Are you in preparation mode for FY23? If you’re planning your approach then we’ve got you covered with how to make FY23 the year of hypergrowth.
Everyone wants and needs growth but, in highly competitive markets, simply growing just isn’t going to cut the mustard. Your business needs to rise above your rivals. You need hypergrowth. If this sounds like some kind of superhero, well, that’s exactly what it is. The World Economic Forum defines hypergrowth as “maintaining a 40 percent plus average annual growth rate for more than one year”. Hypergrowth can (and will) take your business from slogging it out against your competition to standing with the giants. Many believe that to drive hypergrowth, you need to enter new markets, launch a product or service, or throw wads of cash into marketing. But before we go and jump in bed with a new idea or go and set our wallets on fire, I have some winning nuggets to share. Hypergrowth can be as simple as executing the basics extremely well with focus. Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? One of my favourite sayings is “commonsense is not common practice”, and that is absolutely true for sales. We’re aware of what it takes to achieve a rocking body; eat less chocolate, drink less wine, go to the gym – simple, right? But how many of us falter at the starting line or stick to the plan? Read on for my super-simple tips for hypergrowth.
1. MAKE PROACTIVE SALES A HABIT
Alarmingly, 98 per cent of businesses I meet have a reactive sales approach. They respond to leads and referrals (as they should) but aren’t proactively executing sales activities to generate new leads. This can be dangerous as the destiny of your business is out of your hands. Crucially, without a proactive plan in place, you can forget about hypergrowth.
Tip: Commit to one proactive sales activity per day, per person. Do the maths: if you have five team members, by the end of the week you’ll have completed 25 proactive sales activities – 100 by the end of the month! Engage your team by collectively brainstorming a list of proactive sales activities to have on hand for when the ideas aren’t flowing. This will keep the sales momentum ticking which, in my humble opinion, is the ultimate secret to successful sales. The proof is in the pudding: our clients who have executed this strategy typically achieve growth within one month. Try it!
2. DON’T GET MARRIED ON THE FIRST DATE
Most people who meet a prospect kick off the ‘date’ by discussing what they have to offer and, by default, immediately try to ‘seal the deal’. Like a bad date, this can be an instant turn-off and can make things super-awkward. There is nothing more ‘salesy’ than trying to position your product or service without taking the time to understand your prospect. So start by ‘dating’ your prospects. Get to know them, understand their needs first. Then you can turn up the flirt by providing them real value. Research has proven prospects need up to 20 touchpoints before buying and businesses that nurture their leads make up to 50 per cent more sales. So make an effort and swipe right!
Tip: Give prospects an opportunity to ‘date you’. Offer an experience or taster of your product or service, be it a download, whitepaper, demo, trial, explainer video, sample or webinar. The key is to value-add during the nurturing process. Our clients have seen up to 100 per cent increase in conversion by making a few simple changes to their nurture process. A basic CRM (customer relationship management) is also a great way to manage this process.
3. DOUBLE YOUR PIPELINE
Most businesses don’t have a strong enough pipeline of opportunities. We need to plan ahead and have at least double the pipeline up our sleeve to hit our targets. Statistically, only 3 per cent of your target market is ready to buy now – not much, hey! A strong pipeline of opportunities will maximise your chance of hypergrowth.
Tip: By having double or more pipeline tucked away, you’ll have a fall-back plan if the deal you were hanging your hat on doesn’t come or gets delayed. The amount of pipeline needed can vary depending on your industry and your typical conversion rate but treat double your target as a minimum. As IBM Founder Thomas Watson said, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”
4. FOLLOW UP
Ahh, follow-ups – my favourite topic. They’re almost always overlooked but the most powerful, back-to-basics sales tactic in the book. Here’s some food for thought: 80 per cent of sales take five follow-ups and more than 44 per cent of people only follow up once. If you build a habitual follow-up process into your business, you’re almost guaranteed to gain a competitive advantage. I’m particularly passionate about this for two reasons: One, our clients have had results as quickly as 24 hours after implementing a follow-up process. The cost of new client acquisition goes down, meaning profitability goes up; and two, you may have invested money in marketing, which is producing leads, but without the follow-up, you mightn’t achieve the return on investment.
Tip: Most people won’t follow up a lead for fear of seeming too pushy. For a respectable approach, mutually agree on the timeframe and next step with the prospect. This removes the awkwardness and holds you both accountable. No stalkers here.
5. EXISTING CUSTOMERS
Don’t forget who your friends are! Many businesses make the mistake of focusing on new-customer acquisition and forgetting about existing customers. Cop this stat: it’s more than 60 per cent easier and six times more cost-effective to sell to existing customers than to win new ones. I’ve had clients increase sales by 50 per cent in one month just by looking at how they can add more value and address the unmet needs of their existing customers.
Tip: Often, we become ‘too close’ to our customers to spot these opportunities. Conduct a survey of your existing customers to help understand their priorities and challenges. Ask open questions and allow them the opportunity to give detailed feedback in their own words.
6. ALIGNED ACTION
Many businesses don’t have a plan in place on how they will achieve their goals. I don’t mean a business plan that is long and never read. I mean a highly actionable plan of activities that will deliver hypergrowth. Aligned action is about taking immediate action in the direction of the end goal. It’s not random; it’s highly focused and purposeful. The trick here is to identify your ‘sprints’ and ‘marathons.’ Sprints are the tactical opportunities that deliver quick wins and address the ‘low-hanging fruit’ in your business. The sprints must be aligned with the company’s direction and take you a step closer to your long-term goals (‘marathons’). Don’t worry, no running shoes are required!
Tip: As the authors of The 4 Disciplines of Execution (Chris McChesney, Jim Huling and Sean Covey) researched, having two or three goals in place is optimal. As a self-confessed ‘shiny toy syndrome’ sufferer who gets excited by new things I can empathise with how challenging it is to focus. However, I recommend prioritising two or three sprints and marathons to maximise both short-term and long-term opportunities.
About Abbie White
Abbie White is the Founder & CEO of Sales Redefined, a Sales and Marketing Integrator which is generating millions for B2B corporate clients. She has successful delivered over $500 Million in sales, including lead generation campaigns in excess of 2000% ROI.
Abbie is a leading voice on SMarketing principals and is a regular guest on podcasts, webinars and industry panels.