Hints & Tips Blog
Having trouble getting the business to grow? – what can I do?
Most businesses hit a wall in sales growth at some point in time. This can be caused by any number of factors, some of which you can control and others that you can’t. The last few months have clearly shown us this!
But the most important point, is how you react.
We have created three top tips to help you to respond in the best possible way:
- Understand the root cause
It’s clear sales have fallen, but is it purely a sales issue?
Doing some internal diagnosis is vital at this point, ask yourself:
- Have your customer buying habits changed?
- Are there any quality issues?
- Has your customer service deteriorated?
- Are there any new products or services from the competition?
- Are the sales team still operating in line with your expectations?
Understanding the real issue is critical in helping you address it.
- Have the right mindset to respond
This can be tough, especially at the moment, when the challenges are coming thick and fast and from all directions!
However, in parallel to the “business diagnostics” that will enable you to understand the root cause, having the right mindset is critical too.
You need to be positive, willing to adapt and be willing to listen, reflect and learn!
Once you’ve got through the initial challenge or crisis, it’s important not to just move on to the next thing, but to embrace a ‘learning mindset’.
- It’s worth investing the time and thought into assessing what led to the problem, what could have prevented it and whether this root cause is likely to create other future problems?
- If you were blindsided by changing customer demand, how will you ensure you more effectively predict and respond early to future changes?
- If market demand was solid but your sales still dropped, does this highlight outdated sales channels, poor customer engagement or an ineffective sales force?
- Assessing the capacity of your sales team, re-configuring structures, investing in training or identifying new routes to market could all be options.
- Understand your role in the business
In the short term you may feel the need to “dive in” and resolve the issue, if you do that’s fine, BUT do it in a way that supports your team. Don’t let it lead to a more transactional and directive leadership style.
You want your management team to be effective, you’ve appointed them for a reason, let them do their job.
Harness the skills, abilities and resourcefulness of your best people – and acknowledge that they are experts in their areas.
Ultimately, you need to invest your time in looking at the bigger picture, after all you don’t want your growth to stagnate again.
Your intervention may have stimulated increased sales through increased activity and short-term measures, but long term success and sustainability is likely to need new approaches.
You should be looking at the external market, ways of improving your customer experience and your supply chain. Thinking about these areas and their impact on your business, will pay dividends.
Hopefully these are tips that will help trigger some solutions for you but for a more in-depth understanding of how to kick start growth, please give Mark Roberts a call on 0113 274 3496.