In almost 20 years of consulting, coaching and working with businesses of all shapes and sizes I have yet to meet a business owner who said they didn’t want to sell more.
It’s a universal goal, everyone wants to sell more. Usually when we reverse engineer their sales formula, they have one or two of three key problems. There is a fourth issue but that’s not usually identified as an area a business can do much about.
Understanding these three issues helps an Owner or Sales Manager understand where to put their efforts and direct resource.
There’s no point in advertising a lot if your conversion rate is low. Equally it’s pointless to increase your average sale if you don’t have enough leads.
For each of these three issues there are strategies to counter them. It’s actually easier than you’d expect but it starts with understanding what fight you’re trying to win.
The issues are:
- Lack of leads (this is a marketing issue)
- Low conversion rate (this is sales technique or process problem)
- Low average sale (again this is a sales issue)
- Low frequency of purchase (this is usually a derivative of the industry or product but can also be an average sale issue).
So rather than starting with “I need to grow my sales” a business owner can start with “I need more leads”, “I need to improve my conversion rate” or “my average sale value needs work”.
Understanding the difference in these statements is critical to making significant gains in a short period of time.
A long-term client of mine (9+ years) has a conversion rate in the 90’s, when we first started working together they indicated that they just needed to ‘grow sales’ and left it there.
After a bit of research we found their conversion was in the mid 40’s.
We broke down their sales formula and figured that actually they have a lot of leads, their average sale was pretty much where it needed to be (although we have since grown it) it was just their conversion rate was awful.
So we changed it.
We spent a considerable period of time refining the sales process, upskilling their team on sales techniques, reworked their quote presentation and almost like magic their conversion rate started improving.
Now it’s untouchable, their best competitor languishes in the 50’s.
They do less work and make more (their average sale is higher than it’s ever been too).
For a lot of businesses Christmas is a very profitable period of time and there is a lot of business done; but I wonder how much money is left on the table