Doing More With Less: A 6-Step Plan for Sales Effectiveness

I like to revisit ideas that I’ve addressed in the past to see how well they resonate today.  Business effectiveness and managing resources in what continues to be a tough economic environment jumped out as particularly timely. 

At year’s end, companies usually halt hiring, but, of course, business must go on.  Wise management of resources—financial and personnel—is critical to business growth.

Here are 6 steps to help you develop your growth plans for the year ahead:

1.  Assess and evaluate your written sales and marketing plans to see what strategies and tactics brought the most success and how these can be leveraged in the future.  Be sure to have this outlined on paper and revisit often.

2.  Reevaluate priorities to determine what has worked and is still working.   Where do you need to redirect and refocus in the most profitable ways going forward?

3.  Maximize your sales and marketing spending

  • You need visibility to grow, so keep your budgets robust, while also improving efficiencies.
  • Use social networking as a low-cost way to stay in touch with key contacts and maintain your industry presence.
  •  Tap into LinkedIn and Facebook. We used LinkedIn to accelerate the sales process for two new clients. (Opus Partners is featured in an article in December 2008’s New York Enterprise Report http://nyreport.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=288)
  • Commit one half-hour daily to these activities. They are easy ways to touch customers, prospects and clients, and they help your company stay top-of-mind.

4.   Assess your team to see if you have the right people in the right positions.  Consider adjustments to maximize employee effectiveness.  Take a look at underperformers to determine if you can improve their performance.  Remember, in a tight economy, the pool of qualified job seekers is greater.

5.  Listen to your clients

  • What are your clients’ concerns and how can you better tailor your solution to meet new customer needs?
  • How else can you add value?  Consider opportunities to give referrals and make connections to possible prospects. Your clients will remember these actions long after the current crisis ends.

 6.  Manage your sales pipeline.  To make the most of your resources, it’s important to qualify prospects and focus on those most likely to value your services and products. Quickly disengage from those that do not meet your prospect profile.

These are just a few pointers to consider as you prepare for 2010—less than 2 months away.  Cheers!

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