In a small company sales and marketing are two sides of a similar coin, in order to get in front of people you need to spend time and money, the cycle starts with marketing to get a front of mind perception of the business’s offering, leading to a conversation to sell products to the prospective client.
A popular way of summarising the sales cycle is derived from Pareto’s principle or that of the “80 – 20 rule”, where in sales 80% of the sales come from 20% of your clients.
If this principle is evaluated you can derive the thought. Look after the clients you have and grow them into great clients, while evaluating very carefully the time you spend persuading the tire kickers. Inevitably a customer who takes a lot of convincing to use your company will become the companies biggest critic when using the services.
For example there is often a gap of understanding between what the sales staff are offering the client and what the client requires, here the salesperson needs to evaluate how close the current over all core business workflow is to the desired outcome. Which on an extreme can become a question of how much capital is required to change the companies existing business practices?
On a simplistic scale the closer the new prospect is to buying a ready made of the shelf product the more time and money should be spent in achieving the sale.
So where does strategic change occur if you don’t follow your customer’s requests?
The strategy is exactly that, it’s a long term view of a business, and how it changes should be planned out and and discussed. Where 80% of the business should remain focused on it’s core, while the innovation should only ever be 20%. Where focus here is the keyword. Follow One Course Until Success.
Without a strong sales pipeline the business can starve of the companies most important commodity cash!
So from the 80/20 principle where would be the best place to go and get more sales, finding a new partner who could become part of the 80% of non productive clients. Or should you go back to the existing clients, work out their needs and then super serve them in their needs?
Have you been able to increase your sales by asking your current customers what they want more of?