The important number
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What is sales, or more accurately, what is the important number for a small business. It is actually revenue.
In a small (3-12 people) business, there is a common view within the team that only the sales person (generally the CEO or founder) can influence sales. I'd argue this is untrue.
Firstly what is sales, or more accurately, what is the important number for a small business? It is actually revenue. Sales is a major contributor to revenue but it's not the only one. Monthly revenue is the thing that pays for monthly costs. And if it's higher than costs, then generally that means profit. And profit means that there is potential for higher salaries.
So the first place to start is with protecting the revenue you do have. This means:
- Doing an exceptional job for the customers you already have.
- Building relationships with your customers
- Ensuring your products or services stay relevant to the needs of your customers
- Saying thank you
Secondly, your existing customers are the first place you should be looking for additional revenue. Asking questions such as:
- What could we do for you that we don't currently?
- Would you be interested in some of our other products?
- If we developed a new product just for you, what would it be?
Third, referrals. Assuming you've done 1 and 2 above, you should have a customer base packed with people ready to sign your praises. And all of these customers know new customers for you. But you do have to ask. When you get this right, you get new customers coming to your door ready to pay whatever the price is to get your service.
Moving on to the sales person. Generally, this role is filled by the CEO or founder in smaller businesses. And this, typically, is not his or her only job. They have to run the business, look after the people and also, some of the time, do the work. All of these take time away from the important job of sales.
So his is the other area that your team can influence sales - by taking responsibility for as much as possible and freeing the sales person to focus 100% on generating new relationships, conversations and sales.
It's not just sales people that influence sales. It's everyone in your team. And it's crucial that they all understand this.