Investing for Sales Success

Investing for Sales Success

Your business must grow. Just maintaining, or falling behind, is unacceptable. Jobs depend on your growth. Employee promotion opportunities depend on your growth. Profits for reinvestment depend on your growth. If you’re an entrepreneur, your retirement plan probably depends on your growth.

Growth is Fun & Exciting

If your business has become a bit boring, or worse, a burden or a challenge to you, there is one absolute, sure fire cure: Growth! Nothing will change your perspective on your business like consistent, profitable sales growth. Nothing.

Getting to work will become fun again and your ideas and plans for the business will come alive. Excitement will return to the workplace. Yes, growth cures all.

Sowing Seeds is Required

My grandfather, D.L. White, was a farmer near a tiny town called McAlister, New Mexico. During my childhood, I don’t know how many times we visited he and my grandmother, Ruby, on their farm. While it was a long drive from the Dallas area, we always loved to see them. It was quite a change of scenery for a kid from Garland, Texas.

When we visited, we didn’t just sit around, we got involved in their daily routine. We learned how to plow using the John Deere tractor, how to run the irrigation system and how to fertilize the crops. But, of course the most exciting time was harvest time. All those weeks and months of effort would now come to fruition. When the crops were ready, there was no time to waste. The harvest days were long, but the joy of reaping the reward was palpable. To put it another way, it was payday.

But the payday was not possible without sowing the seeds required for the harvest. My grandfather invested heavily to carefully sow seeds over hundreds of acres. And he diligently cared for those crops over time to ensure the harvest came through as expected. But, no seeds planted, no harvest. Pretty simple.

Where Is Your Harvest Field?

If you’re going to reap a harvest of new sales, you’re going to have to plant seeds of opportunity with your potential new customers and clients. That will require that you consistently invest in sales and marketing programs that create new revenue. Too often we see “random acts of sales and marketing” when it comes to investing in sales processes. Those random acts lead to random results. The cure is to commit to long-term investments in sales and marketing, continually measure them, and perfect them for optimum results.

Double Your Harvest

May I suggest a plan to double your revenue every five years? This will require a compound annual growth rate of at least 13%, every year, over those five years. How would life change if you were on track to double your business in the next five years?

We see potential in many businesses to meet or exceed that 13% growth rate. The have a strong product or service offering, good management teams and a good clientele. The formula for growth definitely exists and can be expanded upon. But many times, leaders won’t evaluate their sales strategy to encompass best practices for optimum growth. And, ultimately, they under-invest in sales and marketing

What Should You Spend on Sales & Marketing?

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, they recommend spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue on sales and marketing. This recommendation certainly can be higher or lower depending on a number of factors. If you’re in a competitive industry, your spend may need to be higher. If you’re launching a new offering, it probably needs to be higher. If you provide a higher-margin offering, you might be able to spend more.

Some industries, such as professional services, typically spend less. But surveys still show that the leading services firms spend 4 to 7 percent of revenue on sales and marketing. And, their growth reflects their investment.

The moral of the story is this: no seeds planted, no harvest! Buy some seed and start planting. And don’t stop, just continually evaluate. The harvest will happen!

If you want to discuss or debate this article, I’m happy to do so. Please reach out and let’s start a conversation.