A mere serious thought to the above statement reflects, how then, it is the customer from whom the need arises and the customer eventually who keeps the business going. So, it is not hard to fathom that the client is the nucleus of all business activity. However, when the concept of Customer Alignment is being seriously pondered, one can infer that somewhere the customer got alienated from the main business cycle, or at least the focus seems to have drifted. Now, if the premise of any activity gets a little disoriented, how can optimum results be expected.
A ‘sale’ is what gets in the revenue. It is the fodder on which entire business mechanics thrive. Various plans and techniques are discussed and put in place and there is a constant watch on figures and statistics on an everyday basis, when it comes to Sales. So, it is only natural that for something so critical, a targeted approach has been envisaged. Organizations usually set a sales target for their teams and keep a very close watch on the progress. Critical decisions are based on the numbers finally achieved. The following shall illuminate the benefits of doing the same:
- Concentrated and focused effort
- Quantifiable and measurable progress
- Easily comparable performance
- Ease of identifying the highest achievers
- Can act as a pointer towards areas of improvement
- Can prove as a tool towards effective Change Management
Sales Goals and Customer-centricity
The entire sales process, right from the first call or meeting to the final closure, is a direct interaction between sales person and the client. Sales goals, no matter how quantitative they appear to be, cannot be at odds with the client. The situation will not work at the individual/department/organization level. Had the objective been a one-off deal, then just the number of deals closed could determine the success rate. But, if the agenda is continuous and sustainable growth, then there is a whole paradigm shift in the process.
Selling is a two way process:
1. New account/client acquisition
2. Repeat Sales
Another theory to be considered is the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80-20 rule). The principle when applied to business implies that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.
The above categorically defines how critical customer-centricity is to sales figures. A huge percentage of sales figures are attributed to a small percentage of clients. Clearly this 20% covers the satisfied clients segment, which eventually become your biggest buyers and has the highest share of the sales pie.
What this boldly signifies is the basic understanding of the fact that the aim of the business should be client satisfaction and sales numbers would be an eventual outcome of the same. You need those 20% of the clients who would give you the maximum business.
Certain parameters other than the final numbers are actively being incorporated in the sales goals and sales persons are evaluated on their basis as well. A few of them are:
- Number of client meetings held
- Client Retention rate
- Client feedback in terms of overall professionalism and access to relevant information
- Knowledge and understanding of the product by the sales person