Sometimes we make business far harder than it is.
We over-think our strategy, complicate our product line, worry too much about our staff.
All of these are important issues to be sure, but they pale into insignificance compared to the one area of business that contributes most to success.
That area? Time spent daily on Sales.
I have mentored literally thousands of business owners and almost every time I see a business not performing it is primarily because they are not spending enough hours in the day on the sales process. Either refining how they sell or getting out there and getting face to face with potential customers.
How much time should you spend on sales? Well if you’re running a new business you should devote at least 80 % of your day to it.
If you’re an established business you should spend at least 30% of your day on the sales process or connecting with customers.
Here’s an exercise well worth trying: Sit down and work out what the average amount of time is your people are spending each week either directly selling or on improving the sales process. Then set a goal to triple it, starting next week.
You may say you’re too busy. You may protest that you have too many other things to do. But if you can just bring yourself to drop these excuses and try this technique, you will be stunned at how quickly your business improves.
And don’t put up with any resistance from your sales staff about being pushed and held accountable either. Any sales person that isn’t completely happy to have their performance closely monitored should be fired. Sales is too important not to have a constant magnifying glass on it.
Sales should be the absolute center of what your company does, every single day. Ignore it at your peril. As the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson once remarked, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
If you’re not happy with how fast your business is growing, this is the area you should focus on, first, second and third. Get out there and ask more people for money. It may sound crude, but ultimately an obsession with sales is at the heart of all sustained business growth.