As a small business enters that crucial phase where subsistence turns into profitability, many owners will find themselves being so consumed with the minutia of managing the organization that they lose focus on sales. While overseeing the mechanics involved in this crucial transition period should be a top priority, it is mission critical for owners to realize that this is also a time in which they need to strive to be their company’s best salesperson. The reasons are twofold: To set the standard for your sales team and to ensure there are no potentially devastating dips in profitability during this pivotal juncture. Here are a few tricks on how to keep your sales robust while also keeping your hand firmly on your firm’s tiller.
The only way to manage two tasks as necessary as everyday admin and sales is to create and adhere to a regular schedule. If you assign specific tasks to specific times, like dedicating the first three hours of every workday to clearing out your inbox, you can turn what seems like a mountain of work into a series of steep but surmountable hills. Also, setting aside a certain chunk of your day to growing your business will remind every member of your team that they don’t have any excuse for not generating leads and closing deals when the boss is fighting right alongside them in the trenches.
Utilize a CRM platform
In many ways, there’s never been a better time to be an owner and salesperson than right now. Whereas the founders of previous eras had to handle customer relationship management manually, today’s entrepreneurs have CRM software at their disposal. With cutting edge programs like Salesforce, Insightly and Zoho CRM, you can generate new leads, engage existing customer base to create new sales opportunities and get up to the minute campaign data that will help you to optimize your message so you can achieve the highest level of market penetration.
Embrace social media
Another unique sales tool that today’s small business owners have at their disposal is social media. According to Entrepreneur, 90 percent of the top sales professionals in the United States utilize platforms like Twitter and Facebook to build up brand awareness and to drive sales. One study found that 60 percent of millennial consumers consider social media advertising to be a defining factor in their purchasing decisions. Founders who wish to ensure the long-term viability of their businesses need to get serious about establishing and maintaining a presence on the leading platforms. The market will be looking at you as your brand’s default salesperson, and social media gives you the opportunity to fail or succeed on your own merits.
This article was written by Mario McKellop of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.