Author: Abhi Vasudeva

Case Study # 07 How CEO Of Small Telephone Systems Company Grew By 50% In A Flat Market with Sea of Competitors

THE SITUATION

The CEO of a small telephone-systems company was looking for a way to stand out in a sea of competitors in a market that was going flat.

 ANALYSIS

We took a close look at the company’s strengths, its ideal client profile, and its sales reps’ ability to position and sell at an executive level. What we discovered was that they had a unique advantage over their competitors in the region as well as a very clear concept of their ideal client profile. We were unsure if their reps could sell at an executive level, but they were hungry and coachable so they had a good foundation to work from.

CHANGES MADE

We came up with a powerful approach to get the sales folks in the door at an executive level. Then we developed an educational executive presentation to highlight business issues and focus on the target executives’ frustrations. After a few weeks, we were getting the first meeting at the executive level but were then delegated to other people in the company for a follow-up meeting. So we added a compelling no-risk guarantee and a few additional selling skills to turn the delegation meeting into an implementation meeting.

 THE RESULT

In the first six months, sales went up 50% with an additional forty-three systems sold. Based on the guarantee they had to refund one system which they turn around and sold on the used market for a tiny profit including the de-installation labour cost.

 THE COMMON MISTAKE

Most companies don’t recognize their strengths or know how to leverage them to create a huge selling advantage for themselves. Even in a flat market, performing a market analysis, refocusing sales efforts, and taking a little coaching can yield significant gains!

 

 

How To Get Free PR For Your Business?

There are three key areas of public relations you can use to boost your advertising results ten-fold over your paid advertising.

The key to public relations lie in:

  • Public relation or publicity
  • Merchandising
  • Promotions

With a solid plan in place that encompasses all these areas, you’ll have a great approach to use public relations in the best way possible.

Public relations include all that is the media. Don’t limit yourself. The attention of newspapers, television, radio, magazines, bloggers, ezines and more are all equally powerful. Online marketing is just as, if not more, important as conventional media.

Here are the steps to get noticed by the media:

  1. Put together a press release for your company. The press release should be relevant to your target market and address consumer interest, not just announce your business.
  2. Compact your press release to include one hook and one angle. Choose the most attention-getting to make sure the media person you are sending it to is interested in reading it.
  3. Put your press release in professional formatting. With press releases, you need a dateline, the most important information at the top, facts, figures and wrap it up with contact details including who and how. Print the press release on your letterhead.
  4. Send your press release to all television and radio stations, local and metro newspapers, national newspapers, industry magazines, and any other form of media that reaches your target market. Don’t forget to include relevant blogs, ezines, press release submission sites and industry professionals.

More importantly than a perfect press release is to make sure you have addressed the needs of your target market in the products/services you offer and made that clear in the press release. If you are provided people a solution to a problem, a way to avoid a problem and an opportunity to enhance their life the media and public will be interested.

If you have a connection (or the ability to get a connection) with a celebrity, this can practically guarantee you’ll get attention. Make sure you are offered newsworthy information and then follow up with media outlets to make sure they are publicizing that information.

“One of the most powerful techniques every business should use is free publicity. As the name implies, there is no cost, just the time and effort required to attract attention to your business.” Jay Abraham

Our GUIDED TOUR can show you how to put together press releases that work! Check out how the pros do it and craft the perfect press releases for your business

Case Study#06 How We Help VP Of Large Telecommunications Company Turn Around His Division After Missing Quota For Eight Quarters

THE SITUATION

We were referred to a division Vice President for a large communications company. The division had missed its quota for the last eight quarters and was under pressure to turn things around.

ANALYSIS

We took a close look at the sales organization. We thoroughly studied the sales people, sales management, sales process, pipeline and key deals. It was clear that the sales manager was overwhelmed and unable to give the sales team what they needed to produce more results. The sales manager was well respected, had tremendous skills/knowledge, and was seen as a strong asset because he was a specialist. However, what they needed was a strong sales leader.

CHANGES MADE

We put in one of our folks as a temporary Sales VP while participating in a search for a permanent one. Our guy put in fundamental sales infrastructure and best practices that the permanent Sales VP was going to have to do anyway. The sales manager was moved into a major account role after many conversations. The sales team received training in an effective consultative selling process. For each rep, we reviewed and strategized the top five deals expected for the quarter and held weekly progress/coaching conference calls.

THE RESULT

Within ninety days, the team exceeded quota by 70% and was on track to exceed quota for the next two quarters. A top-notch sales VP was hired, who was aligned with our thinking. And the former sales manager was mentally onboard and producing excellent results!

 

THE COMMON MISTAKE

There is a big difference between intention and commitment. We often hear executives say they will do whatever it takes, but rarely (and I mean rarely) do they put the action behind the words. The division VP was exceptional because he was truly committed to making the hard changes needed to achieve the expected results. In his words, “failure is not an option” and his actions prove it!

Case Study #05 How Medium Sized Drug Screening Company Increase Annual sales by 281% During Major Industry Roll Up

THE SITUATION

A medium-sized employee drug-screening company was competing in an industry where a major industry roll-up was occurring. The company’s two biggest competitors had recently received VC money and were on a buying spree. The company was not interested in selling at that point and was wondering how it was going to compete successfully under the new circumstances.

ANALYSIS

Industry roll-ups have always had a land-grab feel to them. Clearly, the goal is to be number one and to increase corporate value and multiple. However, problems with operations and key personnel typically arise whenever there is a merger or acquisition. Since the company was interested in organic growth, we decided to take advantage of the weaknesses in each competing company that was going through a merger or acquisition.

CHANGES MADE

First, we conducted a competitive analysis on each company being merged or acquired. Through various means, we identified those companies’ largest clients and anticipated what kinds of problems their clients would most likely experience. Next, we came up with a ninety-day blitz campaign to go after the competitors’ largest clients. We positioned the company as the “go-to alternative” whenever the clients noticed a slight decline in service. We asked them to perform a few trials runs to make sure everything would flow properly at the flip of a switch, whenever the clients called. They also beefed up their operations to handle the extra workload.

THE RESULT

Over the next twelve months, the company landed eighteen major accounts, and sales went up 218% over the year before. In the meantime, the competitors were still in disarray. The company planned to conduct another similar blitz while the companies involved in the mergers and acquisitions were still delivering poor service.

THE COMMON MISTAKE

During a merger or acquisition, everyone is so focused on getting the deal done that they forget to secure their customer base. You may not be able to secure every account but, with a little forethought and executive attention, you can secure your key bread-and-butter accounts. If you don’t, your smart competitors will.

Case Study #04 How Medical Equipment Company Closed 5 Year Long Term Deals and Increased Sales by 57%

THE SITUATION

A medical-equipment company with a good product was thriving in a growing market after years of increasing demand. The company was number one in the market, but its service revenues were down because its reps were selling only the equipment and initial training. Their service revenues were the most profitable aspect of the business and they couldn’t afford to let the trend continue. The problem was compounded by a third-party service company that was making a play for their customer base.

ANALYSIS

The company had provided additional training to educate its reps on why selling service was so important. Also, they had instituted a bonus program to encourage more service sales. They weren’t seeing an increase in service sales quickly enough, however.

CHANGES MADE

What the company really needed to do was make a change in sales culture and replace underperforming sales reps. There were too many of them, however, and time was short. So what we did was put in a team of what we called “quality control managers.” Their job was to follow up on every equipment order within two days of the order by contacting the client directly. They asked the typical quality-control questions but also asked the clients why they had not purchased the service package. In addition, they educated the clients on why the service package was so critical and gave them an incentive to purchase it as an add-on.

THE RESULT

In the following twelve months, the quality control team sold an additional 57% in five-year service agreements. During this time, management had the opportunity to identify and replace the underperforming sales reps with minimal impact on revenues.

THE COMMON MISTAKE

Many companies don’t define the responsibilities of sales reps or hold them accountable to what I call “minimally acceptable standards.” Even worse, this indicates problems with the company’s sales management, since strong sales leadership would have identified problems and taken corrective action earlier on before they turned into an epidemic. If the company CEO had had a sales dashboard, he would have spotted these problems earlier and realized he needed stronger sales leadership a long time ago!

 

Case Study 03-How Small Software Company Beat Large Multinational IBM AND Closed Million Dollar Deals

THE SITUATION

A small software company was selling into a large international prospect that was covered by a team of 40 IBM sales reps. The small company’s CEO knew that they had better products and could turn this into a lucrative account if they could get to the right people and make an initial sale.

ANALYSIS

The company had a key account manager with the right talent and mindset, who could carry an executive conversation. The company did have better products and a powerful implementation process – but no name recognition – so it was going to take some hard work to get in, let alone land a deal. But they had good testimonials and some impressive accounts already. If they were willing to be patient and work smart, getting the business was very doable.

CHANGES MADE

The first thing we did was a little homework to determine where IBM’s weaknesses were and how the company’s strengths mapped with those of the international prospect. Next, we identified the people and positions at the prospect where we thought we could have the most impact. The company took the list to their existing clients and asked if they knew anyone on the list or someone who knew people on the list. If the answer was yes, they asked to be introduced to that person – because introductions are twenty times more powerful than a cold call.

THE RESULT

It took nine months, but the company was able to land a first, small deal with the prospect. Their implementation process included a weekly meeting, where all attendees completed an implementation report card. Any time that a particular target area fell below a certain mark, the teams pulled together to raise the mark within a week. This strategy caused all the stakeholders and the implementation team to work together instead of pointing fingers at each other. The project finished ahead of schedule and was the smoothest project in the international company’s history. It went so well that the value expectation was exceeded and the company was given another small deal.

After getting the same results three times in a row, the international firm’s CIO invited the small software company to participate in his annual planning meeting; he also asked it what deals it wanted to do that year. No other company has ever been invited to participate in this meeting. It took eighteen months to land and implement three small deals, but for the last five years, the international firm’s CIO has let the software company handpick their deals – which have generated multi-million-dollar revenues year after year.

 

THE COMMON MISTAKE

Most companies focus on the client’s transaction, instead of focusing on getting the client value that meets or exceeds expectations. Not every company can do what this company did. But because they had a good product, a great strategy, a fantastic implementation process, and the right account manager, they were able to slay the goliath IBM!

 

How Well Do You Know Your Vendors?

It’s extremely important to build relationships with your vendors and those around you can bring in new customers/clients and increase awareness of your company branding.

The people you work directly with on your products and services are really the ones with the most to gain when you find success. By taking the time to get to know them, you’ll find a whole host of opportunities you didn’t realize were there.

Look for great ways to offer your vendors rewards for helping grow your business and everyone wins. One of the ways you can do this is by offering performance-based incentives that are much larger than their normal charges.

Here’s the step-by-step process to putting together a partnership with a vendor:

  1. Approach all the vendors you work with and offer an incentive based on performance.
  2. Put the generous incentive plan together from their perspective, even take suggestions.
  3. Develop a clear, concise and easy to track incentive plan, this will increase competition between vendors and therefore higher performance levels.
  4. Encourage subsequent sales instead of focusing only on the initial sale. By doing this you can give away more of the profit from the initial sale to your vendors and make higher profits off the back end products. Encourage:
  • Future sales
  • Upsell better and more profitable products/services
  • Cross-sell to additional products
  1. Create an incentive plan that’s irresistible to your vendors by offering generous, exclusive compensation. Think of all the vendors you work with and the creative ways you can put together an incentive plan that entices them to be part of your business. Use their talents, capabilities and connections and you’ll both be winners.

Putting together an incentive plan doesn’t have to be a complicated process.

Use our GUIDED TOUR to come up with some great ideas and put your incentive plan together for maximum results.

How To Franchise Your Business?Part-3

7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success. Today we are going to cover the last four.

Think of constructing your business model like planting a tree. At first, it’s so small and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. But, you keep watering, fertilizing and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk and each of these strategies will extend out as the branches of your now strong tree. Finding the perfect support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.

Management Strategy

The way you structure your management team is not only essential to your growth, but the happiness of your employees and, ultimately, your customers/clients. This strategy is results-oriented and doesn’t depend on the people, but the actual system that’s in place.

A management strategy is, in short, a set of standards that include goals, rules, a mission statement and other concrete things that tell your employees how to act, your management how to grow your business and your customers/clients what to expect.

These should all be in perfect alignment with your business goals.

Employee Appreciation

You need to put together a people strategy that shows your employees how you feel about their job performance and dedication to your business. They also need to understand “why” they are doing specific tasks. This helps them to personally connect to their job which in turn leads to better production and a happier workplace.

There are a number of strategies you can use to keep it interested at “the office”:

  • Performance Incentive Programs
  • Contests that reward high performance
  • Employee of the Month
  • Performance/Holiday Bonuses

These are just a few of the ideas you can use. One of the best ways to appreciate your employees is by calling a meeting and asking them how they would like to be rewarded. Think about it for awhile and put the best strategy into play. Keep it fresh and change up the strategy you use from time to time to keep your employees guessing. Once they get used to the prize, it’s time for a whole new approach.

You need to build a community within your company. There needs to be support, appreciation and respect. The more “at home” an employee feels, the better they will perform and the higher their level of loyalty.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is, of course, essential to the success of any business, but it also must work cohesively with the other strategies you’re using. There are two major pillars of successful marketing strategy-the demographic and psychographic profiles of your customers.

The psychographic tells you what your customers are the most likely to buy and the demographic tells you who they are, which can help you learn why they buy specific items. Without this information, it simply doesn’t matter how good your business prototype is.

Systems Strategy

There are three types of systems in every business:

  • Hard Systems
  • Soft Systems
  • Information Systems

Hard systems refer to in animate system or systems that have no “life”. Soft systems are those that could be living. Information systems which are, of course, everything else, including customer data, product information, financial…anything with data and numbers.

The most important of all three systems is the soft systems because it includes the sales systems your business uses. In your sales system the two keys to success are: structure and substance. Structure being what you sell and substance being how you sell it.

All three systems are essential to the success of your business and while they all have their own very specific roles, they all must work together to get the job done. This also goes for your entire business development program.

I want to take a moment to recap on the ideas we went over through the business develop lessons.

An entrepreneurial myth, or e-myth, is an assumption that anyone can succeed at business with:

  • Desire
  • Some capital
  • Projected a targeted profit

There are essentially three key roles that need to be filled to set your business up for success:

  • The Technician
  • The Manager
  • The Entrepreneur

The four different stages of a business life cycle are:

  • Infancy
  • Adolescence
  • Growing Pains
  • Maturity

There are a few things we are going to talk about:

  • Business Format Franchise
  • The Franchise Prototype
  • Franchise Prototype Standards

There are three main areas of business development:

  • Innovation
  • Quantification
  • Orchestration

7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

We can help you work through all of these areas and give your business a jumpstart that puts you ahead of your competition right from the start. Use our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our coaches, plus gain access to a wealth of tools and resources.

 

How To Franchise Your Business?Part-2

 

The 7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

 

These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success. In this lesson we are going to cover the first three.

Primary Aim

It’s essential in business development to set goals and see a vision for the future. This needs to go beyond the business and you need to think about what you want out of life. What do you dream about? How do you see your success unfolding? Knowing and understanding these things will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina to see it through. Even take a minute to write them down and tape to your desk for a constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.

Strategic Objectives

These are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. All of these objectives should offer solutions for how to get to your primary aim. There are many things you can use to set strategic objectives, but here are a couple of the most popular:

  1. Money: Setting monetary goals is a great, simple way to see how you are doing at any point in the game. It’s easy to measure and easy to find adjustments to help meet this goal.
  2. Worthy Opportunities: When considering partnerships and other business opportunities you need to think about whether or not they will help you reach your primary aim. Those that will are the best opportunities to seriously consider.

The key in setting standards and goals is not to limit you or stress yourself out. You need to find some quantifiable things you can use to measure your progress toward your primary aim. These are just two suggestions, but make sure no matter what you standards you set you are paying attention to the details, as these are one of the biggest keys to your success.

Organizational Strategy

The strength of your organizational structure can make or break your business, so it’s important to take the time to put together a solid structure for your business to grow from. Generally a company is organized around the roles and responsibilities that need to be taken care of on a daily basis and the personalities that need to fulfill those roles.

No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must always keep your personal primary aim separate from your company’s primary aim or mission statement. Once you’ve identified the primary aim for your company it will be easy to set up a position structure that will work.

Don’t forget to put together position contracts. Your employees should sign a statement of their roles and responsibilities. This helps keep them clear for you, the employee and other employees/vendors or other individuals.

You can see how these areas all work together to build a solid structure on which to build your business. If you need help defining any of these areas, you can check out the resources, tools and speak with one of our fantastic coaches during your GUIDED TOUR.

How To Franchise Your Business? Part-1

The biggest area of turn-key businesses is franchises. There is a franchise for every industry in the world and they are fairly easy to acquire and come with practically a pop out of the box pre-assembled system. McDonald’s is a prime example. In fact, a $40 billion, 28,707 strong example.

There are a few things we are going to talk about:

  • Business Format Franchise
  • The Franchise Prototype
  • Franchise Prototype Standards

Business Format Franchise

The business format franchise came from an earlier model call the “trade name” franchise. The big change was in the rights. During the “trade name” days the franchise owner only had marketing right’s, now franchise owners have owning rights to the entire business including systems. This has allowed for a shift in focus to go from the quality and name recognition of the products carrying the business to sales techniques that carry the business.

The Franchise Prototype

It was really the franchise prototypes that allowed for the changes to be made that help today’s franchises really shine with the techniques developed by the owners instead of the corporation. This can make a significant difference in the success of the franchise as the owner can custom tailor their marketing and promotions to the direct needs of their local target customers.

Franchise Prototype Standards

Now, the above being said, no one in their right mind would purchase a franchise if the parent company didn’t have a solid plan of action set up to ensure the prospective success of the business. So, there are a few standards that are put into place that helps jump start the process of opening a successful franchise.

Build a model of prospective customers/clients, suppliers, creditors and employees who will consistently offer high-quality work.

  1. Build a user-friendly model that can be used by individuals of any skill set.
  2. Build a defect-free model.
  3. Build a model with Operations Manuals.
  4. Build a model that will provide guaranteed, consistent results.
  5. Build a model that encompasses the same branding in colour, dress and facilities codes.

These are all ways the parent corporation makes sure their brand stays the same and in the front of the minds of customers. When you are purchasing a widely-known brand you will attract customers just for being you.

If you are considering purchasing a franchise, talk with one of our experienced business coaches during our GUIDED TOUR.