How Long to Climb a Mountain

Clients ask many questions about their sales.  At the heart of it, they’re really asking, “How long will it take to reach my sales goals?”  We understand this question.  Who doesn’t want a bit of certainty in their life, especially when they’re about to spend some budget?

Every client situation is different.  Some clients have never talked to their customers, some have sporadic email relationships with their customers, others communicate regularly.  Add into the mix industry factors, how your business measures up against competitors, the economy, the time of year (we’re about to hit the end of the March financial year) – and forecasting becomes a whole lot more complex.

Some clients have never mapped their sales processes, and do not know how long it takes for them to make a sale, how many touchpoints are needed, or how the customer experiences their business.

All of us want happy clients.  Here at Magnify, we’d love to promise the moon and deliver it to everyone.  But the reality is that sometimes people come to us because they’re finding the Sales Mountain hard to climb and need some help.

Just like our last blog, where we talked about the Seven Lessons that St Patrick (climbing a mountain!) can teach us about sales – a lot of what we do is sheer perseverance.

So – what do you need in place to climb your Sales Mountain and get the best from your outsourced sales campaign?

Your outsourced sales provider needs to ensure that your data is ready, and that you have good client documentation ready to go.  It’s also important to discuss the sales processes already in place, and how the new business development you’re about to start will fit into that.  Skimping on the preparation, just like a mountain climb, will mean a less successful journey to the top.

Are all your sales steps in place?  Now you’re ready to start the climb.

Please note that no-one can accurately predict when your high-level sales goals will be reached.  What you need most is an honest assessment of your sales situation.  Your outsourced sales provider needs to prioritise your business needs over their need to make a sale.  This may mean your campaign takes a pause for a week or two while you pivot your sales approach, to help your business meet the market needs and conditions that you’ve uncovered.  Breaking through into that new market might take longer than you think.

However, much of sales is scientific.  So you can predict some things.

When your sales team collectively put their shoulders to the proverbial wheel and P-U-S-H – uphill if necessary – you will generate sales momentum.  Well-thought, appropriately spaced contact with your client database will provide the touch-points you need.  Listening carefully to your customers will help you understand their experiences of your business.  Which will ultimately deliver the results you want.

Good sales notes (in a CRM or database) will help you to see what’s happening with your new and existing clients.  After a couple of months, you should be able to spot patterns to help you map your sales processes, number of customer touchpoints, and how long it takes to make a sale.  You can then start to calculate the real cost of bringing on board new clients, and make more accurate predictions on how long it will take to reach your sales goals.

So – we can’t say exactly how long it will take to climb your Sales Mountain.  But a good outsourced sales provider can provide tools, insight, and measurable results for the journey to help get you there, however long it takes.  And a couple of coffees to start you on the right track!