Now that the U.S. economy is growing and companies are starting to re-invest in their businesses, now is the time to take advantage of the upswing and accelerate your own growth – even in mid-year where your plans are locked in. A few key steps you can take include:
- Review your lead generation efforts and invest in what is working.
If you ask many leaders today whether they are happy with their lead generation process they will answer quickly. However, ask them which lead sources are performing the best for their business, and you will get a long pause as they try to come up with an answer. Invest some time with your marketing team to understand the various activities in the marketing plan and get specifics on how each one is driving new business into company. Challenge the team to identify the number of leads from each source generated over the last 6 months and the conversion rate of those into new business. The key is to identify the activities that are performing well and take steps to improve their effectiveness and invest additional resources. For the activities that are not performing as well, take steps to either improve your process or reduce your investment.
- Grow your sales team
Despite the ability of marketing to drive leads into your organization, a key resource for bringing in new business is your sales team. Companies that are setting themselves up to take advantage of the market uptick are restarting their recruiting processes to increase their sales talent. The increased activity for these positions on the job boards employment sites is significant. Review the coverage of your team and inspect where you are underinvesting (i.e. specific products, geographies) or poorly investing (i.e. weak performers) and take steps to bring on new talent to capitalize on the increased opportunities.
- Track Your Results and Share them Widely
The old saying from W. Edwards Deming goes, “You can expect what you inspect”. To accelerate your growth, create a focus for your team on growth initiatives by measuring the results from your efforts and communicating them throughout the organization. Whether the metric is new leads, conversion rate of leads to new business, or product delivery, post the top few metrics that have the biggest impact on sales results and get the team rallied around efforts to improve results in each area.
- Incent Your Team.
Another saying I like is “Energy Flows Where Attention Goes”, and few things get as much attention as some well placed incentives in line with your strategies for growth. I am not talking here about general compensation plans (which are certainly critical drivers), but more about targeted incentives to drive some focused effort and attention toward growth efforts. Look at weekly or monthly contests, team awards, or on-the-spot awards where you see people focusing on the right things for growth. The key is to leverage incentives to bring positive attention to your growth efforts.
The underlying principles behind these 4 items are: share your goals and align your team behind these goals through visibility, attention, and focus.
Kathleen Steffey is CEO and Founder of Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search, a nationwide sales and marketing recruiting firm. Naviga and Kathleen focus on sales and marketing due to a passion for helping businesses accelerate growth. The check out Naviga’s services and learn more about Kathleen, check out www.navigarecruiting.com.