Recovering Your Economy

February 2nd, 2010

This week, I’m giving a talk called “Economic Recovery: Growing Revenue and Share During a Recovering Yet Volatile Economy” to a group of NSI partners in Redmond, Wash. These tend to be the larger-sized Microsoft partners, but the message is applicable for any size partner organization.
About 18 months ago, while we were helping our clients create their 2009 budgets, we asked them to create their revenue and expense pro formas, reduce projected sales by 25 percent, and then redo their pro formas again. This exercise was designed to help the clients gain a perspective on what changes or cost reductions they might need to make if expectations weren’t met. This helped everyone manage their business well during the past year.

2010 will be a different year.

A recent USA Today headline got it right: “Key To This Earnings Season: Sales.” And the deck reads, “Investors want to see profit growth that’s not from cost cuts.”

This clearly states the objective for 2010: Be aggressive and focus on earning market share and building your customer base. Specifically, the message of my talk will be around creating a culture of success — what I call “brilliant execution” at all levels of the organization — and focusing on being aggressive in sales and marketing.

I’ll also talk about focusing on the little things: putting up signage on positive messages, celebrating wins and providing positive reinforcement every day. Why is this important? Sales teams are mentally tired, support and technical people are stressed out, and as the business climate improves, retention and development will be important. People might consider moving to other organizations where the internal climate seems more employee-friendly.

The other reason sales leaders must be more aggressive is that many of your competitors are still “sitting back,” waiting for the economy to bring them out of the sales slump and recession they’ve experienced. My recommendation? Be proactive, not reactive.

Final note: If you’re going to be in Charlotte, N.C. soon, join me Feb. 16 for the Sales Leadership Summit. Register by Feb. 5 and save! Sign up here.

Ken Thoreson, president of Acumen Management Group Ltd., “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory and platform services have illuminated, motivated and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead! Acumen Management provides keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. 3f4q

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Posted on February 02, 2010 at 2:27 PM0 comments

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