Focus on Sales for Survival and Growth

Focus on Sales for Survival and Growth

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The global financial scorecard isn’t looking too rosy: The US is in huge debt, with an unemployment rate of around 9%; Greece and Ireland need a bailout of $145 billion and $110,5 billion respectively; France, the 2nd largest economy in Europe, had no growth in the second quarter of 2011; Hong Kong’s GDP declined by 0,5% in the second quarter of 2011. Will South Africa feel the effects of a possible second recession? If the projected double dip does in fact happen, the likelihood of South Africa escaping unscathed is slim.

With South African industries so heavily reliant on exports, a domino effect is inevitable. How are local business owners preparing for the worst? One channel that business people can concentrate on is sales. Sales leadership is one of the most complex and demanding of all executive positions, and often the most neglected as well.

Sales leadership = improved sales

The sales leader is not only responsible for top-line growth but also disciplined sales processes, organisational architecture, scenario planning, motivating and managing the sales team and being the ultimate customer champion. How does your business support its sales leaders.

According to Jill Konrath, best selling author of Selling to Big Companies and a confirmed international keynote speaker at this year’s ThinkSales Sales Leadership Conference, appointment closing ratios are one of the most important areas to concentrate on for overall sales improvement. If you aren’t seeing clients, you can’t close deals, yet this is an area many companies do not concentrate on – or even track.

According to former attendees of Konrath’s workshops, many of the top-level prospects who declined meeting attempts agreed to new appointments, thanks to the sale’s guru’s methods. One company’s appointment closing ratio increased by 87%.

The Think Sales Sales Leadership Conference is an annual event where sales and company leaders are exposed to thought leaders and are able to add chapters to their sales manuals from the presentations and workshops. This year’s event will be held in Sandton on 26 & 27 September. Visit http://www.thinksales.co.za/events/thinksales-sales-leadership-conference-2011/overview for more information or to register.

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