Sales & Operations Consulting, Inc
Getting Organized for Growth!
February 11, 2019
One of the hardest things to do is to move from a start-up or small company to a medium or large company. I have been involved with many organizations that had great ideas and even a great start on their products and client list, but were constantly on the verge of failing. Part of this, is just the nature of the beast. Starting a company can be challenging, and depending on what industry you're in, can also take a lot of up-front capital. The other part is just not having the correct tools in place to deal with growth.
For those people thinking about starting a company or have already started, but are looking to get to the next level, my advice would be to first get your infrastructure in place , so you can stay organized and track existing clients and future business. Putting infrastructure in place early on, will save an enormous amount of headaches and also give you a great foundation for training new employees.
There are a lot of options for CRMs, Email Campaign Software, Mobile Sales Tools, etc and they can quickly make your company go broke. Start with the right tools that fit your budget, even if that budget is zero. Believe it not, there are plenty of tools out there that are free or almost free, that can be implemented and then expanded at a later date, as your company grows.
Want a free, initial consultation? Please email [email protected]
Throwing Your Digital Dollars Away!
February 15, 2019
I know this is going to sound like common sense, but you're wasting your money on your digital marketing efforts, if you are not going to respond to your "emails"!
Digital marketing dollars are comprised of your website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp! etc. You are spending money on building them and then typically, shortly after publishing, you are inundated with calls and emails from those companies to spend additional money on enhanced listings, better placement, more visibility and overall advertising to drive "eyeballs". This doesn't even count your own emails and texts to your existing customers.
Many companies fall short because they have all these channels of communication with customers and potential customers and then they don't pay attention or respond. Most of the time, I believe that companies try and launch all their social media at one time and then they get inundated, don't pay attention or they forget about them altogether. As a small business, you don't need to pay a company to do this for you, but you do need to stay on top of it. If you can't keep up with all social media, you're better off getting rid of a few of them. Start small. It's better that your customers know where to find you and know that they will be acknowledge, rather than your company be on every platform and your customers ignored.
I'm still waiting for a response from SiriusXM and the Spa I went to in early December, and I am looking to give them my money! There is nothing that makes you feel less important as a customer.
So sometimes, the most basic things are the ones that work the best to drive sales, and more importantly, to create repeat customers. Be responsive!
Want a free, initial consultation? Please email [email protected]
February 25, 2019
The obvious - one of the most consistent things I have noticed of companies looking to move from a start-up to a small business or a small business to a medium size company is the measurement is done in sales revenue and most struggle with balancing needing more sales and not being able to add expense to their payroll.
One of the easiest & most affordable ways to increase sales is to look at what you already have, where your strengths lie and find more of them. Sounds easy right? It actually is, but the stumbling block is that you don’t have time to do the research, create the database, cold call and set-up appointments. Most companies in “start-up mode” barely have time to implement the deals that they have found, or have been referred to them.
When you are a small team, many times you also don’t have the extra time to do things like add potential leads to your CRM or follow up on a conversation you had over the weekend, without someone there to remind you.
It is easy to get into the mode of just working on the client in front of you and putting out fires. It feels like you’re very busy all day long, but when it slows down, it takes a lot more work to then find those new clients. It also does not get you to the kind of growth that you need to expand your business.
So, would if you could “outsource” an office manager/sales assistant 2-3 days a week, to help keep you on track? Normally you would probably advertise for a part-time position or go to a temp agency, but would if you could use the resources that are already familiar with your business?
Have you ever thought of asking your accountant or law firm if they would have extra people that could possible help you on projects like this in their down time? Who else in your orbit understands your business but may have staff they want to keep busy?
We quickly saw this need with our clients and added it to the services we offer and you know the best part? When our clients are ready to hire someone full-time, we commit to training them!
Want to inquire or share your thoughts on this type interim solution? Please email. [email protected]
CRMs - One of the More Important Sales Tools!
March 6, 2019
One of the most important things to successful sales is follow-up. One of the tools that makes follow-up easier is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management System). There are probably over 100 different software packages that are promoted as CRMs (if not more!), and many of them are quite expensive, especially for the start-up or small business. Mostly I find that the expensive CRMs are like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly.
The first things you need to understand are what do you really want a CRM to do for your business? Just because a CRM can put a man in space doesn’t mean you can’t use it to boil an egg! Many of our clients are transitioning from a manual/paper based system or a simple spreadsheet or other electronic document that they use to track their business. We believe keeping it simple in the beginning makes success and adoption of a new system more likely. A good CRM is flexible, so once you get acclimated to the basics, nothing prevents you from adding additional functionality later.
Flexibility is why the other important part of a CRM is the ability to customize. We spend time customizing CRMs for clients in order for the software to be more intuitive to the users. This also builds a good foundation for a training tool as you hire new employees. You spend less time having to train them on what the fields mean to your business, if you can create the fields to mirror your business right from the start. If the CRM does not have this ability, no matter how cheap it is, take a pass.
Also, keep in mind that a CRM is only as good as the data you put into it. Before you spend money and time on a CRM, you have to make the commitment to use it everyday or be ready to hire someone part-time or full-time to assist in keeping your data up-to-date. If not, you truly are throwing your money away!
Lastly, put your sales tools in place before you find you need them. The sooner you have good tools in place and great processes, the sooner you are set for growth and great customer service.
So start with an affordable flyswatter that can be tailored to your business and can adapt when you decide you need to put a man on the moon!
Want advice about CRMs? Do you have questions about what you might need? Feel to set up a call by emailing us at [email protected]
If You Lose a Customer - Be Gracious and Learn!
August 27, 2019
Through the course of helping a client, I made a change to their credit card processing vendor. It was integrated with the field service software I had set up and it saved them money. Initially I knew nothing about the vendor I was replacing, but strictly looked at what the costs were and what was required for integration.
Through number of conversation I learned that I actually knew the sales rep for the vendor and we had been at a number of networking events together.
The entire experience reminded me that when you lose a customer the most important thing you can do is be gracious about it. Don't fight, don't be emotional, but rather be gracious and approach it objectively. There are many reasons why companies lose clients and it is never as simple as price. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your company is to take the time to understand why. Learn from the experience and incorporate into your processes actions that eliminate those issues. Client relationships are built over time, not automatically created because you signed up a new client.
Would you like to set up a consultation to discuss your business and how to grow your customer base? Feel free to fill out the Contact Us Form or just email [email protected]