If you are struggling to increase sales revenue, you may think the answer is just to get more sales, or maybe the answer is to sell more. However, as a sales consultant and coach, I can tell you that getting more sales isn’t always the answer. Most of the time sales are the focus of declining profits, but it is important to be able to identify when the problem really is sales – and when it isn’t.
When Sales are not the Problem
Let me share with you a story about a client. Recently, this client and I sat down and looked at his business. It was going well, but not great. It seemed like every time he would turn the sales corner, something would push him back. It didn’t take long to see that it wasn’t his sales efforts that were impeding his success; it was his team’s inability to deliver his company’s services. He had some employees who were very nice people, but who were just not for the right fit to provide his company’s type of service. When we fixed that part of his business, we could more readily focus on the business of his sales. His company has grown more than 30 percent in the last year. Needless to say, he’s ecstatic.
So how do you know when you’ve got a legitimate sales problem or when your problem might be somewhere else? There are some tell-tell signs you can look for.
How to Know When the Problem is Not Sales
- Actual sales figures are up, but profits aren’t
- Referrals are drying up
- Clients don’t return from one year to the next
- New clients come but they don’t stay
- The amount of sales is decreasing
Any or all of these can indicate that something is amiss somewhere else in the customer delivery system. Like it or not, if you are in sales, you are also in the business of customer service. After all, if your customer doesn’t come back because they aren’t happy with the customer service, it’s the sales person that usually ends up paying the price.
Checkup on Your New Customers
One way you can keep a pulse on customer satisfaction is to build a ‘checkup’ into your sales system with new customers. You might check in with the new customer at 30 days and again at 120 days and see if they are satisfied with their entire experience with your company. Don’t let too much time pass between you and your hard-earned customer. It’s you they trust so be sure to cultivate that relationship.
Entrepreneurs who wear both a sales hat and customer service hat will understand that there’s more than signing contracts. The signed contract is when the real work begins of keeping that client for life!
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