This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.
How’s your business? What are some of the key indicators you look at to gauge whether you’re on the right track or not? This subject came up when I was thinking of a cousin of mine that operates a small restaurant. It’s a small-town local eatery, the kind of place where everyone knows everyone (I know, sounds like a famous bar in Boston). Anyway, one of the things that she does at the end of every day is to count the receipts — how’d they do? Now, they’ve been doing this for a long time and have good instincts as to whether it was a good day or good week, but they still count the money and look to see what people ordered, and what they didn’t order. In other words, what went well and what didn’t.
If you’re in sales, how can you run your accounts and sales efforts like a business? Some of the key indicators to start with should be the obvious ones — what were your opportunities and what did you sell? Did you make any money today? What were your goals for today and for this week and how well did you accomplish them? Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. And count your receipts!
So what else should you look at? Staying with the numbers, I’d go with what your anticipated sales are for the month and how it compares to your budget. Did you get any new customers this week? Any referrals or testimonials? Did you ask for any? What does your sales pipeline look like? Are you calling on enough existing and new clients so that you’ll have a shot of meeting or exceeding your budgets and personal goals?
Another key metric is how well you are managing your most precious commodity – your time. Not only are you watching what you do each day and compare that to your anticipated results, but you’re also looking ahead. You should be trying to fill next week’s schedule this week. Yes, things will change and meetings will get blown off, and that important client may call and say “I NEED YOU HERE RIGHT NOW.” If that occurs, the worst that can happen is that you need to reschedule a few things. That’s called a high-class problem. The catch is, if that client hadn’t called to say they need you, what were you going to do during that time?
Managing your sales like a business won’t guarantee home runs, you’ll have to earn those. But what it might get you is enough at-bats to at least have a chance of reaching your goals. If you have any thoughts on this post, or would like to share what’s going on in your world, please get in touch with me or leave a comment below. Good luck, let me know how you’re doing, and keep swinging for the fences.
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.