Growth. Is it a dirty word? For some, yes, but it’s a necessity.
You can’t achieve growth without a set of basic foundations, no matter who you are or how many times you’ve scaled, exited, and got the t-shirt.
From sales pipelines to an always-on mindset, here’s our take on the bare minimum required to get set for growth.
A functioning sales pipeline
Okay, so it sounds obvious. And it is, really. But you can’t have a start-stop pipeline if you want to get set for growth. Going for the next level requires a steady stream of leads at various stages of their lifecycle.
A few things we’ve picked out to help you with your pipeline:
Managing your sales pipeline with tactics
1.) Focus on high-value leads
Not all leads are the same, meaning that one prospect can be very engaged whereas another may not be engaged at all. The more engaged a prospect is, the more the chance that he or she will be interested in making a purchase.
This means that you should focus should on leads with high interest and engagement and continue to drive them through the funnel. That doesn’t mean focusing on just the high-value leads, as there’s money in the mundane and taking smaller amounts of cash off the table isn’t to be sniffed at.
All we’re saying is that, when you’re in pinch, focus on the ones that are more likely to convert.
2.) Drop dead leads
It can be frustrating after spending time nurturing and building relationships with some leads; however, you will need to drop these leads when they don’t show interest and are reluctant to communicate.
It’s the only way to save you time and effort and not make you seem pushy with your prospects.
3.) Keep your sales process short
We see it so often. The sales cycle is so long that you can’t take any money off the table while you’re waiting for the lead to convert. That’s where the sales ladder comes in.
A sales ladder is a process of connecting all of your products or services in a snakes and ladders kind of way.
Start from Super Gateway products, such as e-books or whitepapers, leading up to Gateway Products such as audits, sense checks, and evaluations.
These are low-cost items that take money off the table while the sales cycle towards Core and Premium offerings rumble on in the background.
The theory is this: the sales cycle for your big ticket items (think whole app builds, retainers, website design and development) is far too long for it to be sustainable.
By having a sales ladder that you can walk your prospects and clients up, you can take money off the table along the way – therefore keeping you in business and on the steady road to growth.
That's a sales ladder in a *really* simplified nutshell. Want to know more? Drop us a message and let's talk.
The KPIs that indicate a business is running well
It’s not just about sales pipelines and processes, either. It’s about wider KPIs that indicate you’re ready for growth.
It’s always worth auditing your business to see where you’re at on your journey towards the G-word, so checking common KPIs to get a health check on your business is never a waste of time.
You should be looking at things like cost per lead, time spent converting leads, staff turnover, client turnover, the culture of the business, and so much more.
We could write a whole article on KPIs (maybe we will, watch this space) but for now it’s worth just highlighting the fact that a sense check is critical before you start pumping cash and effort into growth.
The dreaded economy
Sometimes, as tempting and as in-reach as growth might be, you have to stop and take a second to consider what the world is going to look like in 3-6 months' time. For example, if the economy is taking a nosedive…perhaps now isn’t a good time to pump cash into the business hoping to achieve growth.
Likewise, if your industry is shrinking and there are a ton of layoffs, consider why that is and if you could survive if you increased your headcount by 5%.
No one is saying you have to have a crystal ball, but just be mindful of what’s around the corner.
Finding the skills needed to grow your business
Another factor to consider is this: do you have the talent in the business required to take your company to the next level?
No offence intended to your current team, but if you’re scaling and taking on bigger clients and meatier projects, consider if they’re up to the job or if it’ll overwhelm them.
If it’s the latter, then recruitment is a huge part of what you’ve got to do to get set for growth.
To wrap it up, businesses focusing on growth will flourish when they focus on building teams inside out in all areas, have a complete picture of the market they target, and steady hand on the pipeline.
This was by no means intended to be the full rundown on getting set for growth, for that you’ll need a comprehensive Growth Readiness Audit (which we provide, just saying), but this is a good starting point for understanding if you’re ready to take on the next challenge.