You don’t have to wait for the New Year to make resolutions. If you’re like 99% of the population, making the list is as far as you’ll get. It’s lucky we don’t treat our businesses like we do our personal resolutions, because we’d soon suffer the consequences.
One of the key elements of continued success is reviewing how we do what we do and improving the things that need it. This takes energy and courage. It’s always easier to keep calm and carry on, hoping that things will right themselves. Unfortunately, most times, they don’t. What works one year, probably won’t be quite right the next year, just like adjusting sales targets isn’t as simple as adding a random % to last years figures.
As the world changes so does the businesses environment. Technology enables us to do things faster, be more efficient and more informed, but don’t forget, this applies to our customers and competitors too. The better informed they are, the better we need to be. So how will we ever stay ahead of the game?
It’s not rocket science and more knowledge for our customers is a good thing. More informed customers will have done a lot of research and will know what they want and how they want it provided to them. Whatever they know, whatever they’ve found out, their knowledge will never be as extensive as professionals working in any industry. Their expectations will be high and our challenge is to listen to them and satisfy what they want and wow them with our additional expert knowledge that they can’t get from the internet.
Doesn’t sound easy? Actually, it is and it comes back to reviewing and improving your process. If you haven’t reviewed your sales process for a while or your sales team have free reign as long as they hit their targets, it might be worth taking a long hard look at this way of working. Deconstruct the typical process of your top performers. What is it about what they do that is winning them more business and retaining more customers? Once you’re happy that it’s a repeatable, measurable process, document it and roll it out to the entire sales team.
A good sales team will gather competitor information and share it, everyone will benefit in a culture that rewards collaboration. You want your sales team to be competitive but the value in competition is not pitching them against each other, but rewarding them to beat the competition together.
It’s easy to be complacent in business and often it’s only when sales stagnate or start to dip that a hasty review is undertaken, the trick is not to wait. Your business is at risk if a top performer leaves, especially if they go to work for a competitor. Your average achievers will be missing opportunities to learn from their peers. The company will miss out on combined knowledge and collaboration to feed success.
Combat this by doing regular reviews, analyse your data, understand what it means and keep monitoring the market. If pride comes before a fall, complacency is pride’s cousin and both have no place in a thriving business. Whatever you do, you can be more informed and do it better, faster, more easily. Continuous review, continuous improvement will ensure you are ahead of the game and your company will be the one to beat in your industry.
Don’t put it off, hit the ground running this year and be the best you can be!