Last week we discussed the need to give your business a checkup heading into the 4th quarter
and identified three key places to start: Business Goals and Performance Indicators, Next Steps, and Meeting with your Accountant. You may realize by now that these initial checks were just the tip of the iceberg. With a fresh perspective on the original goals that were set for the business, now is a natural time to look at other areas of the business to ensure that they are feeding the overall health of the business.
Marketing Plan - This is the plan that drives the population of your sales pipeline. The lead generation activities outlined in this plan should be clear, concise, executable, and quantifiable so that your business is continually working on keeping the pipeline filled with qualified and interested prospects wanting to have a discussion about your products or services. The business should also have a clear understanding of its target market and where to find them so that activities are consistent with creating qualified leads. Below is a list of questions that can get you and your team started along the path to keeping your pipeline current:
- Does your business have a clear understanding of its target market? Does your team have a clear understanding of that target market?
- Can your team articulate what is important to the target market of the business?
- How much time does the business dedicate to creating new leads?
- Which activities will give the business the best return on its investment of time and resources?
- What opportunities to generate leads are you missing?
- How many leads does your business need in its pipeline to promote consistent sales activities?
Sales Process -We often see business owners get so caught up in trying to make the next sale that they neglect to give attention to how they sell or the quantity of sales they are trying to make. Sales is a numbers game. The more prospects you and your team see, the more opportunities you have to make a sale. The catch is that it is not just about how many times you ask for the sale, it's also about how you ask for the sale. Now is the time to look at the questions behind the sales process so that you and your staff are consistent in delivery and message and also ensuring that you asking for the sale often enough to meet your goals.
- How many leads do you need in the pipeline to obtain an appointment?
- How many appointments do you need to make a sale?
- Are you quantifying the businesses sales activity?
- What is the message being relayed to prospects during the process?
- Are you asking for the sale?
- What tools are available to help ensure sales are completed?
- How many sales need to be closed to hit your goals in the 4th quarter?
Your Marketing Plan and Sales Process work hand in hand to fill your prospect pipeline and generate sales for your business. As you conduct your check-up, ask yourself tough questions about your plan and process. You may find a symptom that can be cured before it becomes something more.
It's that Time of the Year