“Great content is the best sales tool in the world.” *
Business Consultancy offers both advisory services and consulting services. A consulting engagement includes an wide range of necessary and professional items where time is spent assessing issues as understood by the company’s management team and then providing counsel based on the framework as well as market.
A more comprehensive consulting engagement includes an in-depth information that relies on direct negotiations and meeting with company management, , customers and prospects. Consulting engagements also provide customized recommendations, process and implementation assistance.
“When you have a multi-tiered business effort, the first thing you want to do is understand the market. You want to go out there and map the competitive scape. You want to know what your customers are saying or what they realy want. ” **
Over Seas Import and Export Framework™
Resellers and Channel Partners
Rewards & Recognition
Retention & Referrals
Essential Sales Tools
- Research your market
- Understand your competition and what makes your offering unique
- Build an economic model
- Define your ideal customer profile
- Conduct pilots and select lighthouse accounts
- Be prepared to adjust when necessary
- Remember WIIFT
- Define and refine your elevator pitch
- Broadcast accolades
- Create a call to action
- Leverage digital, social, mobile, and content marketing
- Align sales and marketing
- There are many metrics that can be applied to measure sales activity
- Focus on three of the most fundamental metrics
- Focus on the sales opportunity pipeline
- Increase close rates
- Expand average selling price
- Align sales and marketing
- Revenue recognition
- Internal company alignment
- Suspect identification
- Prospect qualification
- Proposal responses and bid desk
- Contract negotiation
- Closing the sale
- Customer delight after the sale
- Renewals, Up-sell, and Cross-sell
- Focus on important customer outcomes
- Align your resources around customer outcomes
- Use an outcome-based framework
- Ensure that desired customer outcomes are met
- Recognize the importance of customer success teams
- Consider outcome-based pricing
RESELLERS AND CHANNEL PARTNERS
- Establish executive relationships as well as field relationships with ownership and accountability
- Create the initial market presence
- Ensure your agreements are win-win
- Develop lead generation programs
- Create sales tools that keep things simple and differentiated
- Institute deal or lead registration
- Establish clear rules of engagement
- Ensure channel neutrality and manage channel conflict
RETENTION AND REFERRALS
- Provide superior service
- Focus on feedback
- Set up a customer-centric organization
- Create loyalty programs
- Establish internal referral metrics
- Make referrals a component of your qualitative compensation plans
- Make it a daily activity—ASK!
REWARDS & RECOGNITION
- Commission plans that drive the right behavior
- KPIs, SMOs, MBOs to drive specific initiatives
- New account bonuses to emphasize new account wins
- Regular sales or all-hands recognition meetings
- Sales contests to drive specific results
- Annual sales clubs for top performers
- Employee recognition programs
- Solution training
- Skills training
- Coaching and mentoring
ESSENTIAL SALES TOOLS
- Software sales tools
- External sales tools
- Internal sales tools including
- Success stories
- Battle cards
- Qualifying questions
- Sales playbooks
- Owning your success—accountability and dashboards
- Sales and account plans
- Sales reviews
- Weekly forecast reviews
- Inspection and cadence
- Bid desk (big deal reviews)
- Close plan reviews
Now to drill a bit deeper. Are you accelerating sales in the most efficient way in your company? Don’t overlook the fastest path to growing sales – your current customers!
Many companies focus, in some cases exclusively, on new customer acquisition – and that’s essential when you are working in a greenfield territory or market. You have to start first by acquiring new customers – but your focus should be equal to or greater on providing exceptional service and delighting your customers – after the sale! Doing so will lead to the fastest ways to grow your revenues – expansion in existing accounts and referral selling.
The key is to first your customers, no dispute there. But the key is not to move to the next customers without continuing to focus on the customers you just ed. The key is to meet the outcomes that your customers purchased and expect to achieve. The key is to meet those outcomes, resolving the pain they purchased your solution to alleviate, and meeting the KPIs they partnered with you to deliver. It is important to deliver exceptional customer service and customer delight as the foundation of your relationship with your customer.
How much business is being lost due to poor service – billions or trillions?
Those are two incredibly powerful and disparate quotes. The statistics are overwhelming in either case! Excellent customer service is the foundation for additional business. In this new world of subscription-based and cloud-based solutions, social media, always on media, information overload, and lots of competitors all vying for your customer’s business, you must provide exceptional service. The stats alone tell the story.
To expand your profit share, a solid foundation must be built. Excellent customer service is absolutely the bottom line. Once you are delivering exceptional service, you have earned the right to expand your business.
The key to growth is expanding your current base – not only do they have a lower cost of acquisition, they are more likely to buy, and they are more likely to buy more than a new customer!
|E –||Provide Exceptional Service|
|X –||eXpansion Revenue – with White Space Analysis, Up-sell and Cross-sell|
|P –||develop Promotions and Programs|
|A –||Knowing your customers and becoming a trusted one is key – prepare Account Business Plans and conduct Quarterly Business Reviews with key customers|
|N –||Conduct NPS and Customer Satisfaction Surveys.|
|D –||Delight your Customers|
E - Excellent Customer Service
Excellent customer service is the foundation for additional business – for both expanding existing business and acquiring new business. Companies and sales reps who embrace this key element have a higher probability of both short-term and long-term success!
In this new world of software as a service, subscription models, cloud anywhere and everywhere, social media, always on media, information overload, and lots of competitors all vying for your customer’s business, you must provide exceptional service.
To expand your current customer base and receive referrals from those customers, there is one basic tenet, one sure fire way to accomplish both – create an exemplary customer experience.
X - Expansion Revenue with Up-Sell and Cross-Sell
The next element, the “X” of the EXPAND Sales Framework, is generating expansion revenue with cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Understand your market and your customer’s additional needs and how to help them solve them, as well as or better than the competition. Focus on ways that you can expand your footprint by assisting your customer in solving additional business problems.
To solve additional business problems, first, you need to map what the customer is using today, what their incremental needs are, and what else you might offer to fit their needs. Map all of your solutions deployed, and not deployed, within your accounts – this is also known as mapping the white space – of potential opportunities. Once you see where the gaps are, you can up-sell and cross-sell your other solutions.
There are many methods to offer up-sell and cross-sell opportunities or campaigns to your customers. One method is via one-time Promotions and ongoing Programs.
P - Promotions and Programs
The “P” element of the EXPAND Sales Framework is to get the word out in the form of promotions and programs. You want to make your existing customer base aware of the additional problems you can help them solve. You need to deliver ongoing messaging often in the form of digital or content marketing or social media to communicate how you can address key business problems and solve them more creatively and effectively by offering better service and support, with uniquely differentiated solutions. Your differentiation might even be in the form of delivering more creative promotions and programs than your competition.
Promotions and programs run the gamut from buy one, get one free, buy at a special discount, bundled offers, try it / buy it programs, early adopter programs, loyalty programs, reseller programs, user groups and customer advisory boards, plus many others.
A - Account Business Plans and Quarterly Business Plans
The “A” element of the EXPAND Sales Framework includes Account Plans and Quarterly Business Plans. On an ongoing basis, you need to gather continuous intelligence around your customer’s business so that you can better understand and fulfill their needs.
There are two keys ways to better understand your customer’s business – Account Business Plans (ABPs) and Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs.) Account Business Plans give you an overview of your account to ensure you have a more thorough understanding of your customers, what their key initiatives are, and where you can better support them. Quarterly Business Plans are conducted with the key stakeholders of your accounts and has the benefit of positioning you better than the competition as a strategic and trusted advisor.
N - Net Promoter Scores and Customer Satisfaction Surveys
The next element of the EXPAND Sales Framework is “N” – conducting Net Promoter Scores and Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Be sure to ask your customers to give you a report card on how you are doing! Ensure you ask your customers informally and formally what they think of your solutions, and how you are meeting and supporting their needs. Gather their feedback with BOTH Net Promoter Scores and Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Ask them how you are doing, and not only do something about it, be sure to communicate to them, your progress and commitment to their customer delight!
D - Delight your Customers
The “D” in the EXPAND Sales Framework is Customer Delight. Bottom line: Success starts with Exceptional Customer Service and is expanded as you delight your customer. Businesses today successfully expand their revenues based on their ability to meet and exceed customer expectations. One of my favorite books is “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. In their book they note:
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”
“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them―preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”
Key is I am NOT removing the need to acquire new customers. You do need new customers! It’s just that many companies need to spend more time on retaining and EXPANDING their customer base than they are today.
The last component of the EXPAND Framework is Referral Selling. And it relates to both existing and NEW customers! The most cost effective and highest probability of close of gaining new business and new customers is referral sales. And where do your best referral sales come from – from delighted customers where you are delivering exceptional service.
What makes a healthy, sustainable business? What do investors want to see in assessing the value of a company? High retention rates, selling more to existing customers, and new customers. Embrace the EXPAND Sales Framework and accelerate your results!