are an excellent referral source but you must nurture and continue selling to them even after they’ve climbed on board with you. Happy customers are repeat customers – both in recurring purchases but also in add-on or up sell opportunities.
That statistic is probably on the low side of annual business churn. Regardless of how awesome you are, you are going to lose customers, but what if you could reduce the number of customers you lose – retain and even grow their business?
It’s much more expensive to pursue and convert new customers than it is to keep existing customers. Do more than “check in” to see how they’re doing. Make sure they’re maximizing the use of your product, that they understand all the value and benefits that you provide and that they know all parts of your team working for them. If they have a contract, get ahead of any renewals before your competitors start weaving their threads into your clients’ organization. Go deeper into your existing clients’ organizations and discover new connections, make new relationships and you’ll probably find new opportunities to serve them.
Again, we cannot reinforce how important it is to have strong prospecting habits. However, get good, get serious, and get strategic with these three ways to increase revenue. You’ll work smarter, not harder, and best of all, more profitable.
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!