Sales Performance – Why it is so important

istock_000001142329small1We are experiencing possibly the most difficult time the global economy has seen since the early 1930’s

Jobs are being made redundant at a faster rate than ever. Household names are regularly going into administration. Sales are down in excess of 20% across whole industries like automotive, construction etc. Interest rates are at an all time low as an incentive for organisations to boost investment and prompt individuals to spend the extra disposable income generated from lower mortgage payments etc.

Incessant media reporting is fuelling a lack of consumer confidence. Consequently many organisations are cutting their spending plans in order to survive the current economic situation.

Consumers need a good reason to spend right now and this is where good marketing and sales processes come to the fore. Organisations need to have a clear focus on growing sales. Providing customers with valid reasons to part with cash is therefore the only way forward. Good sales people and processes are valuable at the best of times but in a recession, they can only improve the chances of survival.

Here are my three areas in which you should focus your attention if you wish to survive the current economic climate.

Manage Cash

Cash has always been king – no more so than today, Chase your debtors. Liquidate any assets you have. Get your sales people moving old stock for cash and new products for margin. Negotiate better payment terms.

Review Your Marketing

Take a fresh look at your marketing. Cut out what isn’t working. Transfer that spend to those areas where you are getting a better return on your investment. Consider alternative types of marketing including social and viral marketing. Now may be a good time for corporates to get closer to their customers – especially in the business to consumer marketplace. Avoid cutting the budget pro-rata to sales forecasts.  It is really important to maintain visibility when others may be cutting their marketing budgets.

Sell, Sell and Sell Again

Now is the time to ensure you have a good product backed by a really well motivated sales force. No time for weak hearts and ill wills. History has shown that those companies with a good product offering, cost effective marketing and a clearly defined sales strategy are the ones that survive and even flourish in a downturn. Assess your sales processes. Update and refresh as necessary.