This blog originally published in Printing Impressions
Are you a printer that uses technology to make the magic happen, or a technology company that happens to put ink on paper? You could argue semantics, but I don’t think so. This goes to the heart and soul of your business and at its core, defines who you are and why you matter to your customers. So, why is this important in a blog that is talking about your sales approach? It’s important because it forms the basis of the type of work you do, the range of clientele that you’ll be interested in, and the way you go to market.
I have clients that are experiencing significant growth rates from last year to this year – coming from both sides of this equation. Different markets, different opportunities. So one is not necessarily better than the other, but they are different. And if you are not clear on which you are, or aspire to be, then your sales effort will leave you underwhelmed.
Your market has changed. Your customers have changed.
Can you say the same about your sales efforts?
Several years ago I wrote, How CEOs Can Transform the Sales Process, to underline the need for top management, the CEO, to lead in the sales transformation of the business. This whitepaper outlined that the business landscape was evolving at an unprecedented rate, but with change comes opportunity. The potential now lies in the ability and desire of the management team to refocus the direction of the sales organization (plus client and sales support areas) to better align with company, goals, and marketplace expectations. The business landscape and the opportunities continue to evolve today and those that are reaping the rewards are successfully aligning their go to market strategy with their view of who they are and why they matter.
How are you doing? If you’re not happy with your results, there are three main areas that I would encourage you to look at.
- Evaluate your present situation
- Current and future customers
- Sales team
- Value proposition
- What does your playbook look like
- Your go to market plan
- Client onboarding – make it easy for them to say yes
- Lead generation – how are you making the phone ring
- How’s your execution – going from plan to process
- Your sales process for customer retention and acquisition
- Building your sales team – hiring, coaching and accountability
- Your markets – which lane(s) will you dominate
Don’t be satisfied. Even if you are crushing it right now, keep your eyes open for changes that are coming, and for changes that you want to introduce into the selling landscape. As a leader, you’ll be looking to anticipate that next big opportunity and have your team ready to capture the results you deserve. Good luck and keep at it.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.