By: Paul Owen, MD of Sales Talent
27th June 2022 is Micro-, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. As such, we talked to experienced sales trainer and consultant Paul Owen, MD of Sales Talent, about his growth tips for the 5.6 million firms that make up 99.9% of the UK’s business population.
There are many routes to business success. Something I’ve seen over the years, though, is that many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find they stall somewhere between the £1million and £5million turnover mark. Some are perfectly happy there but others are frustrated that using the same strategy and approach that delivered their initial growth is now failing to enable further expansion.
It can be tempting, when faced with this, to throw money at options that seem like quick wins. Hiring more people. Arranging a motivational training day. Implementing a new incentive programme. These can all work, in certain situations, but they could also be a total waste of money. As such, for SMEs looking to break through that ceiling, I have three actionable tips to follow first.
Firstly, drill down into who is buying your product. Look at your data and analyse it to understand where demand is coming from. Create an Ideal Client Profile if you want to identify your best chance of scaling quickly. The more you understand your buyers’ needs, budgets and buying processes, the better.
What value do you offer your clients that your competitors don’t? Why should they buy from you rather than take their custom elsewhere? You need to understand the value you offer to prospective clients and the best way to introduce an idea to them, gain their interest and move them to commit time and money to buying what you offer. That’s a difficult process but clear, compelling reasons why they should buy from you can help.
There are two parts to this: belief in what you offer and clarity in the way you express that belief. Focus your sales pitches around belief and clarity and you’re be a step closer to moving your Ideal Client Profile to action.
Buyers these days have a huge range of access points to your product. How are they making their decisions to buy? Are they coming to you from your website, after seeing friends talk about it on social media, after an influencer reviewed it…? Again, we come back to understanding. The more you understand how the buyer gets to their decision to buy, the more likely you are to be able to sell to them.
Putting advice into action
Some companies achieve success without following any of the steps I’ve outlined above. However, I suggest that those that do have been successful in spite of their sales processes rather than because of them. If you’re looking for a plan to support solid growth for your SME and leave that plateau in your dust, it’s time to start with the tips above. Happy growing!