How to Cheat Your Sales Numbers and Increase Your Odds of Success
As a branding agency, we think of branding and marketing as a way to support sales and drive revenue. By thoroughly understanding your company’s revenue goals, you can learn how to work backwards to “cheat your sales numbers” and make sure your efforts are going to produce the desired results. The more you know how to cheat your numbers, the more you increase your odds of getting new business. Here are eight ideas you should apply to your business to increase your odds of success:
1) Know your numbers
Know just how much marketing and sales activity you need to have in your pipeline in order for you to obtain your forecasted revenue goals and objectives. Understand and know your close ratio and how that affects your numbers.
2) Have a large pool of prospects in the database
Most companies don’t understand that marketing and sales is a numbers game, it takes a large pool of quality suspects and prospects in the database to make the numbers work in your favor. So to cheat your numbers and reach your sales/revenue goals, you must have a big pool of prospects that you consistently stay in touch with.
3) Use a CRM tool/database
It is consistently baffling that there are a number of companies that don’t have enough suspects and prospects to call upon to get the results they are aiming for. Even more surprising is the number of companies that do not utilize a true Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. A CRM system can help manage the client information and provide help and real-time information on how you’re tracking against those numbers. Many companies are still relying on an outdated excel sheet to “manage” their clients, when using a CRM tool is far more effective.
4) Regularly reach out and touch prospects
They say most sales people give up after 3-4 touches, which sounds about right; yet they say it takes 7-12 touches in order for a prospect to get to know your company and make a purchasing decision. Make sure you are a company that makes enough touches to get them in your store.
5) Use strategic partners to help build relationships
One of the most effective things companies can do is to tap into strategic partners for referrals and co-market each other’s products or services to both customer bases. Utilizing a key contact for leverage and an introduction is priceless and often can be one of the most effective things companies can do to shorten the sales cycle. Get a quality referral, and stretch your marketing efforts.
6) Identify your unique position and own your space
It is critical to not only be different, but also have strong value points spelled out clearly and concisely. These value points need to verbalize why you are better and what differentiates your company, making you the clear choice and the only real option available.
7) Utilize a strong call to action
In order to help get the response you need for your marketing, advertising and sales efforts, make sure you have a strong call to action. To do this, utilize an impending date or deadline that a special offer expires, a value add that they can only get for a limited amount of time, or an added incentive or bonus to sweeten the deal if you act now.
8) Reevaluate and refine your efforts
To ensure you’re going to reach your goals, you need to consistently evaluate whether your efforts are producing the desired results. If they aren’t, you will need to make adjustments, tweak your offer, or find other strategic partners that understand the benefits of a reciprocal partner relationship.
Cheating your sales numbers is like adjusting the carburetor on your car, a little fine tuning is sometimes required to have a smooth running engine. Once you get the engine running just the way you want it, you can blow the doors off your competitors.
Minus the long hair and leather pants, today seems a little too much like the 80’s if you ask me. It was the time where being rebellious was “cool” along with listening to “the devil’s music” and smoking cigarettes after school. Today’s cigarettes and devil’s music are still around; they’ve just changed a little. Today its racy television shows and gory video games that are making parents cringe. And the more the parents seem to cringe, the more the kids seem to watch, buy, and play.
Advertisers are using this to the fullest extent. The popular video game DeadSpace2 has built its entire advertising platform on the slogan “your mom will hate this”. And television shows are using movie like ratings PG-13 and R as a bragging right instead of a warning. So why the big move towards “rebellious” advertisements? It seems the more outrages the ad or promotion, the more controversy. And controversy means people are talking about your product, service, goods, etc. and that’s exactly what advertisers want.
Check out this Redbull ad which blatantly advertises one-night stands and “hook-ups” with multiple people. Do you think it’s appropriate? Does it make you want to drink a Redbull?
Another TV spot getting some major attention is the MTV show Skins, based off of a British teen show, the new hit is causing quite a stir among parents as it depicts “the life of real American teenagers.” The controversy might have something to do with the fact that these “real” teenagers are drug addicts, alcoholics, party-animals, and law breakers. So would you let your kids watch this? And if you told them they couldn’t do you think they’d find a way to watch it anyways?
The bottom line is it works – this is nothing new, we saw it in the 80’s with rock and roll, we saw it in the 90’s with sex and today is no different. If you tell kids their parents will hate it, or don’t want them to see it, it makes them want it more.
Have a comment? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you think about these new ad’s and the impact on kids.
“Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it, and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work — and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.” -Lucile Ball
You can’t avoid that these economic times are putting a lot of companies out of business. Here at Brand Iron, we have been constantly reminded of that; in the past 9 months, we’ve seen two, very local marketing companies close their doors.
We are happy to report that through a lot of hard work, our clients are going strong and Brand Iron is going strong. Everyone at Brand Iron is very excited that we are a finalist for the DMCC’s Small Business of the Year Award.
We wanted to pass on a few things that have helped us confront and dampen the economic blow:
Build you database – broaden your world of potential clients
Go to where the money is – focus on your most profitable vertical markets or geographic areas
Keep your brand message relevant to your target market – adapt to their pain points
Increase your sales and marketing activity levels – it is vital to “touch” your prospects
At Brand Iron, we don’t believe in luck – we believe in hard work, targeted work and working intelligently on the aspects of your brand strategy that make the biggest impact. Our goal is to help you keep your doors open, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, to keep new clients and customers coming through them.
Please contact us today to learn more about how Brand Iron can help you develop a holistic brand plan that addresses your sales, marketing and operations. Written by Josh Barker
It seems like all President Obama talks about these days is jobs, jobs, jobs. It reminds me what branding is all about: results, results, results. It really is that simple. Brand and position yourself and your company to produce tangible business results.
Powerful branding is all about branding yourself as unique, better, and different in comparison to your competition. In turn, you will be selected over your competitor, thus producing results.
Powerful branding starts from within and gets your company on the same page of what success looks like and just what it is going to take to get there.
Powerful branding requires that everyone in your company knows how to communicate what makes your company better than the competition.
Powerful branding helps your company gain the competitive edge and sets you up for positive results and success.
Powerful branding requires utilizing marketing activities that produce real leads that turn into sales and then real business results.
Powerful branding and sales results in job opportunities/job creation.
Start laying the groundwork for better results by better defining your brand, your position, the way you are going to communicate, and how you are going to effectively market to produce real leads and turn into real sales. Next time you hear President Obama speak about engaging job creation, apply that passion and philosophy to your company. Focus on building your brand to produce “results, results, results.”
I think we can all agree that after going through this past year, it is certainly time for a “New Start” for the New Year. We could all use a fresh start for the economy, housing, banking, government and business. As it applies to your business, if you aren’t prepared and proactive to the challenges that are certain to arise, you will be left behind.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard recently from our partners, clients, prospects, leads, etc. that people are “just waiting to see what happens”. Unfortunately, most who take this “wait and see approach” end up losing time and results.
With things being tight and people and businesses being guarded with resources, it’s a more competitive landscape than ever before. People and companies are struggling and the weak are getting ravaged. Are you positioning yourself and your company to be as competitive as possible? Now is the time to take advantage of the current economic situation and propel yourself to be the leader in your field.
Since it is the beginning of the New Year, it is time to make a “New Start”.
Let’s start the thing that most people and companies are in need of: Revenue. Have you evaluated your lead generation activities? Are you doing enough to fill your pipeline? Are you utilizing online marketing, networking, partnering, calling and mailings to get people to say “yes” to meetings or walking through the doors of your business?
Do you know what it is going to take to get prospects to convert to clients? Do you know what it is going to take to move them off the dime? Are you asking for the business?
Do you have the right message? …a strong call to action? … positioning that separates you from the competition? Do you understand not just why you are as good as the competition, but why you are better than the competition? Why should someone purchase you, your product or service over the competition?
Are you being pro-active and creating enough opportunities for you to reach your goals and objectives? Are you doing enough marketing and sales activities to make the numbers work in your favor?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all of these questions, it is probably time to get off the dime and make the New Year a “New Start” to reaching your goals and objectives. Brand Iron can help you develop proactive goals for 2009 and a roadmap of what it is going to take to get you there.
It’s time to get started and map out a plan to succeed in this New Year.
As gas prices hit over $4.00 nationally and the economy continues to fall, it is inevitable that people and companies are struggling. That said, it is even more vital to measure yourself against your competition, ensuring your current efforts are properly focused to set yourself and your company up for a strong second half of the year. Unfortunately, we are currently in an arduous game of survival of the fittest, and it is time to focus your marketing efforts.
While this conversation is a continuous topic internally, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new client that had the same ideas. I was in a planning session the other day and our client communicated that their industry was experiencing a slow-down given the economy and being that we are in the middle of the summer. They realized that it was the perfect time to position and brand themselves against their competition in order to separate themselves from the herd. This client wanted to take advantage of the current situation in which, a fair amount of companies are pulling back their spending. Our client wants to step it up and set themselves up for a strong fall and second half of the year, as well as prepare for 2009. Needless to say, I agreed with this client, and was refreshed at their goals and strategy to step up their game.
We are halfway through the year, an excellent time to review your yearly goals and objectives. See what is working, what’s not, and what needs to be adjusted in order for you to keep things going strong, maintain, or try to catch up. Going strong is the key phrase, while playing the game of catch up seems to be the reality for too many companies today.
A perfect example of the “catch up game,” was when American Airlines and United announced they were going to charge $15 and $25 respectively, for checking bags. While these airlines are trying to play catch-up, Southwest is focusing its efforts on marketing, sales and operations to boost sales and keep customers happy. They are responding directly to the competition and the consumer by announcing that they aren’t charging premiums for extra baggage and rising fuel costs.
The summer is a slower period and many people take time off, thus creating a great opportunity to not only look at your goals, but figure out how you can position yourself against the competition. Take advantage of the tough times and really separate your company from the herd by communicating your key differences and why you are a better choice than the competition.
Now is the time to evaluate, focus, and take advantage to be the fittest. If your company wants to be around when the economy turns around, call Brand Iron today.
A popular theme song goes, “Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name.” This is the precise recognition that all companies are trying to accomplish through their marketing and advertising efforts. Companies like Brand Iron are here to make sure those efforts are well-focused and drive results. I just got off the phone with a client who now understands the effort it took to get his brand over the “everyone-knows-our-name” hurdle. Every brand has a different hurdle to clear, but here are some simple ideas on what it might take to get your brand over the hurdle, and start producing tangible results:
1. Understand what really separates you from your competition. Figure out what space you own and make the message as simple to understand as possible. Package your message in a tangible fashion that is clear and concise.
2. Identify who the right targets are for your product or service and discuss the most effective ways to get your message out.
3. Take a look at your company and see what the “barriers to growth” may be. Be sure to look at your:
Marketing- Do you have enough contact points with your target audience for them to know who you are and will they be receptive when you call? Do they know who and what your brand is all about? Does your brand leave them with a positive feeling that will compel them to make that purchase?
Sales – Can your sales staff close the leads the marketing department is generating? Can they close the customers that walk through your doors?
Operations – Is your customer service approach and database up to snuff? Can your company deliver on the promises that your sales team is making?
4. Address your internal brand and make sure that your company’s brand is represented from the inside out. Look at everything from how you answer the phone to delivering your service, or even how you receive payment and send out a bill. These little things matter a great deal and will leave a lasting impression.
5. Develop a holistic branding plan that integrates your company’s marketing, sales and operations. Map out the tactical items necessary for you and your company to fill up your sales funnel.
6. Execute your branding plan flawlessly, ensuring that you are going to execute on a regular basis, no matter how busy you become. You want to do this to avoid the sales rollercoaster.
As a close friend says, “Go the extra mile; it’s the final 5% that makes what you do either great or mediocre.”
7. Monitor how you are doing against your goals and objectives and modify those things that aren’t working. Once the failing areas are identified, determine how you can rectify the situation and do it quickly.
8. Execute and get your entire organization to commit to succeed.
Follow these steps, and someday you might walk into a place and realize that everybody knows your name.