As I explain in The Entrepreneurial Journey, there are five financial levers that sales professionals must control in order to run their firms smoothly.
- Product and service mix – Do you offer a wide range of products that satisfy every client’s need?
- Size of sale – Determined by the markets you operate in. Some are more profitable than others.
- Number of sales. You need a process to track the number of sales and the products your clients have selected.
- Seasonality – It is important to track sales to prepare for fluctuations over the course of the year.
- Cyclicality – Looks at how your revenue varies in relation to market cycles.
Taken into consideration alongside marketing, sales and service, entrepreneurs can more accurately calculate how they will be performing further down the line. Empowered with this information, you are able to create projections for expenses and identify resources you will need in six months, one year and beyond.
To align these levers with a marketing plan, you will have to devise activities that will facilitate greater sales in the future. While continuing to set up current clients for future sales, also ask them for introductions and referrals to other prospects (a request that is driven chiefly by the level of customer service you deliver). Network and “netweave” with other prospective clients in your target markets, host seminars and other events to drip on current and potential clients in your pipeline and also expand your marketing tactics to include social media, direct mail and any other channels that you have not yet used.
Revive your sales plan by defining exactly who you want to sell to, what products you will offer and when you want to complete the sales process. This should cover not only your existing clients but also those in your network, the referrals and anyone who attends your marketing events.
Do not neglect service. Make sure you are constantly giving clients a high level of value-added service that reaffirms their decision to work with you.
What do you do to coordinate your sales, marketing and service efforts? Is there collaboration between the three teams? Do you have a strategy that incorporates marketing and sales components in service calls?
By comprehending the importance of each lever’s role, FAs will be able to make their business plans and strategies more confidently and accurately. Rather than being distracted by the hectic day-to-day schedule, they can step outside of the business to make long-term projects and set goals that will advance their companies’ growth.