The problem with most entrepreneurial businesses is that the founder is typically the rainmaker for the business. In the early days, that isn’t a problem because you have plenty of time and energy to make things happen for the business, but as soon as the business grows and your leadership input is required in other areas of the business, your sales start to slump.
So what do you do? You plunge back into the sales role to get things back on track, only to fall behind in your other leadership responsibilities. And thus begins the vicious cycle of sales ups and downs as you struggle to set the strategic direction AND be the top salesperson for the business.
This is especially a problem for solopreneurs, who because of an org chart of one, rely solely on themselves to both generate and fulfill business. While hiring a sales team may not be possible (or desirable) for your business, many of the same principles outlined below still apply (only on a smaller scale).
How to Share the Responsibility of Sales Success
Leverage Your Silent Sales Tools – Don’t discount the ability for your online presence to bring in the leads. Make your web messaging clear and easy-to-understand so web visitors can find all the information they need to make a decision.
Hire a Dedicated Sales Team – Start building (and training) a sales team. It means investing the time to properly train them on the fine art of selling your business, but in the long-term, it frees you from at least the day-to-day sales efforts.
Shift to Higher Level Sales – Instead of giving up the sales altogether, make it your focus to target the really BIG sales while you let your sales team and tools bring in the smaller sales. If you aren’t quite ready to step away from the small stuff, set a reasonable threshold and keep increasing it as you feel more comfortable.
Focus on Recurring Revenue – Spend your time and energy on those clients or customers who regularly buy from you. Build incentive programs to keep them coming back, or set up automatic renewals or purchase programs to automate the process.
Integrate Sales into Your Customer Experience – Build sales into every aspect of your customer experience. This doesn’t mean making the customer endure one long sales pitch through every single interaction with your business, but it does mean setting up touch points that are designed to educate them on the value you offer.