Richard Maun – Sales Pacing

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Sales Pacing

11 September 2017

All together now… (chanting)

‘What do we want?’

… ‘More sales!’

‘When do we want them?’

… ‘Now!’

But do we really? Do we really want new business to turn up in a big pile on our door step? It sounds tempting to say yes, but there’s a catch.

Which is that if our diary is full, or our business is already running at capacity, then squeezing in extra orders can be counter productive. 

Machines can miss maintenance schedules, colleagues can tire and existing customers can be over looked. All of this can be forgotten about in the rush to complete a new order from a new customer and eventually our enthusiasm may come back to bite us.

We need to account for the reality of our capacity. Accounting in this context means to take a long hard look at the facts and at the likely consequences of our actions. We may have to say ‘not at this time’ to a new customer and protect our existing order book.

When we are looking to develop new customers it can help to set a pace for this work, so that new projects arrive in an orderly fashion, instead of all at once. We can time meetings to adjust the flow of work where possible. We can be honest about current capacity and we can make sure our sales team has a clear calendar of activity, rather than just rushing in all directions at once.

I’m not suggesting that we always say no to new business as that would be madness. However, I am suggesting that we often have more control over the timing of work than we might realise. 

So this week take a fresh look at your sales activity and plot it on a calendar. When are you rushing about? When are you quiet? How could you even out this activity to make life easier on you, your colleagues and your machinery?

Pace yourself and your sales and play the long game for a more sustainable benefit.

Next week: Thinking About Governance


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