Sales, Systems & Marketing
I've been watching businesses fade in and out of the business scene closely for years trying to figure out why some make it, why others don't, and what are the keys to success. I've learned that there's a solid foundation that is absolutely necessary to be successful in business.
Sales, systems and marketing. In that order. In fact, I don't recommend that the majority of businesses spend any money on marketing until they have a solid sales team to close the deals that the marketing brings to them, and the systems to both process the sales and produce the results and hold on to the clients.
If you can't close at a higher ratio than your industry average, and if you can't process more sales than you can close, you should not be spending time, energy or money on marketing. I have this argument with clients at least once a month still. We have been trained from the get-go to focus on marketing to increase sales. And I believed the same way for years. It took me seeing a lot of people go out of business before I realized the important of having solid sales and systems before marketing.
Even while in-sales for someone else, I focused on creating really solid systems to make sure that my support team was able to process sales in the best way possible, and I could continue to make sure that my clients were taken care of while I focused on closing more deals. Specifically, I took time to write out how I wanted my sales processed and handled, what I had to do, and what I needed my team to do, and when they needed to loop me into the process. This way I never had to worry about mishandling of paperwork and causing problems for clients once they went live. Fortunately, I never had to worry about marketing in those years..
Even when I started So when I say that you could easily spend years and years just focusing on increasing your sales skills and increasing your systems to handle more sales, I'm serious. I spent less than $2500 on marketing my first two years in sales. And that includes networking subscriptions that topped $1000.
Build a strong foundation and you can build any size business!