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The Competitive Advantage

tag: sales management

April 30, 2019

Losing clients? Here’s what to do when that happens…

Admit it… you’re losing clients occasionally. Not a happy topic, but it happens to all of us. The question is ‘why?’

On the surface, there are any number of reasons:

  • You screwed up a project… it hurts, but sometimes it happens.
  • You pi**ed-off a key client contact… not intentionally, but communications can go awry.
  • There was a massive change in the client’s business… e.g. they restructured the division you were working with, they were acquired or maybe they even closed their doors for good.
  • One of your competitors showed up with a “shiny new penny”… a new methodology or a new technology that had a ‘wow’ factor.
  • A new ‘leader’ was hired at the client, bringing his/her own favorite vendors along.
  • The project ended. Not all client work can be recurring or happen on a frequent basis.

Every one of those reasons is real and legitimate, but none are the most common.

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April 16, 2019

Why the Seller-Doer Model is So Challenging

Does your firm subscribe to the seller-doer model for business development? That is, are there leaders and managers in your firm who, in addition to their primary roles, are also tasked with responsibility for revenue growth? If you answered ‘yes,’ then your firm is like the vast majority of others… the seller-doer model is, by far, the most prevalent sales structure in professional services industries like ours.

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April 2, 2019

You Can’t Fully Understand Your Business Without These 3 Sales Reports

All owners and managers look at their sales reports each month. Of course. And the most common top-line measurements are: Revenue this month, Revenue year-to-date (YTD) and Revenue YTD vs. Last YTD. All important information.

But, if my conversations with clients – a lot of them – are any indication, the sales analysis, too often, stops there. And it shouldn’t. There are a few other sales reports – easy to set-up in your accounting software – that will give you deeper insight into what’s really happening in your firm. And once you have a deeper understanding of your business, the more effectively you can plan as you move forward.

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February 19, 2019

11 Smart Marketing & Sales Tactics to Try in 2019

Is it going to be a good year for you and your firm? Kind of hard to say, as this point, isn’t it? But one thing is sure… you can’t just sit back and hope that something good will happen. You need to grab the bull by the horns and make it a great year!

To help get you started down the path of being proactive, here are 11 proven ideas to consider…

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October 6, 2018

Revenue Forecasting for 2019… It Doesn’t Need to Be a Guessing Game!

revenue forecasting It’s getting to be that time of year when you’ll start thinking about and planning for 2019. And one of the first questions you’ll have to answer for your firm is, “What’s our revenue goal for next year?”

Traditionally – and unfortunately – this is answered in one of two ways:

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September 4, 2018

7 Sales Management Lessons for Leading Your Small Sales Team

I just got back from a 3-day visit with a client in the northeast, conducting an audit and assessment of their sales operation – staffing, structure, processes, etc. It was a terrific start to the engagement… and reinforced a number of sales management lessons we all should keep top-of-mind as we go to market with a business development initiative.

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July 24, 2018

5 Ways to Say “No thanks” to a Proposal

Twice in the past few years, I’ve written a blog post about the frustration that I (and all people involved in business development) feel when not hearing back from a potential client after submitting a proposal… a proposal that they requested. I wrote about how any answer – even a ‘no’ – is better than being ignored. With a clear answer… at least I’ll know how to move forward.

Sadly, the practice of ‘responding with silence’ from potential clients continues to this day.

So, on behalf of all small business owners who do the selling, seller-doers and professional salespeople everywhere, I’ve taken the liberty of writing out actual email scripts – based on several different scenarios – that you can use when responding to proposals you don’t want to accept. I hope these help:

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July 3, 2018

The Perfect Sales Commission Plan! Sorry, it doesn’t exist.

But these 10 guidelines can help you get close.

A few weeks ago, I met with the President and Senior Sales Executive for a firm in Dallas. They were looking for an objective assessment of their sales commission plan. Here’s what I told them…

After 30+ years in sales & marketing – and after seeing literally hundreds of different plans in a variety of industries – I can say, with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, that there is no one perfect sales commission structure.

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