7 CRUCIAL Steps to Ensure Your Business Thrives in the Recovery
The Importance of Your Sales Team in Your Business:
After the fantastic news that Britain is now officially out of recession we have put together 7 crucial steps to ensure your business thrives and moves forward in the coming months and beyond. This includes specific relevant issues relating to arguably the most important division of your business, your Sales team.
1. Reassess your market place and competitors
Are your competitors still in operation? Are they still doing what they have always done? It is likely that previously ‘well-catered-for’ sales prospects are now in need of your product or services.
Take advantage of marginal shifts in your market and readjust your sales strategy to ensure you’re not missing opportunities that could prove profitable in the financial upturn.
Monitor industry specific news and figures that point towards opportunities for your business. Savvy business professionals will notice trends and take action.
2. Fire up your team!
After a sombre 18 months in many companies business owners may notice a shift in their employees approach to their work. Where previously they felt ‘lucky’ for having a job at all, the loyalty of some employees may already be dwindling…
Based upon extensive research in our recent sales survey* - here’s how to keep them:
Identify what you’re doing well and what you’re not- could you or your teams members benefit from brushing up on your specialist area? Identify any gaps in knowledge and fix them.
Train your team to do more and to do what they do, better. You will notice a fresh and lively enthusiasm amongst your employees and you will receive the added benefit of your team members throwing themselves into their role. Great sales employees don’t hang around for long so give them a reason to stay!
Invest in creative endeavours. Innovation is what sets you apart in a highly competitive industry such as sales so don’t be afraid to go a bit ‘leftfield’.
Engage your employees- any resistance to change within the business can be tempered by including all team members in discussions on current and future plans. Ensure your business has solid direction and that this is well communicated to all of your team members. Update them regularly on change so there are no ‘nasty surprises’
*To receive a FREE online copy of this survey please go to: www.survey2009.info
3. Build Optimism and plan!
Writing down your goals will mean you are more likely to achieve them. However, writing down goals will also create optimism- when you know where you’re going, getting there seems a lot easier...
Sales professionals are by nature, driven by targets and goals so having clearly defined objectives is vital in creating a powerful team that produce results.
Examine potential risks in your business- what is likely to cause your finance and reputation to be compromised? How can you limit any damage or avoid it completely...Create Long and short term goals.
Measure your progress and the progress of your sales employees towards their goals. Make sure you know when you are achieving what you’ve set out to do and when you’re not. Positive statistics will also get you noticed.
4. Maintain Spending Control
The past year and a half has seen most businesses re-evaluate the amount of money they are spending on their company and where that money was being directed. This focus on cost cutting is likely to have been a life saver for many companies and it is also likely that you will need to remain vigilant about how and where your money is being spent.
Review and compare your current products and services and providers with that of their competitors- make sure you are getting the best deal, however, don’t be tempted to compromise on quality as this will cost you more in the long run and could impact relationships with customers, service delivery and over all company growth.
5. Maintain Active Credit and Cash flow Control
Ensure that your credit control systems are robust and set up a system for collecting payment within terms from clients. Having an effective credit control process can be cheaper and more beneficial than invoice factoring and bank overdrafts.
Ensure you carry out credit checks on every client you supply and strictly adhere to the information it recommends. If a potential client fails your credit check process don’t be afraid to ask for immediate or credit card payment. Use incentives to pay on time to provide a win-win situation for both you and your clients.
Communicate openly and honestly and ensure every effort is made to solve problems with your debtors amicably.
Know where you are with your cash-flow and draw up a detailed forecast that will provide you with specific information on income and expenditure. For more information read our 60 great tips for credit and cash control
6. Employ new Sales stars
If you are like most business owners you may have a few less employees than pre 2008. If your increase in business warrants it don’t be afraid to start hiring again. As the economy begins to get moving, there will undoubtedly be gaps and opportunities in the business that can be filled by a new employee.
Recruiting just one great sales professional will have a massive impact on your business. Decide on where and why you need them, how many you need to increase your team by and ensure you have a clear recruitment strategy for finding the best person for the roles. Don’t be afraid to outsource your recruitment efforts if hiring has become a priority for you in 2010 as processing, interviewing and re-interviewing can often prove time consuming and ineffective. Think of the lost opportunities and wasted time if recruitment ‘recession turnaround’.
Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment provides Sales professionals to a number of verticals and would be happy to discuss how we can assist in finding the right person for your business. Discover more about our unique recruitment service backed by a 12 month rebate scheme at www.aaronwallis.co.uk/employer_client.php
7. Invest in Marketing
Don’t be afraid to invest in Marketing to support and enable your Sales efforts. Top businesses are already doing this and using a combination of new and traditional methods of getting their message across to their market.
Marketing, when carried out properly can raise the profile of a business considerably and is vital in setting you apart from your competition.
If you have minimised your Marketing endeavours over the past 18 months perhaps now is a good time to kick-start this area of your business again but most importantly test and measure these new endeavours to ensure you are not throwing money away.
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Now we’re officially out of the recession, savvy business owners are already implementing many of the ‘7 crucial steps’, however if your business is not firing on all cylinders yet it may be time to take a look at how you can increase morale, generate more business or hire new employees in a more positive 2010.
Good luck to you and your business as the UK continues to rise out of recession!