Selling profitable work requires more than just having a good product and good people, it requires a sales strategy.
I was reminded of this as I talked to a $10M landscape contractor from the west coast last week, who has more leads than his team can work through effectively, and is also constrained by limited capacity. He was asking how to improve his business in the process of sifting through all his potential work.
Here is the advice I gave, that will help you as well I hope.Discover how to grow your business with these four sales questions to ask that will improve your sales strategy. Click To Tweet
The four sales questions to make sure your sales strategy is dialed in this year:
1. Is the prospect in a geography you want to serve?
Pick clients who meet one or more of these criteria:
-Easy to drive to and within range of vendors
-Strategically expands a key market
2. Can you perform it easily or uniquely well?
Make a list of the types or work you do throughout the year, and put them into the following 3 categories.
The first category I call “DO”, this is work that is easy to perform, that you can do without mistakes or overages.
The second category I call “MAYBE”, this is work you could do but it tends to be harder to make good money, so in this case sell this only by exception, only if you can add the true costs based on your current staff skills, and only if you can also add extra profit to compensate for the hassle.
The third category I call “DONT.” This is work that you should not take on no matter what, based on recurring bad experiences or based on it’s lack of strategic fit.
3. Is it priced profitably?
Use this 3-part criteria to drive up the margin of the work you sell this year.
It is achieving the Gross Profit Margin (GPM) you need based on the size and type of work? Can it be done handily by your current staff?
It is achieving a high Thoughput (Profit/Hr or Net Revenue/Hr), meaning it makes the best use of your most limited resource, your production staff.
It is both high GPM and high Throughput? This is a home run work that will drive your margins higher than ever.
4. Can you upsell and cross sell to this new client?
Use these 3 criteria to make sure you are achieving synergy with the new clients you are selling.
It is a client who will buy more, thus allowing you to continue to serve them with well priced enhancements?
It is a client who will buy from your other divisions, thus better serving them and helping you grow the entire company?
It is both of the above, another home run!
If you want to build a stronger sales team, then you must also tackle these 7 sales management questions:
1. Are you hiring true sales people, who inherently have the skills and drive to sell?
2. Are your compensation plans hitting the triple win (win for ownership and production, win for sales people, win for clients)?
3. Do you adeptly manage your sales people to coax the most out of their individual abilities?
4. Do you provide a clear sales process that allows them to maximize their productivity?
5. Are your sales team meetings effective in maintaining and raising momentum?
6. Have you set up a pipeline to track and keep your finger on the pulse?
7. Are you training your team with proven sales techniques?
You can learn best practices to answer all 7 of these questions, by joining me on March 12 at our Sales Management Master Class.
If you can answer YES to all four sales questions, then you are poised to have a great season this year.
If you are not sure, then sit down with your team, and work through all four questions, and set your boundaries and screening systems for what work you will take on (If you need help with this, ask me).
It’s going to be a great year, enjoy the ride!