We’re about halfway into first quarter 2016 and many companies still don’t have a sales strategy. Others have made goals, but no plan. In 2015, the fenestration industry was filled with business changes. But one question remains constant: does your company sales plan match your goals?
As an example, a start-up out of California desperately needs and wants sales. They have changed sales managers and staffing time and again, never staying long enough with any one particular strategy to make it successful. This company now has the strategy to win a project, no matter the price. They see it as market domination. They will take all available and attractive projects at any price so that those they consider competition will not be able to compete, perhaps in hopes that the competition will wither and die. What they fail to realize is the absolute abundance within this business. Opportunities abound.
This company goes to great lengths to get attention and will spend exorbitant amounts of money to have the largest tradeshow booth or make the most noise with the latest building they practically gave their products away for. They are so self-absorbed they fail to notice that they actually turn people off. They create a cult of personality at the top of the company and a culture that is wrought with disdain and frustration at all levels. Mistrust and disillusion fester under the surface because the employees know the messaging doesn’t fit the product or the culture.
Another example is a company acquired by a large multinational corporation that employs the tactics of trying to compete with the California start-up. It is an all-out race to the bottomless pit, where they are willing to drop the price at the first hint of competition. They will do ridiculous promotional pieces that advertise to the wrong audience, so the messaging, although neat, gets lost. They will have two booths at tradeshows in hopes that they will not be outdone by the flashy start-up.
Because of the big pockets of the parent corporation, this company has the false sense of security that the pressure is off and it can outlast the new start-up. What they fail to realize is that if the parent has a division--even in a distant country or in an entirely different industry--that is not performing and causes enough pain, they will start to contemplate the purge of all divisions and holdings that do not bring positive results.
That brings us back to the beginning. Do you have a sound sales and marketing strategy? If you do not have one, why not? A plan makes it easy to measure where you’re at against your goal. So what is the goal of every company? Create one thing and one thing only. Profits. The number of projects you win does not matter if you make no money. It is a giant waste of time to do all of the things we do every day if we cannot make money doing it.
If your sales and marketing plans do not support the bottom line of making profits, then they are all misguided. Analyze your business and determine what you do best. Then prompt your sales team to seek more sales that support that part of your business in 2016. As you watch the growth in the desirable parts of your business, you will also notice how your profits increase. This will pay big dividends to you and your investors. Which, by the way, is the real reason to be in business.
Chad Simkins is vice president of Pleotint and vice president of sales for Thompson IG. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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A blog for the latest happenings and general information about the dynamic glass industry including topics on daylighting, energy efficiency and green building tips