Growing Revenue: A 3 Step Framework for Acquiring New Business
Do you want to grow revenue? Then you’ll need to close new business. New business, to be clear, refers to revenue generated by:
- Identifying and selling into new accounts, i.e. companies that you haven’t done business with before.
- Penetrating deeper and broader into existing client accounts, i.e. selling across different departments within a current client’s organization
- Up-selling or cross-selling, i.e. selling more to your current clients
If your reps aren’t bringing in enough new business, it could be that they forgot, or never knew how to develop new business. In his hot-off-the press book , “New Sales. Simplified.” Mike Weinberg puts forth an interesting proposition as to the underlying causes. In fact, he offers a “not-so-sweet 16” top reasons why reps fail at new business development.
There is one reason as to why so few reps know how to hunt for new business, however, that I find to be the most intriguing. Mike contends that because many of today’s sales reps began their career during times of economic prosperity. They simply never had to learn how. During the whole of the ‘90s and between 2002-2007 most sales organizations benefited from high demand for their products and services. Salespeople could get away with being reactive.
Of course, we’re dealing with a very different environment today.
Reps must proactively hunt for new business. Hunting takes certain skill sets and certain personality types. Reps who are great at relationship management, customer service, problem solving, and client retention are not necessarily successful hunters. That’s why they are referred to as “farmers.” Farming is equivalent to account management and it requires a service mentality. While both hunters and farmers are always needed, and both new accounts and current accounts are important, if you want to grow revenue in today’s environment you’ll need a large army of well-trained hunters and a smaller contingent of farmers. And that’s where “New Sales. Simplified.” comes in.
After his ten-year run as a successful sales hunter Mike spent the next ten years and fifty client engagements developing, road-testing, revising and refining his New Sales Driver framework comprised of 3 essential components:
- Select targets
- Create and deploy weapons
- Plan and execute the attack
In “New Sales. Simplified.” he goes into specific details on how to accomplish each task. To start with, you must ask an essential two-part question: Where is the business going to come from and who should I pursue? Launching an attack without a clear vision of your target is not a good strategy.
Mike makes a very important point about the process of selecting target accounts. It is a rare opportunity to be strategic. He states “It’s surprising how often senior executives or even first-line sales managers take for granted that their people are working the right accounts. Choosing our target accounts, which effectively also means how we should be investing our time, is one of the few truly strategic things we do in sales.”
It is not enough, he points out, to collect a pile of folders, trade publications, local business lists, and printouts from various databases. Instead, Reps need to create a real, workable, list based on analysis and a well-reasoned thought process. Mike explains exactly how to do this in “New Sales. Simplified.”
Once you have your targeted list, you can move on to step two which is to consider what’s in your arsenal. Mike offers suggestions on many weapons including social media, email, digital marketing, and content. The most important weapons, however, are the sales story, and the sales call. The chapter on creating and delivering a powerful sales story, alone, is worth the price of the book.
Mike delivers something else that many sales books lack…hard-hitting advice that may seem contrarian. For instance, when it comes to calling into an account to score an appointment, Mike advises to “Stop overqualifying!” He goes on to explain his view, “If we’re proactively calling target accounts, the decision has already been made that we want to see them face-to-face.”
It is a targeted account for a reason. Get the meeting. Then prepare yourself properly to conduct the most successful meeting possible. Mike’s advice also shines in this area. He reveals great techniques for structuring the call, delivering the power statement, and asking questions designed for specific objectives.
The cover of “New Sales. Simplified.” boldly proclaims that the book is “the essential handbook for prospecting and new business development” and it doesn’t disappoint. If you need to hunt for new business and aren’t sure the best way to plan your attack and attack your plan, then this book is for you. If you manage a sales team that needs to elevate their new business performance to new heights, then do yourself and your team a favor and get a copy for everyone.
Mike Weinberg is a top performing sales hunter, sales executive, and founder of New Sales Coach. He speaks, consults and coaches on new business development sales strategies. @mike_weinberg
Author, Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert in sales productivity tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools. Click to get Nancy’s What & When weekly digest with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Tool Talk blog. Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.