Everyone experiences lagging sales at some point along their entrepreneurial journey. The downturn in sales can be for any number of different reasons, such as changes in market conditions, new competition, poor sales and marketing tactics, bad press, and so on. It’s natural to want to sniff out the reasons why, but that can cause you to start playing the “blame-game” and pointing fingers at your leaders and employees. As satisfying as it may be to get pissed at your team, it’s not going to fix your revenue problem. While you sort out the root causes behind your dip in sales and form comprehensive strategies to change your circumstances, there is one strategy you can quickly deploy in the meantime to quickly generate revenue and keep your ship afloat.
Lagging Sales | Why and What to Do About It
It’s really fun to see the green arrow on the upward trajectory when revenue is increasing, but as good as that feels, it’s even more shitty when that arrow changes to red and takes a steady dip south. Lagging sales are a near inevitability for all entrepreneurs at some point or another, but that does not make it any less frustrating and disorienting. It’s natural to want to find out why your sales are lagging and then sort out a new strategy to change direction in a way that increases revenue. However, finding the root cause(s) and changing course is rarely an easy, straightforward, or quick process. That can be a big problem when your business runs on revenue and you quickly need to figure out how to boost sales. During this phase, it’s common for stress to run high, patience to be challenged, and tempers to flare. But before we get into what to do, let’s talk about what NOT to do.
Don’t Shit Everywhere By Playing the “Blame Game”
Anger is an easy emotion, and blame is an easy reaction. Both of these are very natural responses, but they are short-sighted, unintelligent, and irreversibly destructive. While it may feel good to get angry and/or place blame on your team in the short term, it will not correct your revenue problem in the long term. Acting on your anger and frustration will only kick your team in the balls, reduce morale, and cause them to pass the blame onto other people on their respective teams. In other words, an entrepreneur’s actions at the top will permeate throughout the rest of your company. A lack of emotional control will create a greater problem for you that you’ll need to dig out of before you can address your revenue problem in a meaningful way.
Yes, you may be frustrated and scared, but don’t screw yourself and your company by throwing a fit. Instead, act with wisdom and follow these steps to get your shit under control:
- Take a breath.
- Step back so you can gain perspective.
- Make the most important thing the most important thing.
- Take appropriate actions.
- Then, once your issue is behind you, autopsy the situation.
Your Surefire Fast Revenue Strategy | It’s All About Your Customers
While you try to sort out why you have a downturn in revenue and what you should do about it, you need to change the momentum and generate revenue quickly. Quick revenue will help alleviate your stress and put some much-needed wind in the sails of your teams. Fast sales and quick revenue sound nice, but how do you actually go about it? The answer can be found in your customer base.
Of all the people or businesses you can sell to, your current customers offer the lowest barrier to revenue. Existing Agreements and relationships mean you have a smaller hill to climb when it comes to winning trust and you don’t have to deal the logistical minutiae of forging new contracts. With customer trust and Existing Agreements on your side, all you need to do now is follow these steps:
- Create a new offer for your current customers.
- Ensure your offer creates a sense of urgency by limiting it to a timeframe or volume.
- Create a special competition or incentive for your sales team relative to this special offer. Inter-team competition amongst the most competitive people in your company is both healthy and smart.
- Put the full force of your marketing department behind the initiative and let them make a first pass with marketing emails, webinar(s), and/or other tactics to “shake the trees” and uncover the “low-hanging fruit.”
- Have your sales reps follow up with the top priority deals and then move on to customers with a secondary level of interest.
Yes, declining revenue is frustrating and scary, but that’s no reason to be an asshole and demoralize your team. Keep in mind that as an entrepreneur, you are the leader, and the responsibility for revenue ultimately comes back to you. Playing the “blame-game” is for the weak, and exercising patience is for those with strong character. Work on sorting out your root issues and develop strategies to increase revenue, but in the meantime, you need some quick wins for morale and quick revenue for payroll. The easiest and fastest revenue is found in your current customers, as you have existing trust and Existing Agreements that you can leverage. Build out your special offer, incentivize your team, deploy the power of your marketing department to make the first pass, engage your sales team, and generate some quick revenue to see you through the downturn. Oh, and don’t forget to be a good leader by guiding your team and congratulating them on the good work in the face of adversity.