Thanksgiving is over and businesses are in the home stretch for additional sales to end the year with their best effort for 2010, but this is also the time you need to review your marketing and advertising efforts and consider what you need to change and what efforts will be repeated and or improved. Do you know your numbers? Have you looked closely at your existing client list and determined which ones are your top 20% key accounts? Do you know which clients are using up the most man hours with the least gain? Have you created a strong marketing strategy for the New Year which will assist you in reaching at least 50% of your 2011 annual sales goals by April 1st?
A successful year in sales depends on you knowing where you have been, what worked or didn’t work, who your key accounts are, and what plan you need to launch to get you to the goal you desire. This task is easy if you have kept detailed records of your business with active and inactive client accounts, detailed records of your marketing and advertising costs and performance, and continued to read blogs and published white papers about your industry and where it is trending towards. If you are not using a business CRM system to help you keep this essential sales information for your business up to date and easily accessible, it is time to invest in the tools to help you be successful with your business. And, if you are constantly losing files or wasting time looking for things in your office consider hiring a professional organizer to get your office space ready for the New Year!
After you have gathered all your information it is time to put it on paper so that it is easier to map-out a strategy for the New Year. Consider the core values and beliefs of your company and list these at the top of the paper so that you do not lose the focus of why you are in business. After that, start with a SWOT analysis. List 3-5 of your businesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in 2010? After that, list your client accounts based on revenue generated starting from the top key account to the ones that produce very little return, but require the most time invested to service. Finally, look at the marketing efforts and actions your company employed in 2010 and list which months these were applied and rate each on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest in terms of generating results that led to sales. After you have everything down on paper spend a few days really with your marketing and sales team analyzing what worked and didn’t work in 2010 and if the time you spent with lower level clients might have been better served with your key accounts. Creating a successful strategic plan for 2011 will be easier after you have completed this annual review and really have a complete knowledge of what you did right and what could have changed in 2010. Do you need to add a blog or expand your social media marketing? Have you considered if it is time to spend more of your advertising budget with a visual form of advertising like TV or the use of video on your website and on YouTube? Are you being seen as a leader in your field and getting regular speaking engagements to talk about your industry? Are you offering the best customer service to your clients and getting regular referrals from them? Have you considered additional revenue sources that could come from adding additional products or services? Do you have strong strategic alliances in place that will bring you growth in the future? And, have you hired a marketing coach or advertising agency to help your business get the best ROI. Make sure that by the New Year your business is positioned for success!
All my best to your success! ~ Charlene