The Year of Recovery

2020…COVID.  Lockdowns…

 

Sorry, I don’t mean to be triggering…!

But around April last year organisations pretty quickly realised that in such an “unprecendented” year it would be unfair to expect their sales teams to achieve original sales targets.  In fact, 2020 couldn’t have been further from business as usual with entire industries literally shut down with all of the flow on impacts on suppliers and customers reliant on them for survival.  For those industries in fortunate positions, there was the inevitable product shortages as stock from Chinese supply chains sat at the dock for months.

The pie shrunk for a while.  And it was like we had 7 countries with 7 different sets of restrictions, rules and ways of working.  In some ways, it still does a bit.

But we got through it.  Well, many of us did….just.  And as CFO’s examined their financial statements, they communicated a very unanimous and clear message to the business – we must recover that shortfall!

There’s 2 ways to recover that shortfall –

 

ONE: Increase revenue

TWO: Reduce overheads

 

In my opinion, it must be both.  And sales teams MUST understand how to maximise margin and EBIT.  It’s not enough for sales people to simply elevate revenue through sales because sales at any price can be an absolute disaster.

This is where commercial selling enters the picture.  But does your sales team even know what this means or how to apply a commercial approach to the way they sell?

Failing to support your team with the RIGHT approach is like sending an army into battle with sticks instead of guns.  Any sales program worth its salt in 2021 should educate sales people to sell in a way that:

 

ONE: Maximises top line sales

Understanding where growth will come from: which industries, which customers, what focus, potential value

Knowing how to realise that growth: the right approach with the right customers in the right way at the right time

More in the pipeline, increased conversion rates, reduced sales cycles

 

TWO: Reduces cost of sales

When to drive/fly, when to use technology (yes, the phone as well as Zoom)

Every car that is on the road costs the business: petrol, registration, tolls, parking, servicing

Who can afford additional days spent in quarantine – if in doubt don’t

 

THREE: Reduces cost to serve

SLA that has considered all points of the business

Understanding and communicating the value chain

Knowing the impact on margin of delivery, stock on hand availability

 

FOUR: Delivers positive commercial outcomes to both parties

The real cost of discounting

Understanding how value is measured beyond price and how to have the value delivered conversation

 

Give your team a fighting chance and set your organisation up with a stronger foundation.  Regardless of the nuances of the year that’s been, it’s better customer engagement.  No time like the present to get this started.

 

 

 

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