“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
- Understand what marketing is and be clear on the marketing techniques you will use for your goods and services.
- Assess the market; decide on and set out your business goals and strategic objectives for addressing the market.
- Embrace the internet and social media techniques to market your offerings; complement this with traditional techniques if analysis shows these mechanisms deliver benefit.
- Ensure alignment of sales people with your business’s strategic objectives, levels of authority, and the policies and processes set out in your management system.
- Sell what is objectively deliverable and profitable, not what the salesman wants to sell to maximise their bonus from an incentive scheme.
- Incentivise the sales community to sell; have a clear, transparent and communicated bonus system that rewards profitable success.
- Everyone is a salesman; the best sales people are often those that are not employed as sales people.
- Use a proven sales methodology with formalised control gates and a supporting automated tool set to maintain a pipeline of potential orders, and track their progress from prospect through to a signed contract.
- Ensure sales people update the status of the pipeline weekly.
- When formulating an offer always make sure the estimates for the work and risks have been independently reviewed and are calibrated against similar types of work already performed by your organisation.
- Qualify pipeline entries frequently; consider early withdrawal from competitive bidding when intelligence suggests an item will not convert to a signed contract.
- Record and track the cost of sales, and review and manage the pipeline weekly to maintain an accurate weighted/unweighted order forecast.
- For sizeable sales opportunities create and action a formal client contact and pursuit plan.
- Log a sale as a committed order in accordance with the company accounting principles and only when a binding contract is signed.
- Maintain objectivity; avoid succumbing to short cuts to meet end of quarter, half or full year budget/forecast expectations.