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Top 5 Growth Tips (The first of 25 Ideas from Small Business Leaders)

business leaders share their biggest concerns about the future of business
business leaders share their biggest concerns about the future of business

Top 5 Growth Tips (The first of 25 Ideas from Small Business Leaders)

 

#1: Growing is Good. Planning For Growth is Better

Many small businesses are so focused on ensuring growth actually happens that they fail to adequately plan for it. Maria Frantz is Vice President of Operations at AchieveIt, a results-management platform designed to help business leaders successfully execute their plans and initiatives. “The goal is to grow and scale over time, so what tools are going to get you in the right spot from the beginning?” Frantz notes. “The challenges at the beginning are all about identifying the steps you need to take and then figuring out which tools support those steps in order to scale over time.”

 

#2: To Expand Your Pipeline, Narrow It.

Michael Boyette, Executive Editor at the Rapid Learning Institute, explains, “The key to a healthy pipeline: disqualify bad leads early, freeing up time to dig deeper with good leads.” In other words, having a fat pipeline does you no good if the leads aren’t quality leads.

 

#3: Know When You Need Customer Relationship Management(CRM)

Ethan Senturia is Co-Founder and CEO of Dealstruck, a financial technology startup that provides loans to other small businesses. According to Senturia, you might need CRM sooner than you think — and here are two key signs you’re at that point. “If you’re unable to keep up with lead flow or customer demand,” Senturia says, it’s an early sign you need a better system. “If you find yourself being slow to respond to people, or you’re getting lots of inbound follow-up like ‘Hey, I’ve been waiting to hear back from you,’ then you probably need CRM.” Sound familiar?

 

#4: The 5 Commandments of Closing the Deal

Armando Mann, Vice President of Sales and Customer Success at SalesforceIQ, has great advice for sales reps looking to close more deals (and honestly, who isn’t?). According to Mann, successful reps follow the five commandments of closing the deal:

  • Know they customer
  • Know they numbers
  • Know they pipeline
  • Know they resources
  • Know them self

 

#5: Live in Your CRM

Getting the right tools is only the first step. If you’re not using your CRM system — living in it, in fact — you’re not getting maximum value out of your technology. Dave Kurlan, the Founder and CEO of Objective Management Group, says salespeople should get cozy with their CRM systems. “Live in your CRM,” Kurlan advises. “Begin each day in your CRM, identify your pipeline gap and fill it, update your conversations in real time, jump-start stalled opportunities, follow your sales process. Use email and calendar to support your life in CRM. Live in your CRM.”