Regular sales team meetings are essential to keep salespeople informed, productive, and on the same page. Before scheduling a sales team meeting, ensure a good reason for doing so. Possible topics for sales team meetings could include reviewing sales goals and strategies, discussing new leads, customer information, and product updates, recognizing salespeople for their accomplishments, pinpointing any areas of improvement, and brainstorming solutions as a team. Finally, make sure to end the meeting on a positive note! If a meeting isn’t necessary or appropriate after all, consider other ways to communicate with your sales team, such as through email or hosting an online webinar.
95% of Companies Ranked Themselves Below Average or Worse
Market share is an excellent indicator of the overall health of an industry. It can give valuable insight into the performance of other competitors in the same field. Still, it should not limit your approach to your sales strategy.
In fact, the opposite is more accurate, as the world is your oyster if your market share is minuscule.
As salespeople, we must remember that even if our market penetration is small, it’s still possible to make a significant impact. The broader economy cannot affect us enough to make a difference in selling our product or service. Instead, focus on what you can control:
- building relationships with customers and
- honing sales practices
The Power of Relationships
Building long-term customer relationships will ensure success no matter how big or small your market share may be. And as customer needs evolve, they will come back to you when they need help making decisions related to your industry and product. You can quickly become an invaluable part of their buying process by establishing yourself as a reliable resource for honest advice and guidance.
Fine-Tuning Your Practices
In addition to focusing on customer relationships, another way to maximize success regardless of market size is by fine-tuning your sales practices. This means looking hard at whom you’re targeting, what strategies are working best for closing deals with those prospects, and what areas need improvement to reach more people within your target market.
It also means analyzing processes such as lead scoring and qualification criteria to understand which leads will most likely convert into paying customers. Finally, take some time each quarter or year (or whatever works best for you) to review metrics such as conversion rates and average deal sizes so that you can identify trends over time and adjust accordingly if needed.
It would be best if you were quite critical of your confidence that your sales team and company are executing their revenue generation capabilities well. A recent study by Sales Xceleration® shows that 95% of companies ranked themselves below average or worse. In fact, the last research saw that 4% more companies rated themselves as Poor. You can learn more about this study (and how to avoid the worst pitfalls) by attending a Special CEO Workshop by Kevin Lawson and me on March 1, 2023. (https://lnkd.in/e6gtbDd5)
When it comes down to it, market share numbers should never be used as an excuse when determining whether or not it’s worth pursuing a specific segment or area within the industry – instead, focus on what matters most: improving customer relationships and honing sales practices to maximize success regardless of size or scope. By taking advantage of these two powerful tools – relationships and processes – any salesperson can be successful no matter how small their piece of the pie may be!
I hope that you enjoy my February Newsletter
I hope that you enjoy my February newsletter
Published: Thu, 02/16/23
CEO and President
New Sales Expert LLC
6561 Bluegrass Way
Mason OH 45040
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Two Tall Guys Podcast – The Role of a Salesperson in Their 1:1 Meetings With a Manager – Episode 19
In “The Role of a Salesperson in Their 1:1 Meetings With a Manager” podcast, the hosts, Sean and Kevin, dive into a salesperson’s crucial role in their one-on-one meetings with their manager. They discuss the importance of preparation and setting goals and objectives for the meeting while emphasizing the need to avoid micro-management. The podcast highlights the significance of tracking progress and updating managers on results and offers valuable tips on how to stay motivated and accountable during 1:1s. Overall, this podcast is an informative resource for sales professionals who want to make the most of their meetings with their managers and achieve their targets effectively.
95% of Small Business Say They are Below Average or Worse in Their Sales Performance
We are almost done tabulating the results for the grading of small businesses. Every year, Sales Xceleration asks the CEOs and owners of small businesses to grade themselves on how well their company is running its sales operations.
Like last year, 95% of all companies couldn’t get to the “average” level of execution.
But 2022 was worse than last year since more companies graded themselves as “Poor” rather than just “Below Average.”
It is okay that small business owners or executives at small businesses do not know how to create a great sales organization, however …
… it is not okay for them not to fix it.
The reality is that most small business owners excel at many things. That is why they started their business. Perhaps, they are experts at:
- software creation
Or any of the hundreds of essential skills required to create a great company. But even though the small business owner is best-in-class in one or many of these disciplines, they still need to be better-in-class in producing or managing a sales organization.
It may be okay that the small business leader cannot create an excellent revenue generation machine. Still, it is not okay that they don’t address the problem. The company and all of the people working for the company (along with their families) depend on that company. The owner needs to fix this problem.
But it is very hard for the small business owner to fix this problem.
They may not be able to find or afford an executive to at least get the “Excellent” rating. Let’s face it, that type of executive is in very high demand by companies that are much larger than small businesses.
The solution, of course, is to look for a Fractional Sales Vice President to help them. I am here to help. I help company owners realize the maximum value of their company by improving their revenue generation capability. To accomplish this, I help owners enhance their sales management, methodologies, processes, teams, and messaging.
You can learn more about how small businesses are doing in generating revenue for their companies at two upcoming events.
If you are in Cincinnati, I will present on this topic at the Beers & Biz networking event on February 23. You can register for this event at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beers-biz-b2b-networking-tickets-451941468097 but make sure that you arrive at 3:30 (I start on time) and sign up for the Revenue Growth breakout session.
You can also watch Kevin Lawson and me go through the study’s highlights, explain why the various grades are a problem, and then offer potential solutions to the issues. Kevin and I will be presenting at a special session of our monthly CEO Workshop on March 1, and you can register at https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:7027766861027008512/
The company owner may be unable to make a best-in-class revenue generation engine within the company personally, but that doesn’t mean the owner shouldn’t create one. Fractional executives are available to fill in the gaps in the expertise that exists within the company.
Fractional Sales Leadership Increases the Value of My Client by 167%
A common question that I receive is about the value of adding fractional sales leadership to their company. I typically answer their concern with a story about one of my clients who had a fantastic experience and increased the company’s value by 167% in about 12 months.
The true benefit of the efforts of fractional sales leadership is that revenue and pipeline will increase your company’s value.
Several years ago, I was hired by a fantastic software startup company in the artificial intelligence industry. Their technology had roots in original research by one of the founders at MIT. I was connected to one of the founders, and he approached me to be his Fractional Vice President of Sales as they felt that their technology had progressed to the point that they needed to find early adopter customers.
It was a young company with a small client base and very little revenue, but it clearly understood its offering and the value it could deliver to new clients. I started the engagement with my standard discovery process to identify what value they were providing to their clients or prospective clients. We developed a target persona, and I helped them identify potential clients that fit their use cases.
As I worked with them, I learned more about their backstory. A significant chip manufacturer had wanted to buy the company just a few months earlier. The founders were eager to sell, but the parties couldn’t agree on a price and parted ways. The large chip manufacturer valued the company at about 75% of the valuation that the founders wanted. This offer reminded me of the popular TV show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs try to arrange investments from 5 individual investors. They rarely agree at the beginning of the segment on the startup’s value; sometimes, they compromise, and sometimes they do not. In this case, the giant chip manufacturer didn’t see the value, just like the Sharks didn’t see the value of Ring.
The owners of my client did what any sound company executives would do. They pushed harder on their business to build its value. They realized that nothing drives the company’s value like revenue and pipeline, so they brought me in to help them.
Fast forward ten months after hiring me, and our pipeline, messaging, sales team, partnerships, and methodologies have improved dramatically. At this point, another chip manufacturer enters the picture and wants to acquire the company and its technology. But now everything in the company is more proven, and the risk is less for the acquiring company. The owners and the new acquiring company agreed quickly on the company’s value. The company was now worth 200% of what the founders initially thought just the previous year. The deal closed quickly and efficiently, with most employees finding great jobs at the new owner while some continued with new and exciting adventures.
New customers, pipeline growth, and team growth caused a dramatic increase in the company’s value. Undoubtedly, the software improved during that year, but much of that improvement was because of customer and prospect feedback. The new chip manufacturer thought the company was worth 267% compared to the previous suitor.
According to the Exit Planning Institute, 76 percent of business owners who sold their businesses profoundly regretted selling within a year. I contend that this is because they agreed to a Shark Tank deal which devalued their company. I think most feel they didn’t get the value out of the company they spent years, decades, or maybe a lifetime building. The solution is to have such a great sales engine that the buyer is begging you to take the offer. Small business owners need to build a sales engine that is so strong that multiple offers are coming in to buy the company. For a while in the US after COVID-19, selling a home commanded over-asking-price offers all over the nation. This seller’s market is the environment you need to create for your company if you want to exit the company in the next 3-5 years.
I help company owners realize the maximum value of their company by improving their revenue generation capability. I help owners enhance their sales management, methodologies, processes, teams, and messaging to accomplish this. Reach out to me so that I can help you maximize your company’s value the way I helped my former client.
Header image by Paul Loh
Two Tall Guys Podcast – Manage the Expectations of Upper Management for a Sales Turnaround Effort – Episode 18
In this episode, Sean and Kevin discuss the struggle of a sales turnaround.
It is important to define what a turnaround means for your specific sales department, as the definition may vary depending on the nature of the business, the industry, and the competitive landscape. Once you have a clear understanding of what constitutes a successful turnaround for your team, you can start outlining a plan of action that meets or exceeds the expectations of upper management. This plan should be based on a thorough analysis of the current sales process, customer needs, and market trends and should be realistic and achievable within a specific timeframe.
Communication is key to any successful turnaround. You must share your plan with all sales team members and get their buy-in. This involves explaining the rationale behind the plan, outlining their specific roles and responsibilities, and addressing any concerns or objections they may have. Once everyone is on board, you can start executing the plan and tracking progress on a regular basis. Celebrating successes along the way is important to maintain team morale, but you should also stay focused on the ultimate goal and be prepared to adjust course as necessary based on feedback from management and results achieved. Following these steps can increase your chances of achieving a successful sales turnaround and positioning your department for long-term growth and profitability.
Two Tall Guys Podcast – Introduction to Account Based Marketing & Selling – Episode 17
Sean O’Shaughnessey recently did a CEO Workshop on Key Account (or Named Account) sales management best practices. In this episode, Kevin and Sean dig into one of the ancillary topics that wasn’t fully explored in that CEO Workshop.
Build a Path to More Sales
I was interviewed by Subkit. You can read the full article here: https://gosolo.subkit.com/new-sales-expert/, but they were nice enough to allow me to reproduce it here.
Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sean O’Shaughnessey, CEO and President of New Sales Expert, LLC., located in Mason, OH, USA.
What’s your business, and who are your customers?
I am a fractional Chief Revenue Officer. I help small and medium-sized businesses accelerate their revenue growth.
Tell us about yourself
I realized a few years ago that many companies struggle to develop a revenue stream that is predictable and sustainable. This is primarily because the people in those companies that are in charge of sales are not sales professionals. They needed help creating the sales messaging, methodology, and processes to repeatably sell their product. However, they couldn’t afford someone with my skills full-time, nor did they need me full-time. A fractional relationship allows me to help them grow without burdening them with a cost that is crippling.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There is nothing better than seeing salespeople that were struggling or not appreciated start to be successful in their positions.
What’s one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My biggest challenge is balancing selling with delivery. I work on relatively short engagements, so I am always talking to new potential clients about what I do. I cannot let that activity affect my ability to deliver great service to my clients. The balance of selling and delivery is a weekly challenge.
What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Since my job is to help small companies create more revenue, I will focus my advice on sales (which is the lifeblood of any new company):
- Talk to at least 40 prospects monthly about their needs and goals and how you might help them.
- Develop your value selling proposition (VSP) that creates a strong message to those 40 prospects.
- Tell your story as loudly and as often as possible. Don’t hide. Put your VSP out on social media. Tell everyone what you do.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Your company’s job is to sell your product or service. It isn’t to make a product or service. Treat sales as a complicated and difficult profession (it is). Hire the best people to run sales, and you will succeed.
Where can people find you and your business?
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
Published: Tue, 01/03/23
CEO and President
New Sales Expert LLC
6561 Bluegrass Way
Mason OH 45040
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