We know that 2011 might have been a difficult year for many of you, but we have culled together five success factors from our clientele at Solutions Forum, and we’ve put these factors into the courses at the School, www.theasoe.com.
1. The sales force hits their numbers, and they have what we call success metrics….calls, leads handled, appointments/demos done, and closes. The best companies did over 50% sales increase, several were around 25%, and two had the best years of their corporate lives. The methods we have work; all courses are under the Established tab. All the top performers have strong customer service and relationship management cultures, and execute well. We suspect they have customer approval ratings of over 95%.
2. Staff morale is good, especially among customer service and tech people. Several companies did 360 surveys during the year, and made good hires, in synch with the attributes they wanted, and made sure that the other staff members knew what was expected of them.
3. Several of them started mining old customer files, customers that they hadn’t heard from in a while. While the data cleansing started out as just an update of phones, contracts, emails, etc., it often generated immediate business. Customers were generally delighted to be recontacted.
4. Several used strong sales results to improve financial bargaining power, either expanding lines (usually changing banks in the process), paying down debt or even buying buildings. Banks still aren’t lending to many worthy candidates, which means you’ve got to work harder to get the dough, going to multiple institutions. Community banks are still good sources.
5. Eveyone has a clearly communicated, and customer centric Unique Selling Proposition….why customers buy from them rather than the competition. Interestingly, the companies with the highest sales growth are in two brutally competitive industries. Some of their competitors have even resorted by paying bribes to not lose business to these stars. And, yes, they operate ethically. Price isn’t always the deciding factor.
So, for 2012, use these ideas in good health!