Category: Growth

5 Steps to Transform your Sales

Today’s business environment is complex, uncertain and fast moving and efficiently targeting growth remains a challenge. Sales people certainly gain valuable instincts and skills from experience but the right data insights at the right time can make all the difference. Transform sales by organizing and segmenting your outlets so the best opportunities are prioritized you can save time whilst providing a higher success rate.

That’s all very well and good but where do you even begin the process of sales transformation?

How To Transform Sales:

1. Data

Getting the right data to transform sales 

It always starts with the data. Attaining a good Market Universe data set means better targeting within your Market Universe. Here you have a few options;

  • Buy a data set.
  • These are usually estimated with low coverage and not very rich in detail.

  • Conduct a census.
  • Very expensive and not easily repeatable.

  • Use new dynamic data methods, (web and big data)
  • Sounds complex and reputation for high cost.

    Finding the right data and using it efficiently is not a one-off problem and so we at Sales Align would advocate working with meaningful technologies, such as those within the Big Data umbrella, in a purposeful way with repeatable results. There are trials to navigate when it comes to these new data methods from data harvesting, size, enrichment and other preparation issues. So, whether that’s an in-house team or another provider you do need to work with people who have expertise.

    Whichever of the 3 options you choose you should understand that getting the right data is the first step to transform sales.

    2. Analysis for Prioritisation

    Analysis for Sales Prioritisation & Sales transform 

    So now that you have the right data how do you assess your coverage and plan your priorities? What are your key data drivers that help you decide your focus? For example, setting keywords that easily describe the outlet type can help you choose which to target and when. If you have social media data, you can use this to create popularity indicators. Area density could also be a key metric in decision-making.

    With the first two data options (Data Set or Census) you are a bit more limited as the data is static. This means you can’t see how the data changes in different time periods, such as when an outlet grows in popularity on social media. When you know the data is up-to-date and more accurate you can be more confident acting on the analysis.

    You can do many things with your analysis, whether that’s keeping it offline in spreadsheets (and silos 🙂 ) or in a tool that visualises the data and results. You should ideally find a good method for all stakeholders to interact with the data rather than just leaving it in the hands of the analysts.

    3. Optimise Your Focus with Segmentation

    Optimise Your Focus with Segmentation & Transform Sales 

    Custom targeting and segmentation exercises using your data can take your sales prioritisation one step further. You’re probably already engaging in segmentation to some degree but by using your data to define certain “types”, “segments” and “social media ranks” you can create target outlet lists that fit certain profiles. Additionally, if you want to get sophisticated, start grouping your previously set keywords into themes e.g “cheap”, “high-end” “garden” and create specific campaigns that align with marketing needs.

    To truly transform sales, even with all this great insight, it’s important to ensure you have a good process set up for sharing your lists and other information with your team so you can set them into action! Also think about how you monitor the progress of working through your targeted lists and segments.

    4. Keeping Up-to-Date – Look Out For Outlet Churn

    Keeping Up-to-Date - Transform Sales & Look Out For Outlet Churn 

    Becoming more aware of outlet churn can quickly make a positive impact on your sales performance. With accurate location information from your data and frequent updates that inform you of closed and new outlets you can manage your time more efficiently. Keep an eye on the evolution of churn in different segments, for example when a particular type of outlet grows in popularity on social media. Considering new outlets typically churn 4-8% per annum this could save you a lot of time & costs.

    5. Actionable Strategy

    Transform Sales with Actionable Strategy 

    The way you combine your experience with certain data-points is crucial in defining your strategic plan. Whether that’s planning how to grow by segment, targeting occasions or optimising call lists, it’s still the people who put this into action. Review the way you connect your strategy, your data and your people.

    With better use of good quality data in your strategy and in the way your team interacts with it you can transform sales. Saving time focusing on outlets that matter means saving time and costs. Not to mention higher potential sales!

    This article is only an outline of the beginning steps towards transforming your sales with modern data methods to optimize your sales effectiveness. We have often taken these steps together with our clients and that has given us experience but also a curated method. We are happy to share our successes and if you wish to see how our tool Sales Align comfortably enables all the above, please click here.

    Posted on February 12, 2018 by Danielle Mosimann

    Make or Buy? Organic growth or M&A?

    A tale of two value creation opportunities 

    Make or Buy? Organic growth or M&A?

    On the 29th December 2016 and again the 7th February 2017 the Financial Times wrote about an M&A boom. “The M&A boom will carry on…Many companies face poor organic growth prospects, forcing them to consider buying rivals or expanding in new territories…” Deloitte reports that 75% of executives expect deals to increase in 2017 while according to Moody’s “A ‘major theme’ of recent activity was positioning for the future through the acquisition of technology.”

    Does this strong appetite for acquisitions create economic value?

    Depending on the industry and the profile of the acquisition target, bigger may well be better. But if both the acquirer and the acquired were struggling to grow before the acquisition, are we not simply moving the problem to the future?

    Acquisitions instantly increase revenues and usually earnings per share. From this perspective, deals that expand a business’ geographic footprint and improve the competitive position can be an attractive approach, especially in mature markets. Focus on managing the integration of both companies, improving economic performance and cost efficiency and leveraging greater market share will certainly create some economic value. However, after a few years these effects taper off and executives will need to decide what’s next.

    Furthermore, the current high share prices or, perhaps better said, the high market valuations put pressure on executives to quickly deliver synergies. This is usually shorthand for cutting costs. According to a Bain study from late 2014, 70% of companies announce synergies that are higher than the scale curve suggests. Unsurprisingly, most companies will be disappointed by the actual synergies created.

    Against that background, organic growth can be an attractive alternative. Executives often underestimate the power of organic growth. Clearly, organic growth takes more effort and time for growth to manifest itself, but our research shows that organic growth typically generates up to one third more economic value.

    This is hardly surprising as the upfront investment for organic growth is lower, while for acquisitions the acquisition price usually includes a takeover premium. Therefore, over time the ROIC and ROE is higher for organic growth compared to acquisitions.

    This is a good reason to look hard at creating internal growth opportunities and leave the acquisitions to competitors that have run out of ideas.

    Karel Leeflang and Roland Mosimann, StrategyPod powered by AlignAlytics

    Posted on March 10, 2017 by Danielle Mosimann