The media often depicts businesses as being overnight successes, similar to the way certain celebrities and professional athletes are glorified when they finally break through with a runaway hit or other major achievement. In reality though, there are usually years of blood, sweat and tears poured into each one of those successes, which often goes unremarked upon and therefore paints a false picture of what it takes to really “make it.”
For sales organizations, an example would be the years of professional sales training that their top sales people often require to rise above mediocrity and truly make the six- or seven-figure income so many strive for. For the business itself, there is the time and money spent in fundraising, R & D, trials and all the other steps which are required to develop a product and bring it to market.
In addition to that, there are certain processes which each business needs to develop before truly “making it.” No matter the industry, these factors will be present, and managers would be wise to compare their existing scene to the following points and beefing up any area where things are found to be lacking.
Here are the four major growth processes every business needs to succeed:
Branding is the image you portray to the public. It includes such things as your company name, logo, colors, images, slogans, packaging and web design. While some professional sales training material lumps branding together with marketing, it actually is a complete subject unto itself. In fact, it could be said that branding is what gives a salesperson something to market in the first place.
Branding allows you to differentiate your offerings from your competitors’ in some way, so that when a prospect begins the buying process, they think of you. As such, you have to be bold ¬and “own” a certain attitude or attribute for success in this area, such as having a USP (unique selling proposition).
Marketing follows branding, and its entire purpose is to develop leads. It is not to “make yourself known,” although that is part of it. Just making yourself known is a waste unless is it causes your phone to ring or produces Internet leads.
Marketing is a broad field, but covers things such as:
• Media buys (TV and radio spots)
• Email lists
• Social Media
• Direct Mail
• Face-to-face Networking
The third major growth process is crucial, and is the lifeblood of any business. It is sales — or converting leads into paying customers. Professional sales training can make the difference between a thriving business with so many customers that some can even be “thrown away,” and one which is struggling so much that any customer, even a bad one, is retained just to stay afloat.
4. Account Management
When this last growth process is executed well, the first three actually do not require as much attention. Account management means servicing the customers that have entrusted you with their business. It means delivering what you promised.
Here are some account management tips:
• Deliver in abundance. Do not do the bare minimum, but go above and beyond, as this builds raving fans.
• Leverage every customer contact to up/cross sell.
• When you have properly serviced an account and have a satisfied customer, you have created the most fertile avenue for qualified prospects around — a referral source. A personal referral from a happy customer is the single most valuable lead you can have.
Professional sales training is the common denominator in all four of the growth processes described here. Ensure your program includes all of them for the best chances at superstar success.