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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

How To Get Net-New Business From Your Client Base

This week I enjoyed talking with a group of sales leaders as we prepared for a Value Alignment Workshop. When we asked the group of sales managers about the challenges they faced, the overwhelming response was, “We struggle with getting our reps to generate net-new business.”

Net-new business is the lifeblood of a business and the energizing force behind a sales team. Without net-new, the sales team becomes order takers. Over time, the team becomes rusty and complacent.

What Is Net-New Business?

I define net-new business as "any new sources of revenue". New revenue can come from two areas:

  1. New logos
  2. New categories of products, services, or solutions sold to current clients

There are only three sources of net-new business:

  1. Strategic Prospecting to build a relationship funnel with buyers that are not currently looking
  2. Digital Marketing to engage buyers who are actively looking online
  3. Cross-Selling current customers who could benefit from additional products and services

Today, let’s focus on #3: earning more business from your current clients. How do you do this? You must earn the right.

Consistent Execution: The Secret To Revenue Growth

“Execution is the single greatest market differentiator. Great companies and successful individuals execute better than the competition.”
- Brian P. Moran, The 12 Week Year

If you want to be successful in growing a company as a business owner, or growing a territory as a sales rep, you need to execute consistently. You can have a great vision, amazing products, and all kinds of great intentions. But the marketplace only rewards ideas that get implemented.

Execution needs to happen in the three core areas of your business that touch your clients and prospects. Let’s consider each of these in turn.

Five Problems With Prospecting

“The number one reason for empty pipelines is failure to prospect.”
- Jeb Blount, Fanatical Prospecting

Prospecting is the lifeblood of sales. If there are not new opportunities going into the funnel, sales will dry up. Pipelines become anemic without consistent prospecting. Weak pipelines lead to desperation deals as reps scrape the bottom of the barrel to somehow hit quota. Empty pipelines lead to low morale.

When pipelines are full of opportunities, reps approach deals with more confidence. This maximizes win rates and profits. Morale soars as the sales bell rings consistently throughout the month.

With prospecting being so critical, why does it seem to happen so inconsistently?

Don’t Give Up Too Soon On Your New Initiatives (i.e. Managed Services)

"All the storytelling we do requires frequency. You’ll try something new, issue a statement, explore a new market… and when it doesn’t work right away, the instinct is to walk away and try something else. But frequency teaches us that there is a very real dip--a gap between when we get bored and people (our clients, prospects, and employees) get the message." 
- Seth Godin, This Is Marketing

As business owners and sales professionals, we tend to give up too soon.

Geometric Growth By Mining the Gold From Your Client Base

Every (smart) business and sales professional wants to sell more to their current clients.

In my favorite marketing book, Getting Everything You Can From All You've Got, Jay Abraham shares the geometric principle of business growth. He says there are only three ways to grow a business.

  1. Get more customers
  2. Sell more things to current customers
  3. Increase the frequency of purchase

The problem is that most businesses only focus on #1. When it comes to #2 and #3, cross selling to current clients usually gets lip service, a page buried on the website, and maybe a specialist. Unfortunately, that’s where the gold lies.

If you only do #1, focusing all your effort on new logos, your business will grow linearly. From a sales perspective, 15% growth requires 15% more new customers. It’s important work and hard work, but 15% growth won’t get anyone too excited -- especially if you had to discount products to convince new customers to buy into your business.

The profitable and dramatic growth happens inside your current customer base by cross-selling additional products and services. This is especially true in mature industries where profit margins on the core offering are dropping. In this scenario, the question we should be asking is, “How can I sell more things to current clients where I have a trusted relationship?”

Building an Effective Sales Culture

As the manager of a sales team what is the biggest thing you can do to drive success? The answer may be to build a culture of success. Why? You can only be physically present with the members of your team for a small amount of time. The culture you create is always present.

Create a great culture is like a farmer nurturing the soil for a successful crop. Without proper cultivation, fertilizer, and watering, plants will struggle to grow. Create good soil and plants will thrive.

"Culture isn't just one aspect of the game, it is the game."
- Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO of IBM

Here are a few thoughts on enhancing your sales culture:

How To Make Prospecting a Priority in 2019

Of all the things your dealership could do in 2019 to grow sales, what could move the needle more than anything else?

In the book Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink tells a story that rings true in our industry. The CEO of a pharmaceutical company had all kinds of new initiatives including:

Why the Inside Sales Model Makes Sense For The Office Technology Industry

Every dealership wants to grow net-new business. However, using field sales reps as the sole source of prospecting leads to inconsistent results. That’s why most technology companies outside the office equipment industry have inside sales teams with Sales Development Reps (SDR’s) focused exclusively on developing new business opportunities.

As we’ve been coaching and equipping inside sales teams with the latest automated prospecting strategies combined with monitoring market triggers, I’ve become more and more convinced that inside sales team are an effective strategy  for dealers who want to grow new business. Here’s why:

How To Recruit Great Players To Your Sales Team

As a VP of Sales or Sales Manager of a copier dealership, the number one driver of your success is recruiting a great sales team. If you don’t have great players, you’re going to struggle. A sales team is similar to a college football team. If the team recruits great players they are set up to have a good season. If they fail to recruit great players they are a in a lot of trouble. (With condolences to my friends who are Arkansas, Tennessee, or Nebraska fans this season!)

What can we learn from college football to help us recruit better reps? Here are a few ideas.

Three Managed IT Speed Bumps That May Slow Down Your Dealership's Success

Most of the copier dealers we serve either have Managed IT Services offerings or are planning to add this to their business. However, in many cases, the growth hasn't accelerated as quickly as they'd planned. And even if the growth has been good, who doesn't want more revenue?

I believe there are three overlooked areas that may be slowing your Managed IT Services growth. These aren't the only speed bumps. However, if you make sure these impediments get removed, you'll create a much smoother road as you ramp up your revenue.