Unlocking the Power of Sales and Marketing: A Profitable Partnership

Unlocking the Power of Sales and Marketing: A Profitable Partnership

Let’s dive into one of my favourite topics – sales.

Well more specifically I want to explore the symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing.

When you align your sales and marketing efforts, magic happens.

That magic can look like achieving up to 38% higher conversion rate, a 36% increase in customer retention, and saving 30% on customer acquisition costs. That’s impressive, right?

Translated, that’s money staying in your back pocket!

And yet, businesses tend to focus on getting marketing plans in place, overlooking the importance of a dedicated sales strategy.

Sales and marketing strategies are distinct, and understanding this difference is crucial.

Why does a marketing and sales strategy matter?

During my early days in business, I experienced a sudden drop in revenue after consistently earning $40,000 per month.

It felt like I was speeding toward a cliff with no time to build a bridge across it.

That bridge, my friends, is your pipeline – the lifeline of your business.

Relying solely on word-of-mouth referrals is risky. 

It leads to reactive decisions, discounting, and chasing the wrong clients. It can lead to a scarcity mindset that you need to overcome, or better yet, avoid altogether.

What comes first, marketing or sales? 

The truth is, it’s not about one preceding the other; it’s about understanding they go hand in hand. We must break free from linear thinking and embrace their interdependence.

The more important question is, which do you have – a marketing or sales plan?

Pssst.. Your answer needs to be ‘both!’

In our growth pipeline model (which you can grab here), there are three key components to both effective sales and marketing: Plan, Execute, and Evaluate.

Today, we’ll focus on sales planning. 

Regardless if you have a team handling sales, or you’re still at the sales helm, it’s essential to create a simple sales plan (and by the way, it does NOT have to be complicated!).

1. Examine the current shape of your business. The current shape involves looking at your past performance. For example, analyse revenue by client segments, services, or industries. Identify which clients, services, or industries contribute the most to your revenue and where the gaps are.

2. Next, define the future shape of your business. Determine your growth goals and what you want to change or maintain. Perhaps you want to focus more on a specific client segment or industry. Maybe you want to increase revenue from existing clients.

TOP TIP: To simplify this process, think of three key aspects: which client segments or revenue streams you want to grow, maintain, and acquire (aka business growth).

Set specific goals for each category based on your analysis in points 1 and 2. This approach provides a clear path for your sales and marketing efforts to follow.

Be sure to include the above insights into your marketing plan and that your marketing and sales teams speak to each other and collaborate in their efforts.

Remember, sales and marketing are not isolated entities; they’re your business’s dynamic duo. 

Embrace their partnership, set clear goals, and the result? Sit back and watch your business thrive.

Ps. Be sure to do the Pipeline Audit here.

Nicky is a Sales and Business Leadership Coach with over 2 decades experience in sales and leadership. She’s been running successful coaching businesses since 2015 and is obsessed with helping business owners and teams thrive. She helps her clients install smart business growth strategies and leverage leadership for peak performance.

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Beyond Babushka Dolls: How Shared Goals Can Propel Your Business to Success

Beyond Babushka Dolls: How Shared Goals Can Propel Your Business to Success

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re the only one who can come up with the best business plan and make things happen.

But the truth is, leveraging smart growth in your business means involving everyone in the team.

Research shows that when the whole team takes accountability to achieve high-performance results, it leads to increased productivity, engagement, and profitability.

In fact, a study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that companies that promote collaborative working are five times as likely to be high-performing compared to those that don’t. 

So, how can you get your team accountable to the high-performance results and expectations in the business?

One effective way is to have team members, especially salespeople, create and present their plan to the team with quarterly updates. This not only holds them accountable but also keeps everyone informed and motivated.

Your team members’ individual planning and goals feed into the overarching strategy and goals of the business.

In other words, everyone in the team needs to be aligned to the bigger picture and also be striving for their own goals.

When each team member takes ownership of their responsibilities and is accountable for achieving their goals, it creates a ripple effect throughout the entire business.

Just like the Babushka dolls, each layer adds to the bigger picture, and when all the layers work together in harmony, it creates a strong and united team.

On the other hand, if you try to do everything yourself, you may end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. Not only will your business growth suffer, you’re missing out on a massive engagement opportunity with your team.

If you’re feeling stuck in the busy trap and feeling like your business is chaotic, it’s time to leverage smart growth in your business and involve everyone in the process.

Book a clarity call with me today, and let’s discuss how we can work together to achieve peak performance through collaborative working.

 

Nicky is a Sales and Business Leadership Coach with over 2 decades experience in sales and leadership. She’s been running successful coaching businesses since 2015 and is obsessed with helping business owners and teams thrive. She helps her clients install smart business growth strategies and leverage leadership for peak performance.

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How to Stop Worrying About Missed Opportunities in Your Business

How to Stop Worrying About Missed Opportunities in Your Business

Picture this: you’re a business owner with a never-ending to-do list. 

You’re constantly juggling client enquiries, trying to ensure that your customer experience is top-notch, and worrying if you’re charging the right amount for your services. 

It’s overwhelming, to say the least. 

Think about it: every time you receive a client enquiry, you’re probably starting from scratch. You have to think about how to respond, what information to provide, and how to move the process forward. 

It’s time-consuming and inefficient. 

But what if you didn’t have to ‘think’ at each step?

What if you could be 100% confident that every single team member delivers a consistent, high quality experience to prospects and potential clients, no matter how busy they are?

How?

Look at the convert and nurture piece of your sales process (to check out more about what a good overall sales process looks like check out this article.).

80% of sales require 5 follow up calls after the meeting yet 44% of people give up after 1 follow up call. How many follow up calls do you and your team make? 

If it’s less than 4, you’re leaving money on the table!

91% of customers say they’d give a referral, yet only 11% of sales people ask.

If you don’t ask for referrals, you’re leaving money on the table!

If you have a solid sales process in place, including a focus on convert and nurture – you’re not relying on your (or your teams) memory to lock in these sales. 

Take some time to evaluate the convert and nurture aspects to your sales processes and identify areas where you can create replicable systems. 

Doing this will free up space for you to concentrate on higher quality problems and decisions without the niggling feeling that you’re leaving money on the table. 

Trust me, you won’t regret it. 

As always, if you need a hand with this, send us a message and let’s chat! 

Nicky is a Sales and Business Leadership Coach with over 2 decades experience in sales and leadership. She’s been running successful coaching businesses since 2015 and is obsessed with helping business owners and teams thrive. She helps her clients install smart business growth strategies and leverage leadership for peak performance.

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Without simple scalable sales systems your business will be stuck

Without simple scalable sales systems your business will be stuck

The truth of it is that your business can only go so far with a reactive approach to sales and business growth. 

You’ve had some awesome success in your business (congrats btw!). 

But it can feel a little chaotic, and even with all of your wins under your belt, somehow it feels like you’re ‘winging’ it.

When you don’t have a sales process in place you’re basically starting over every time a new client comes through the door #exhausting

You don’t want to have to think about the next steps all the time or be worrying about the quality of sales conversations your team are having when you’re not there. 

You want to feel like everything’s consistent, under control and taken care of at all times. 

I’m sure you’ve heard people like me bang on about how important a sales process is to business. 

I get it, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what needs to be done or exactly what that means. 

And let’s be honest, you don’t have the time to sit down and map this stuff out! 

But here’s the thing, when you know where you’re going you can get there quicker and easier. Think about it like using a GPS system for your clients. 

A good GPS will give you suggestions on shortcuts and takes the thinking out of the driving for you. It guides each milestone, pit stop, and the road to travel. It also navigates detours around unexpected surprises that pop up. 

When you put a destination in the GPS, it gives you the most efficient way to get to where you’re going. 

Don’t you want that for your clients?

If you do, there are 6 areas for you to think strategically in your business. To get clarity right away on your strengths and gaps, how many do you answer yes to?

  1. Sales set up: Do you intimately know your #’s – past, present and future and do you have a positive mindset about sales?
  2. Attract: Do you have a reliable lead gen strategy in place?
  3. Qualify: Is there a simple and effective qualifying process for new clients?
  4. Convert: Are you consistent in your approach to converting clients ie. 1st time appointment and 2nd appointment, effective (repeatable) questions to uncover needs?
  5. Nurture: Do you have a nurture sequence for the yes’s, no’s and the not now’s?
  6. Innovate: Is there a system to ensure you regularly review your services, revenue streams, processes, and client experience?

Research conducted since the pandemic (by the Brevet Group) shows there are longer buyer cycles than ever before. 

This highlights the importance of having a sales framework or process to take the emotion out of selling and to make sure leads don’t go cold.. or are forgotten about.

You don’t want to be leaving money on the table or not getting paid what you’re worth! Check out more on getting paid what you’re worth here.

Most importantly having this process makes your clients feel taken care of and helps them decide if you’re the right fit for them.

What are your next steps?

Once you’ve identified your strengths and gaps, don’t put pressure on yourself to put everything in place at once. Chip away at each point one step at a time. Start with area 1 moving your way through to 6. 

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone! 

This is the exact process we take our clients through to help them get more time and step back from the business with ease and confidence so they can get back to doing what they love. Book a clarity call if you want guidance on what your best next step is. 

Nicky is a Sales and Business Leadership Coach with over 2 decades experience in sales and leadership. She’s been running successful coaching businesses since 2015 and is obsessed with helping business owners and teams thrive. She helps her clients install smart business growth strategies and leverage leadership for peak performance.

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Why Smart Growth is Not Only About Sales

Why Smart Growth is Not Only About Sales

Let’s face it, without sales you aren’t going to last long in business.

When I started back in 2015, I hired a coach because I had no idea how to close a sale.

I followed his advice, studied sales models and applied them with success.

And my business started to boom.

In 2019 I hit my stride and all my income targets were met, plus some. 

But I was bleeding expenses. 

My philosophy? If it’s in the bank, it’s there to spend!

Never mind looking to the future, understanding cash flow or building an emergency fund.

And then 2020 hit and I was stuffed. 

The sales dried up. Work got pulled.

My bank account looked as empty as my diary.

The tough lesson I learned was there is more to smart growth than sales alone.

You see, the sales were great but during 2019 I was so busy delivering, that planning took a back seat.

My business was in chaos.

There was no profit to draw from.

And I had huge regrets.

It seems I wasn’t alone though.

According to Mainstreet Insights, Australia’s financial habits, July 2021, the number one financial regret of Australians is not prioritising their financial health earlier in life.

The biggest mindset shift was realising that growing a business isn’t just about more sales.

There are 3 fundamental aspects to smart growth.

Smart Growth

 

At the foundation is planning

As Lewis Carroll said – any road will get you there if you don’t know where you’re going.

We must know where we’re going because that determines our focus.

Our focus then determines our actions.

Some key elements to successful planning:

  • Make sure you review your business and personal vision annually
  • Set targets and Key Performance Indicates (KPIs) for yourself and your team
  • Identify your Wildly Important Goals (WIGS) for the next 6 months
  • Set 90-day milestones that work towards achieving the WIGs
  • Review and adjust as needed every month at a minimum
  • Identify and complete at least 3 tasks each week that move the dial in the right direction
  • Have a ‘plan on a page’ that you can see each day to keep you on track

 

Growth comes from sales

Sales will always be important in business growth.

But we can be smarter about it as we grow.

Here are just a handful of actions we can take:

  • Set targets, for you and your team and celebrate achieving them
  • Regularly review your prices and where appropriate, increase them
  • Set up sales structures and processes in your business so your team members can sell
  • Get clear on your ideal client and only work with them
  • Determine how profitable our various services are and kill off those that don’t make us money

We can’t take the foot off the break here, but we can smooth out our demand.

 

Build wealth through profit

This is often the forgotten piece for many female-founded businesses that I work with.

There are a variety of approaches to wealth creation in business.

Here are some I recommend:

  • Set targets each year, including your profit target
  • Put money aside for tax, including GST (it’s not your money to spend)
  • Set up a cloud-based accounting system that’s easy for your team to use
  • If you delegate your book-keeping make sure not to delegate understanding your figures – learn how to read a Profit & Loss statement and Balance Sheet
  • Know your cash-flow projection for the next 3 months minimum
  • Have 3-6 months of expenses set aside in an Emergency Fund
  • Regularly review your expenses

According to Inc Magazine & The Kauffman Foundation, two-thirds of the 300 fastest-growing private companies in the US had either shrunk stagnated or failed within 5-8 years.

Don’t become another statistic of rapid growth. 

When you focus on all 3 areas of smart growth, you give yourself the best chance of long-term business success.

To help you focus on smart growth, we’ve created the Smart Growth Checklist, which will you tell you exactly where your business strengths and gaps are in under 4 minutes

It’s quick and easy way to get a helicopter view of the state of your business, through the perspective of reactive vs. proactive growth

It’s powerful and will quickly become an invaluable tool in your business

You can download it here.

Ness is a money coach, helping businesswomen like you gain clarity over your financial goals, building wealth and financial security for themselves.

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Do these practical steps to never work with the wrong client again

Do these practical steps to never work with the wrong client again

Working with the wrong type of client can cost you time, money and let’s be honest it can be draining! 

The best time to say no to a client is early on before you’ve even started working with them. 

But how do you know if they’re right for you?

You qualify them!

In the early days of business, you might say yes to clients and work that comes in regardless of where it comes from. 

This can be an important part of figuring out how to improve your product and service or finding your niche. 

But once you’ve been in business for a while, there’s a point where it’s time to start saying no. And initially, this can be uncomfortable. 

Sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re still holding on to the wrong type of clients.

So my question to you is… 

Are you working with your ideal clients? And by ideal clients I mean those that light you up to work with and you can help them?

Because listen up… if they’re not right for you, you’re not right for them! It’s just the way it goes. 

I want to share a really simple process that helps you qualify your clients early on so you never have to work with the wrong type of client again. 

All you have to do is come up with a killer set of 3-5 questions and make sure you ask these of everyone before you work with them. 

Let me outline it for you below.

What do I ask? 

The best way to come up with your 3-5 qualifying questions is to think of your non-negotiables when it comes to working with (or selling your product to) someone. 

Then craft your questions around these. 

  • Non-negotiable: Must have a minimum of 10 staff members
  • Question: How many team members do you have?
  • Non-negotiable: A specific set of industries you work with
  • Question: What industry are you in?
  • Non-negotiable: They must be local to a certain area
  • Question: Where are you based?
  • Non-negotiable: They need to have a baseline level understanding of the work you do 
  • Question: Have you worked with a [insert service or product] before or what’s your understanding of [service or product]
  • Non-negotiable: There’s a minimum investment amount required
  • Question: Have you thought about how much you’d like to invest in this?
  • Non-negotiable: You want people to show up or be committed to your service/solution
  • Question: Why is now the right time for you to xyz or what do you want to get out of xyz and how committed are you?

Simple right? It is oh so simple and oh so overlooked. 

ACTION: Take a few moments now, to write down your non-negotiables and what the questions would be for you to ask them. 

Top tip if you’re an online or product-based business. You can follow a version of this process in your website copy and make sure you price accordingly so that you’re speaking to your ideal client. 

How do I ask them?

A barrier is sometimes not remembering to ask the questions in the moment or not knowing when to ask them. The solution to this is creating a process that becomes second nature.  

Depending on your business if it’s online, or in-person, selling will depend on how you ask them. Below are some examples for different types of business. If you get stuck on this and want to pick the brain of an expert in this space, book a complimentary chat with Nicky here

  • If you have a booking system in place (like acuity or calendly) you can add some questions for the prospect to answer when booking the appointment. 
  • Use Typeform or Google Sheets if you don’t have the above systems in place
  • Verbally when you catch up with your prospect, make sure you have your questions in front of you as a part of your sales conversation and record the answers somewhere… even a word doco is better than nothing. 

However you do it in, getting to ask these questions early on is key to saving you time and future headaches. And it doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact, the simpler the better!

What if they’re NOT the right fit….#awkward!

It’s pretty simple really. You can politely tell them that you’re not the right fit, or not the best person to help them. 

If relevant you can be specific about why, but you don’t have to justify your decision. 

You’re allowed to choose who you want to work with.

Read that again 👆

A great way to do this without feeling like sh*t can be to have some referrals in mind. If it’s not the right fit for practical reasons ie. they’re too big or small, you can pass on the details of someone else who can help. 

And remember, even if you don’t have a referral for someone else who can help, you can still end the conversation on a positive by wishing them all the best.

What about the “not now”?

Another common problem is that you overfill your cup, and your calendar, because you’re saying yes to the right type of client but you’re too busy to fit them in.

First, ask yourself, why do you keep saying yes? 

  1. Is it because there’s an underlying scarcity belief and you’re scared if you say no the work will stop coming?
  2. Is it because you feel bad and don’t want to let people down?

It’s okay to tell people you have a waitlist or to let them know what date works to get started in the future

Read that again 👆

I’ve had future start dates with clients six months ahead and clients keep saying yes! 

The biggest expectations we often have, we put on ourselves. And most of the time people will wait for you. If not, that’s also okay.

Qualify the right clients by making sure the price is right!

If you undercharge, your ideal client will overlook you for being ‘too cheap’. Understand who you’re wanting to sell to so you can price, package and communicate directly to them. 

If the concept of understanding your ideal client is new to you, check out my recent article here.

Nicky is a Sales and Business Leadership Coach with over 2 decades experience in sales and leadership. She’s been running successful coaching businesses since 2015 and is obsessed with helping business owners and teams thrive. She helps her clients install smart business growth strategies and leverage leadership for peak performance.

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