By Sid Chadwick
“We could have used an additional 2-3% last year….and this year…..How long does this process take for us to start receiving results….?”.....V.P. of Sales, Marketing
Almost everyone will confess, if they’re honest, that they don’t know:
- How much of our Top-10 customers business, we’re not receiving….?
- What do our customers not know….. that we can produce….?
- What “options are available”…. to insure that our Top-10 customers’ business is more predictable --- for us to receive --- next year….?
- What target prospects are our Sales Reps calling-on…..whom we’ll receive new business from….in the next 3-6 months…..?
At the same time, global conditions are moving toward a change in market conditions ….for the U.S. --- most likely, as early as before next year. Here are but a few examples of those conditions:
- Yesterday, the PPI (Producer Price Index) reported a surprising…..1% reduction….versus a .2% expected increase. Some people cheered…..some of us did not, recognizing that this was another sign that our economy is softer than expected.
- The U.S. economy is the only major economy that’s growing…at this time. China, Japan, and Europe --- are soft, and expected to remain soft. (Can we expect to continue to outrun all other major economies?)
- The Fed is committed to raising interest rates (though many believe it will not be able to). This action from the Fed has initiated almost every Recession.
- Upcoming Mid-Term elections may radically change the power structure in Washington, which would change several helpful economic trends, currently in motion.
- “Tariff wars” with major trading partners….show little sign of negotiating settlements……on that note, there’s obviously much needing to be corrected (e.g., stealing of technologies and intellectual content).
- Many organizations in our great industry are experiencing a second or third good year of financial performance. On that point, our ability to grow our revenues, and operate more effectively in developing new and improved customers, may not have improved.
- As an anecdotal observation, many if not most organizations could use an additional 2-3% of revenues…….immediately.
In effect, conditions appear in motion for our industry’s numbers --- to be noticeably changed --- by next year, this time…..leading to fewer….but larger organizations………….
Today, I’m writing a Proposal, requested by a modest but ambitious and forward-thinking association president, for us to conduct Customer Surveys --- for their members. Their association president recognizes that it’s in his member's interest, to grow their revenues, through documented opportunities…..at members’ Current Customers.
We tend to generate 30 – 35% response rates, though 40- 45% were experienced several times over the last year or so. (Most research organizations will tell you that level of results is rare, and they can’t come close to those results.)
The Process requires about 90 days. However, initial follow-up results generally require less than 45 days.
Opportunities for continued prosperity…. are not endless….Without diligent preparation and relentless follow-up….. there can eventually be “no more runway”…. in front of us.
Recently I heard a perspective…. that caused me to reflect…..much because it made profound sense:
“Most presidents should spend about 70 – 80% of their time…learning what’s changing…that could affect and improve their company, and their performance for customers”…………………CNBC Interviewee