Check out my article “Growth Means Turning an Entrepreneur Into a CEO” alongside dozens of other expert contributors in Recalculating 97+ Experts on Driving Small Business Growth. We were each asked to write special 1000-word contributions for the book based on our expertise. Topics covered are: Leadership, Finance, Marketing and Sales, Human Capital, Operations and Technology.
You can purchase the book on Amazon in either Paperback or the Kindle edition HERE.
As I have often said in my talks, and as I conclude in my article, ” In my experience with hundreds of clients, I’ve found that whether one chooses or not to grow the business, the principles of systematizing, being deterministic, and increasing value for the business still hold true for any business, and becoming a CEO may not be a choice after all.”
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Here’s a very interesting statistic for you to ponder: 40% of sales reps are going to fall short of their sales quota this year. Think about that: that means that there is a serious issue with a lot of sales teams. I recently read an interesting article that included that statistic, as well as some other interesting numbers.
I’d like to share some of my personal insight from my years of experience founding and operating startups. Here are my thoughts on creating your 2016 sales plan:
- Variable pay for salespeople is best. If you want your salespeople to perform well, and exceed the quota set for them, you need to give them major incentives to do so. Too many companies propose and provide salary-only packages that do little to incentivize.
- I agree greatly with the article on the idea that the sales plan should be modeled after objective-based initiatives. For example, if you are selling digital marketing products/services, it makes sense to include which specific products/services you want to include in your sales goals.
- Additionally, I also agree that your sales team should be determined through affordability of the salespeople. Don’t hire too fast, as that’s a mistake too many employers make. Go slow, hire right, and the results will be well worth it for your business.
- Another insight I’d add is to manage the interview process in a smart way: ask the right questions. Too many business owners fail to ask prospective salespeople the tough, pointed questions that shed a lot of light on their character, goals, motivation, etc. Ask and you will know a lot before you hire. This is possibly the most important.
You can read the full article here.
Recently, I came across an article that was published in the New York Times titled, “Baby Boomers Ready to Sell Businesses to the Next Generation.” Naturally, I took notice as I am always looking to evaluate the state of small business acquisitions and mergers, and am always looking for exciting opportunities.
The article discusses how small business owners that were in their late 30s and early 40s in the 1990s, are now reaching retirement age and looking for an exit. I thought this article was relevant, as many of my clients and colleagues are always exploring ways to exit their business and evaluate their options.
Selling your business is a well-known, but often intimidating exit strategy.
Many small business owners dream of selling their business and retiring on a beach somewhere. However, they are intimidated at what selling their business entails. Other small business owners believe selling their small business is going to be an easy cakewalk – in and out with cash in their pocket after a few weeks.
The reality is that selling your business can be an excellent exit strategy, allowing you to reap the rewards of your hard work over many years. However, it is also a time-consuming, cautious process that promises lots of ups-and-downs.
Think it’s as easy as 1-2-3? Think again.
Selling your small business will require lots of effort, focus, and determination to see the sale close effectively. It may mean that you have to invest some money into the business – possibly cutting into your personal income or profit margin. It will definitely mean cleaning up your books and organizing all financial info. The good news is that all of this hard work will be worth it.
Today’s entrepreneurs have plenty of potential buyers in this market.
It truly is a seller’s market – and entrepreneurs and business owners have a lot to look forward to. There are plenty of prospective buyers waiting for the right business opportunity. If you are looking to exit your business – and potentially sell it, you could always visit a business brokerage website such as BizBuySell.com.
To read about the personal stories of some business owners who recently purchased a business, read the full article.
New software tools are taking sales into the 21st century by bringing big data into the picture. By analyzing things like the opening of emails and success rates of phone calls, these big data startups can identify the best time of day to reach a CEO or when it’s best to reply to an email. Here are a few of the tools that are available through these startups:
- Salesforce IQ: Salesforce’s latest software is an aid to sales people, as “it proffers tips on how to interact with specific customers and nudges salespeople when, for example, they haven’t spoken lately to a client they tend to contact regularly.”
- ClearSlide: This software “alerts salespeople when a potential client reads a pitch email, so they can follow up just when the prospect may be most receptive. It also tells them whether a prospect lingered on the message once they’ve opened it…”
- The Full Picture: Many departments are already employing plenty of software, sometimes “more than a dozen digital aids. One analyzes records of millions of transactions stored in sales databases to serve up lists of potential customers, ranking them in order of their likelihood to buy. If a prospect doesn’t pick up, another program, at the click of a mouse, leaves a voice-mail message from a prerecorded template. When a salesperson closes a deal, a third program triggers a morale-boosting gong sound.
Salespeople need to step up their game as business are increasingly looking to take out the middle man in transactions. Many positions will be vanishing within the next five years, and as such salespeople need to increase their efficiency by using software aids to keep a leg up on the competition. Ensure your sales team is doing its best by looking into the options above and seeing what works best for your company.
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Voice of Reason Consulting is a NYC Small Business Consultancy