Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Best Way to Grow Sales: Increase Your Share of Wallet

sales strategy to grow your share of wallet It’s important for any company to achieve increased in profitability. However, a key source of profits is sales; without sales growth, profits will ultimately decline. A former executive at a large US group, quoted by the Financial Times, said “You cannot conjure profits out of thin air. Without increases in revenues, it is difficult to sustain profit growth.”

It’s obvious from recent quarterly earnings reports that major corporations, within the Dow and S&P, are highly skilled and successful at cutting expenses and reporting higher profits. What is also obvious is that sales growth is a lot more difficult to attain in this uneven economy.

To achieve an increase in sales you must take away market share, which is clearly difficult. That is where an effective sales organization will earn its’ keep, and that is when a customer asks for my help. The approach I take uses my business education and practical experience in sales, operations and marketing to help a customer solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.

So how many ways are there to win markets share? The two that immediately come to mind are increasing your share of wallet with an existing customer and wining new customer(s).

Winning a new customer in this economic environment is the more challenging, generally speaking. So let’s talk about increasing your share of wallet, the low hanging fruit. I am defining increasing your share of wallet as selling or providing more services and products to an existing customer. In my experience the best place to start is by getting to know your customer better. Warning! Make certain you choose, the “right” customer to pursue; just don’t choose any customer.

I remember early in my sales career, when I pursued the share of wallet strategy. I was brand new to the company and was given one existing customer. Having completed my on-boarding process, my boss asked me to prepare and present my territory sales strategy.

I remember my boss telling me as I left that meeting was to be careful not to invest too much time in increasing share of wallet with my one existing customer. I heard him but I didn’t listen. So I put a significant amount of time and energy into increasing our share of wallet. We increase share of wallet with that one customer by 50%. However, the time I invested far exceeded the value of this increase. One reason for my efforts is that it felt easier to increase share of wallet than winning a new customer

I did not make that mistake a second time.

What’s your experience in growing share of wallet?

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I’ve been selling, leading, coaching and training in the B2B space for so long that I remember when fax machines were first introduced into the business world. Today, I see the potential benefits Web 2.O. tools offer.

Today, I have a website, a blog, and I engage in social media. I created this blog post using voice recognition software, . I use a state-of-the-art CRM, Salesforce , and I am active on LinkedIn .

And yet I’m a novice compared to those who have been active in the Web 2.O. world since the mid 1990’s. It is a challenge just to get started as new technology and better applications come fast and furious. One needs the time, capacity, desire and plan with actions steps and deadlines to take advantage of what Web 2.0 offers

I read statistics almost everyday about the massive growth in Web2.0, like social media. For example, social media expert Jeff Bullas reported some incredible facts and figures about the business reason for leveraging social media including:

  • Companies with the highest social media activity had sales growth +18%.
  • Companies with the lowest social media activity had sales decline of 6%.

Do you need any more proof!? I don’t think so but there are still many skeptics.

So the question is: why, why don’t companies in the B2B space marketplace more aggressively implement Web 2.O. applications? .

Here is what I am certain of, that Web 2.0 is changing the way your customers want to buy . So waiting for the consensus on the benefits of investing in Web2.0 will be too late; by that time your competition has already seized the advantage!

My suggestion is that today you dip your toe in the Web 2.0 water.

Click here to contact us and get 5 suggestions to get started.

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These are the exact words I used when talking to my new sales manager right after completing my very first “formal” sales training program. I was new to the company, anxious to get started and prove myself. Sitting in a workshop was the last place I wanted to be.

My boss knew this so he asked me to call him during the first break workshop. He said: “Scott, remember your priority over the next few days is to learn about the selling tools and methodology that are the essence of Wilson Learning. So put down your cell phone and stop thinking about the deal you are negotiating. If something comes up with your customers, call me. I’ll take care of it. Just for these few days, stay totally focused on your own development. “

I had to laugh at boss, Jim Monnier, he anticipated how I would react to sitting in the workshop and not out selling. I also respected that he made his expectations very clear. So, I did what he asked.

You already know what I said to Jim after the workshop—tongue-in-cheek—about getting back to work. Jim laughed and replied he would like to work with me one day next week. He asked what meetings I had scheduled. I told him about an important meeting with a potential new customer. Jim said he would join me and suggested we meet about 3 hours before the appointment. I questioned why we needed so much time, and Jim’s first response was, “Well, it will give us a chance to debrief your workshop.” Wow. I really pushed back. What did we need three hours for??? Jim asked me to do him a favor and meet at noon for the 3 o’clock customer meeting. I reluctantly agreed.

We met for lunch and placed our orders. Then, Jim hit me between the eyes with his first question, “How are you going to apply the skills you learned in that workshop during this sales call? I wasn’t prepared for that question and I knew I should have been prepared (shame on me).

Being a fast talker and a smart guy (some would say a bit of a wise guy), I gave Jim a quick overview of my call plan. He reminded of the four core Wilson Learning models from the workshop. I said, “Well, I’m really not ready to use those models, exactly, but I’ve used some of the concepts to create my call plan. I’ll use the models in my next call.” Jim smiled. “It is required that you use these models on this call and every call you make. It’s a clear advantage to you. Using them will help you be more successful. Besides, it’s how we sell.”

We rolled up our sleeves and began to prepare using the four models. We never did eat our lunch

The call went fantastically well. Jim was as happy as I was, and using those four core models became a standard in my sales process.

Fast forward the memory tape. Some two years later, I had just closed very large sale with a division of Unilever. Jim wanted to meet my client, Rob and thank him for the business so I scheduled the meeting. The most memorable moment was when Jim asked my client, Rob, “Why did you buy from Wilson Learning?” Rob responded without hesitation. He said, “It’s the way Scott has been selling to us.” Jim asked, “What exactly has he been doing?” Rob went on to explain the four models I used and how he wanted his salespeople at Unilever to do the same.

As we left the meeting I could tell Jim was very pleased about getting the order, but even more pleased about how I had used the skills and how he had influenced me. I smiled as well. Here I was achieving terrific results by using the selling tools and methodology that I initially resisted.

Thanks again, Jim!

Want to know what the four core Wilson Learning models? Contact us today.

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