the ceo magazine, revenue,
Rory J. Clark, Creator and Innovator, Focus Selling

It may be called the “summer slump,” but it’s really a revenue slump.

It happens every summer. It is the phenomenon called the “summer slump.”While vacations can be fun, it’s also a time of decreased productivity and missing creativity. Inaccurate forecasts and missed revenue targets are the norm.  To exaggerate the point, Europe is practically closed in July and August as people go on holiday.  Truly, the summer slump happens long before summer.  The cure for it, a way for you to bring distinctive advantage to your business, can be summed upin a word: activity.

Here are seven things to inspect if you want to boost revenues in your company immediately.

1. Get Math On Your Side

For the business owner, the best revenue is the predictable kind.  It’s imperative to know that revenue is coming, and to know when it is coming. There is no better way to get revenue flowing than to get the “Law of Large Numbers” on your side…10X-3X-X.  For example, if you want to win $10 million in revenue (X), the law of large numbers says if you find $100 Million (10X) in viable projects and write $30 Million in proposals (3X), you’ll win $10 Million (X) predictably.  From experience this is deadly accurate, but it requires the activity of finding big projects.

2. Measure The Right Indicators Of Performance

Leaders are obsessed with measuring things, a task best left to accountants. But if you’re going to measure things, pay attention to the REAL indicators of revenue performance.   These include scheduling appointments with influential executives, identifying customer projects, and written proposals. These three things lead to secured wins. Most sales leaders consider watching these indicators of performance “micromanagement,” especially monitoring appointments.That’s like saying that monitoring brain wave activity, heart rate, and respiration is micromanagement.  Hospitals don’t call it intensive care for nothing! If leaders don’t watch these indicators of performance every moment, and if they don’t make adjustments when there are too few appointments or not enough customer projects and proposals, they are derelict in their leadership duties.

3. Pick The Right Accounts

Select accounts you can serve without breaking a sweat.  When you’re in a slump, breaking into new markets is important, but secondary.  Find new business at current accounts by penetrating other business units within customer accounts.  In addition, targeting a competitive replacement account, and getting a customer to switch, can shock your competitor.

4. Schedule Appointments With Executives With Initiatives That Use Your Products Or Services

Most of the time, selling executives approach too low in the customer’s organization.  They interact with people who have small budgets and no ability to sway a project in their favor.  It’s a prescription for small wins and long sales cycles.  For each customer project where your products or services are used, someone at the customer owns an initiative and has been tasked to get a result.  If they fail to get the result, they may be fired.  Looking through the customer’s eyes for a moment, the initiative owner may be in a slump, too.  They have to complete a project this year and they haven’t done a thing on it in the first six months.  Approaching these executives directly could be the answer to their prayers, and to yours!

5. Identify Projects From The Customer’s Viewpoint

It’s one thing to sell customers what we want them to have.  It’s quite another thing to use your expertise to help them get what they want.  Listening to customers, writing down what they are saying verbatim, and playing it back to them, opens the door for them to tell you the personal reasons why they are buying.  When you learn the personal, emotional reasons they buy, rather than just the “business reasons” they buy, you get distinctive competitive advantage.

6. Learn The Customer’s Alternatives

You call them competitors. The customers call them alternatives.  Your job is to help the customer understand that your offering is their best alternative.  You can’t do that without interviewing the customer to find out what their other alternatives are. The initiative owners are always willing to discuss their alternatives.  Your people may not be willing to ask.

7. Advance Your Offering While Simultaneously Devastating Competitor Offerings

It’s simple.  Your proposal must describe to the customer why your offering is their best alternative and why the competitors is not.  Make sure your proposal clearly details how much return on investment the customer can expect, how soon they will get it, and how certain the return on investment is.

Making adjustments to the critical indicators of performance is the fastest way out of the “summer slump.”  Keeping performance of these items at the forefront of your mind will make summer slumps a thing of the past.

[Image courtesy: 3dman_eu/ Pixabay]

About the Author

Rory J. Clark is the creator and innovator of Focus Selling, a breakthrough performance system which has helped countless executives around the world to exceed performance expectations when it comes to increasing profit. He is a sought after speaker and a thought leadership resource and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal for his leadership process. Clark inspires excellence in leadership, teamwork, and performance through the renovation of individual mindsets. For over 30 years, executives in over 200 organizations, on five continents, and in over 30 countries, have learned from him.  Clark’s experience includes leadership positions in marketing, sales, recruiting, and training in organizations such as CBS and ABC Radio, Wilson Learning Corporation, and the Dale Carnegie Institute. He has taught or taken most sales training workshops in his industry.  He is an expert in selling, in instruction, and in curriculum design.


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