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This newsletter is supported and owned in part by Bogdan Fiedur
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Vol. 2 issue #300 December 30, 2009


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Succeed in 2010 - 5 Key Questions You Must Answer

by Pat McGraw

So, 2009 was a bumpy ride - but it is over and behind you. Now, in this Holiday Season, you need to unplug, unwind, recharge and get ready for 2010. you need to identify ways to increase sales by leveraging your current resources. Here are 5 key questions you should will help get your started down the right path to increased sales and stronger performance.

What is most important for your business?

We should ask this question at least once a year because things change and you need to adjust. Last year, it was survive. Will it be that way for 2010? Are you planning on increasing sales - then how can you deliver those results with your current resources?


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What is 'success'?

You need to have measurable goals and you need to make sure that each department's goals are aligned so you leverage your resources for maximum performance. That means marketing and sales need to be aligned - no more "marketing hit its goal of 100,000 leads" and "sales fell short of its goal of 1,000 new customers."

If your goal is to grow your business and that requires 1,000 new customers, then marketing needs to generate highly qualified buyers so sales can close deals. Do you have a shared definition for what a 'highly qualified buyer' is for your business - and is marketing measured on its ability to bring 'highly qualified buyers' to your door? Remember, when one piece fails to succeed, the entire organization fails to succeed.

How will we succeed?

You have limited resources and unlimited opportunities - your success comes from your ability to focus your resources on activities that generate the greatest return on investment. Do you have the right products and services? Are you priced appropriately for your audience? Are you using all of the right distribution channels properly so you products and services are easily accessible by your customers? And are you reaching your customers with the right message and offer through the most effective communication channels in order to motivate response and action?

If you answered 'Yes!',you should rethink your response because the one thing about sales and marketing is 'You can always improve - so test!'


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What is your customers' greatest 'pain'?

This goes hand-in-hand with how you will succeed - and it means you need to talk with your prospective customers and find out what you need to do to get them to become your new customers. And it means talking with existing customers in order to find out what they like, don't like and would like to get so you can improve current products and services as well as develop new products and services. Finally, it means talking with former customers about why they left, where they went, how they feel about their relationship with your competition and what, if anything, you could do to win back their business.


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Do you have the resources you need to succeed? (And if not, how can you get them in the most affordable and effective way?)

A lot has changed in the past year and chance are your organization is running 'lean and mean' - which means now is the perfect time to figure out if you have what you need to succeed.

And when it comes to personnel, you have to think long and hard about hiring full time staff or using part-time consultants. Well, I am obviously biased but if I were in your chair, I would look at the expertise I need on a part-time basis with the option of hiring full-time if certain factors fall into place. It's a great way to see how someone will fit into the organization without the challenges of HR and the expense of benefits.

Final Thoughts

That's it - answer those questions and the next thing you can do is start doing what it takes to succeed. What do you think? Did I miss anything?




Pat McGraw is a marketing consultant with more than 20 years experience helping organizations attract, engage and retain profitable customers. Pat publishes a free monthly email newsletter, marketingINSIGHT (http://www.mcgrawmarketing.com/newsletter), that provides readers with simple, practical ways to improve key sales and marketing metrics such as conversion and retention rates. To learn more about Pat's services, visit http://www.mcgrawmarketing.com.

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