So many salespeople struggle with growing market share. The single reason for this is that they have little or no personal system to build their business. Every day is a new day, and nothing consistently happens to build on the success of yesterday.
Perhaps I have upset some salespeople in saying that, however it is a proven fact that the performance of most sales teams is low for this very reason.
In any business and market there are also some other excuses that hold teams back. Some of them are here:
- No support from the management team
- No leadership to correct faults or lacking processes
- No standards that can focus the prospecting and customer service processes.
- Little action to a system that works in their market
- Forgetting the clients and keeping in contact with them over time
So, all of this is a personal process; that’s the reality of it all. Any salesperson can improve their ‘lot’ by taking action. Given that most do not do the right things every day, there is huge potential out there for those that do.
If a salesperson takes on the personal challenges of their industry and takes action every day to a good plan, there is a very good chance that they will rise to the top of their market quickly and effectively.
Here are some tips for getting control of your market and market share.
- Define your territory geographically and physically so you know where you will find the business.
- See how many potential clients could be in your areas that are serviced by your competitors. Can you open the door with these clients?
- Be prepared to talk to many people to find the one opportunity. As long as your market is large enough that will not be a problem. The issue is in getting the right resources and research around you.
- Use a database that is comprehensive and easy to access. Over time you can build your database by 4 or 5 new people a day. Keep in regular contact so you can open up the relationship when the prospect requires help.
Are you the best service provider in your local area? Can you say that your product or service is as good if not better than the competition? If you cannot answer ‘yes’ to these questions yet, you have some work to do. Devise your business system and work to it every day.
When you work in sales in any industry, there will be one thing that stands out as the most important thing that you should do above everything else. It will be the thing that helps build your business and strengthen your sales.
So what is that thing? Could it be any of the following?
- Prospecting for new clients
- Keeping in contact with your existing clients
- Gaining more market share from your competitors
- Improving service and supply solutions for your key accounts and clients
From time to time throughout the year some of these things will change and take a different priority. You could even say that some of them are equally important to others.
When I work with sales teams I like to draw their thinking to the factors of their business that are really important in their industry. This reality check tends to open up the thinking that maybe every salesperson can get back ‘on track’ and away from the things that are distracting them from the most important issues of the business.
It’s a fact that most of the time these things are happening:
- Customers are examining costs
- Competitors are chasing your clients
- Overseas business is creating a level of product supply that has not previously been a factor in your customer base and client purchase decisions.
- Margins are being lowered to attract more sales in just about every industry
- The global world of supply and demand is opening up to a wider supply chain and differing cost base.
- The internet is letting the customer interact with their sales and orders to a great degree.
When your industry is highly competitive or the levels of orders and sales are changing, it pays to step back and do this simple analysis. If you can clearly see some things that are being overlooked or lacking in intensity in your business activities, take action today so that you preserve market share as things change around you. Decide what that one thing is that will help your business thrive. Is it ‘prospecting’?
When it comes to your career in selling anything, the skills that you develop in lead generation are really important to the outcomes that you get with customers and ‘Key Accounts’. In itself, lead generation can be an entire system or process that you use in your business every day. If you get the system right, you will have a steady pipeline of leads and new clients. Consistency is the key to lead generation.
Without this ‘lead’ system, your business or customer base will eventually contract and shrink over time. Customers will leave you for all types of reasons. So of those reasons you can control, and others you cannot.
So here are some tips and ideas for building a system of contact that will help with future leads and prospects for you and your business:
- Understand you market by both type and location. Exactly where do your customers come from and why do they come to you? When you know the answers you will know how to improve the rate of enquiry or opportunity.
- Who are your customers? You will need to profile your customers into segments of value and relevance to your business.
- Why do your customers come to you? What are the top 5 reasons most of your customers come to you?
- When do those customers come to you? Seasonal selling can be a real challenge if the space or time between selling seasons is quite long.
Taking all of these facts into account you will find that a profile of you customer can be built. The demographic of the ideal customer can be inserted into your sales team business plan and prospecting strategy.
Here is a very important question for you. What is the difference between a basic customer and a ‘Key Account’? There should be a real difference of response and service when it comes to helping a ‘Key Account’ in your business.
‘Key Account’ customers can impact your business in a major way; the loss of a key customer can be devastating to the cash flow. Far too many businesses operate with a small number of key accounts, and that then exposes them to great risk with competitors continually chasing their key account for new business.
So the message here is clear. Find new leads for your business by developing a system of contact, and then move the basic customers through your contact pipeline to convert them to ‘Key Accounts’. Over time this basic process will strengthen your business base and market share. Service your ‘Key Accounts’ with the due care and relevance that they deserve.
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