The whales are on winter vacation in warm oceans. They are playing, breeding, frolicking and entertaining tourists for a couple of months. But before long, they’ll head back north, and you can hunt them again.
This is the season for looking ahead, making big plans, resolving to improve. Is whale hunting on your list of resolutions? Try these for greater growth in 2019.
Resolution #1: Say No
Entrepreneurs and harpooners despise saying no. We convince each other that every opportunity could be a big deal “if only.” Or we’ll know it’s not a good deal but it’s prestigious, or it will get us in the door, or we can raise prices later. Quit kidding yourself.
Here’s a strategy. What was your conversion rate least year on deals that you chased? 30%? 45%? Resolve this year to raise that conversion rate by x% by pursuing x% fewer deals, all with higher probabilities of success. Note that this exercise assumes you know your conversion rate. If someone is not maintaining good data on your sales process activities, see Resolution #2 bel
Resolution #2: Keep Score
If you don’t know what you’ve done, there’s no way to improve it. And if you’re not tracking in real time, you can’t account for what you’ve done. If you and all the members of your team know how you are keeping score, collectively and transparently, everyone will focus on completing those activities that yield high marks on the score card.
Resolution #3: Fire 10%
Resolve to replace the bottom 10% of your business. That means you’ll have to carefully analyze what is the least fruitful business that you’re doing—margins are too low, customers are too difficult, it drains staff time from more productive work, it is not strategic work, you want to move your products or services in a different direction—whatever criteria make sense for you. Once you have a list of work you should discontinue, decide when you can quit doing it and empower your team to fire those customers as soon as possible. Then work your whale hunting process to replace that business with new, more suitable deals and customers.
Resolution #4: Power Your Boat
It’s easy to give lip service to the idea of collaboration, to the team sale, to “the boat” of subject matter experts that it takes to land a truly large sale to a whale. But have you made real progress in training your SME’s, involving them deliberately in the sale, retooling your organization to make their time available?
You will never understand the power of your boat or achieve the extraordinary results that a powerful boat can deliver until you invest in training, rehearsal, and live practice.
Resolution #5: Confront the Culture
Whale Hunting means change. Business growth demands change. If people in your company resist the changes that you are trying to implement, make 2019 the year that you deal with it. The culture that got you this far may not you to the next level—only you can say. Growth will require amazing collaboration, cooperation, and customer-centeredness. You can retain core values and core belief systems. But behaviors will have to change!
You can change culture deliberately if you are not afraid to try. You need straight talk, good tools, some teaching, some learning, some modeling, some help. But investments in the fast-growth culture will pay off handsomely for your village.
At the dawn of a New Year, I think of the Inuit whale hunters. How did they decide that this spring they would not wait for a whale to beach itself? Instead, they would go out and hunt it? Sounds to me like a resolution.
Learn more about The Whale Hunters Process here.
Do you have a resolution for large account selling in 2019?