Eliminating Sales Peaks and Valleys
Ideas in this posting will help you: Make Money
Life in business is sooooo good when sales are happening. Why though does it seem that sales – and the precious revenue that they generate – often comes in peaks of activity and valley’s of inactivity? Let’s look at why this happens, and how to avoid it.
I was speaking to a colleague of mine the other day, a successful consultant with a thriving practice. He is well regarded and published regularly in one of the country’s largest newspapers. I was surprised to learn that his practice suffered from revenue peaks and valleys. How could this be?
Anyone with a revenue generation responsibility has seen this cycle before. Sales pick up, and things are great. So great in fact that the development of ‘net new’ business falls by the wayside as the intricacies of closing and implementing existing sales commands more and more time. Before you know it those deals have closed, and precious few new sales opportunities are behind them. Sales have peaked and you are now on a rocket ride down into a valley. This is a four ticket ride, but it sure isn’t any fun! How do you avoid this unpleasant journey?
Here are a few ways you and your team can solve the revenue peaks and valleys cycle:
Don’t stop selling. Ever
The jazz for most salespeople is in closing deals, full of high fives, adrenaline, and dollar signs. Prospecting, not so much. Ensure to book – and honour – an appointment with yourself every week for business development work. Even when at your busiest closing and implementing deals, set aside at least 10% of your work week for finding new sales opportunities. Keeping this appointment with yourself will ensure your sales follow a steady, rather than peaks and valleys, trajectory.
Watch your sales activity dashboard
Sometimes you don’t realize you are entering a revenue valley until you are in it. Do your best to predict your sales future by keeping an eye on the level of business development activity of you and your sales team. When activity levels of those things that cause sales to happen – prospecting phone calls, face to face sales calls, proposals presented – fall, you can bet that a few weeks or months later sales revenue will follow. Keep a keen eye on your dashboard. If you don’t have a dashboard, create one. Encourage and reward those on your team who maintain their business development focus in busy times. Remind those that don’t to book and keep that regular business development appointment.
Employ the ‘Mid-deal Next deal’ Strategy
The best place to develop new business is with existing customers who know and like you. The best time to sow those seeds is when implementing on an existing project or sale with them as you are already actively engaged with key decision makers and implementers. Use this opportunity to identify new ways you can help them related to the work you are currently doing. Developing new business ‘mid-deal’ rather than waiting until the end will set up the ‘next deal’ to close much sooner and shorten or eliminate a revenue valley.
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