Maximised sales – it’s what every business wants, but exactly how do you do it? There are books written by sales experts, there are training events run by sales experts. But if you really want to learn then the best way is face to face with the experts that maximise their sales every single day.
Some of the secrets of sales success were shared at the Maximising Sales Focus Dinner, with top advice and experiences shared by Alan Bonner of Pinnacle Telecom Group and Alan Revie of National Tyre and Autocare.
For Alastair Balfour, the key learnings were around focus on your client portfolio. As Alastair, of The Company Creators, says, telling a client they need to focus on reducing their client portfolio probably wouldn’t come naturally to many growth company advisers, but that’s what Alan Bonner said.
“Bonner, who has just stepped down from the Exchange board after serving as a director for three years, explained that his mission was to move Pinnacle steadily upmarket and away from its traditional dependence on the SME market for combined telecom and IT solutions. This meant engaging with larger enterprise clients and demonstrating that Pinnacle had the technical capability and the pricing structure to offer them a better deal than their present supplier.
“This would only be possible if he refocused the sales effort on enterprise-level prospects, and deliberately allowed the lower-value clients to drop away. While this would cause some short-term pain, the end result would be a stronger group solidly focused on larger more valuable clients.”
It proved to be one of the most valuable events of the Exchange calendar, according to attendees.
Other key tips shared after the event included:
“I learned that it can pay off to be selective in terms of what type of customers to work with. This will be helpful at looking at our own sales strategy.”
“The value of these events is learning about different ways/strategies for maximising sales. Understanding learnings, good and bad, from others.”
“Combination of high-quality and extremely contrasting talks from the two speakers, and great audience interaction. There was an excellent range of members present, and the whole thing just jelled.”
“Key tips for me were to be clear about the service offer. Ensure everyone knows it and lives it the way the business wants it to be lived. Activity drives everything.”
“Key tips for me – sales ladder from Alan Revie – up selling from Alan Bonner .”
“First work out where you are in the cycle and then pick the appropriate sales techniques and strategies tested by others that should work for you. Keep trying to think outside of your context.”
“Key tip for me was to look at economy of scales and see how we can increase sales without increasing our central costs.”
“Key tips for me – link sales team incentive scheme to business strategy. Offer different tiers of product/service/ brand to customers to manage margin according to their value contribution.”
And finally, putting learnings into action straight away …
“I took away a strong message that ‘Less can be More’, via Alan Bonner’s presentation about how he is trying to reduce Pinnacle’s customer base so he can concentrate on higher-value enterprise projects rather than smaller SME projects. Alan Revie also provided a very useful sales checklist, which I’ll ‘borrow’ to use as a sighting shot in a first meeting with a potential client.”
You can read Alan Bonner and Alan Revie’s biogs here