By Jeff Beals
As a sales leader, you need a frank assessment of who you are and what your organization is really all about.
For instance, are you developing sales strategy for a “client-recruitment” or a “client-retention” shop? Some companies operate in industries or markets that are rich in prospective clients. Those are client-recruitment shops. Other companies exist in an environment of client scarcity. Those are client-retention shops.
Of course, you should always have a healthy respect for client retention. As the old saying goes, “It’s cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one.” That said, some businesses have more opportunity to find and attract a steady stream of new clients. You have to know where you stand and in what arena you compete.
As you prepare your sales strategy, figure out how much of an emphasis you can place on client recruitment versus client retention. Look at your business honestly. Assess your industry, your marketplace and your standing within that marketplace. The level of competitive pressure directly influences your sales strategy.
Financial resources can also play a role in sales strategy development. If your company is young, you might not have the sales and marketing budget to match that of your competitors. Some sales leaders work for firms that don’t allocate “enough” resources to marketing and sales support. In such cases, every client is precious. You better make sure your client service level is high, because you’re not one of those companies than can count on a steady flow of clients.
If you do operate in an environment of client abundance, it doesn’t mean you can be slovenly – a sales team that is lazy and takes clients for granted. But it does mean you can take more risks and have more bargaining power in price negotiations.
So, think about your company…Are you a “client-recruitment” company or a “retention-company.”
Truth be told, you’re probably somewhere in the middle.