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Do You Know Where Your Business Comes From?

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One of the most common issues I find with struggling Sales Organizations is a lack of focus. This is a pretty natural occurrence in the whole evolution of a business.

First Starting Out

When a business first starts out, they need to get revenue! They will sell to anyone who might be interested in what they are selling. The size of the account doesn’t matter, the complexity doesn’t matter, the location doesn’t matter – all that matters is that they are willing to spend money with them.

Growth Phase

If the company is able to survive the first months or years in business, they begin to build a reputation. Their current clients may start referring business and they gain some market share via word of mouth. The revenue continues to grow, but often they are not sure from where. They may have some people selling for them, but they are not clear on how they are bringing on new business or what type of clients are buying.

The Stall

At this point in the life cycle of a business, things are starting to flatten out. The company is still getting referrals and sales are steady, but their client base may not be stable. As much new business as comes in, the same amount goes out the door. This is when I often get involved. They will say things like “We’re not sure where our business comes from,” or, “We can help anybody.” When I hear that, I tell them that they need to begin to focus their efforts. This is an easy answer to what appears to be a difficult question.

Look at History

And how do you figure that out? Well, you have to take a look at your history. Hopefully you’ve kept track of where your leads have come from in a database of some sort. Whether it be a spreadsheet or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, or sticky notes. If not, all is not lost. You can go through and do your best to remember! You can go through and kind of estimate where they came from: a website, a client referral, an industry association, an event, and take a look at that distribution.

By understanding where your leads and where your clients have come from, you can focus your Sales team’s activity on those specific lead sources. One of these activities or sources most likely has been more fruitful than the other. This is where the focus comes from. By understanding your best sources of leads, your Sales team will be a little bit more efficient in bringing in new business. They can make better decisions on what event they’re attending, where they should be advertising, what industry association they should join, or how many cold calls they should make. They will begin making decisions based on whether it makes sense for the business or not. This will create quicker sales, more profitability and a healthier and more professional Sales organization.

Jack Kelly
Jack Kelly
Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.
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