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Grow Sales Through Brainstorming?

by on February 15, 2011  

It may seem simplistic that some of the best ideas to grow revenues are simple. Simple does not mean easy, rather simple means that you don’t need to spend months strategizing when you can do regularly held brainstorming sessions to get your team on track and to keep focus on better ways to grow revenues.

Yesterday we had some laser coaching sessions by phone with a number of great entrepreneurs. These sessions are similar to the laser conversations we have in person – and have had many recently – with various sized companies. Three have been Fortune 500 companies – so its not just the small organizations that need this focus.

What we keep taking away is that we are not geniuses (darn) – but rather, we are focused on revenue producing ideas – and many others – the folks we deal with, at least, are not. Some of the more “simple” ideas we have talked about in recent days with over a couple dozen business owners and sales leaders include:

– Getting others to endorse your work in a quantifiable way

– Placing those quantifiable endorsements prominently on your website (see our scrolling testimonials on the right hand side of our home page as a suggestion)

– Focus on the “low hanging fruit” – existing and past customers who already know you and have trust in your work

– Touch your clients more – through nurture marketing

– Create systems that reduce error, omit things falling through the cracks, and increase productivity

– Put a CRM system (now called “social CRM” ) that is web-based and simple for your team to use – in place this year if you’ve not already. This one step alone can raise productivity dramatically and give you reporting that you have not seen before.

What is great about brainstorming sessions is that you are open to talk about what is working and what would be great to have in place. The more you share your ideas with others, and get them out of your head, the easier it is to take them further.

Try it, and let us know how it goes. We’d like to share your successes!

The 100 for 100K program is up and rolling! Learn more about this entrepreneurial community at 100 for 100K.

  • http://www.bluehorse.biz/our-blog/ Barbara Breckenfeld

    Lori – Our brainstorming yesterday was very useful – thank you. It continues to amaze me how powerful it is to engage with other Brains. Bouncing around inside my own head only gets me so far before!

    I took away great suggestions from our call yesterday that I am in the process of implementing, and I love this list to stretch me even further.

    I’d love to know more about CRM systems that are suitable and doable for solo business owners.

    Thanks again for this helpful list.

    • http://69.195.124.93/~scoremo1 Lori Richardson

      Barbara, thanks for the feedback. It’s funny how many times we have expertise right near us but we don’t use it for a number of reasons. I love the 100 for 100K program because it gives us a way to do what we love to do in a manner that we can make work for entrepreneurs – not just bigger businesses with bigger budgets for training and biz development.

      We will be doing a whole conference call session on customer relationship management systems (CRMs) and I hope to have a very special guest if it works out. Stay tuned!

      • http://www.bluehorse.biz/our-blog/ Barbara Breckenfeld

        Sounds great Lori – I’ll stay tuned!

  • http://www.pattyk.com Patty K

    Thanks for this great list of ideas, Lori. There are a couple on there that I can implement immediately. Do you have a recommendation for a CRM program that would be suitable for solopreneurs?

    • http://TheMagneticEntrepreneur.com Tshombe

      Hi Patty,

      I use BatchBook (http://batchblue.com/), and I’m exploring Insightly (http://insight.ly/) because it interfaces so beautifully with Google Apps.

      The plugin for Firefox, Safari, & Chrome called Rapportive (http://rapportive.com) is also a great way to keep up-to-date on what’s happening in your network

      • http://69.195.124.93/~scoremo1 Lori Richardson

        Thanks Tshombe. It is amazing that there are literally hundreds of solutions out there now for tracking customers and prospective customers – I am careful not to offer specific suggestions until someone knows what some of the main differentiators are between a focus on the social aspects (keeping track of a customers’ social media updates) to the other end of the spectrum with full CRM functionality. I think you will like what I am hoping to announce shortly – thanks for these ideas.

        • http://TheMagneticEntrepreneur.com Tshombe

          Yes, there are so many to choose from, you are right. Unfortunately, most are pretty bloated for the solopreneur. I’m looking forward to your CRM announcement!

          • http://TheMagneticEntrepreneur.com Tshombe

            Just to clarify to Patty and others, the links I offered were not presented as suggestions or recommendations. I do not receive compensation for offering them, either. They are only what I currently use and have found to be flexible and powerfully useful for me. Batchbook is about $10/month and Insight.ly is free, but will soon have paid plans.

            As with anything in business and life, make sure to do your own due diligence and know your goals before investing time or money into a CRM solution.

  • http://TheMagneticEntrepreneur.com Tshombe

    Very simple and practical tips, Lori! Thank you. I agree that they aren’t always easy, but when we get over ourselves and bounce ideas off of trusted advisers, magic happens! Solutions that we could not have come up with if not by the collaborative brainstorming emerge.

    Thanks for the reminders and specific tips!

  • Judy Dunn

    Wow, Lori. I am amazed at what you are offering here in the way of advice. How much richer your 100 for 100K Program must be! I love the “we are not geniuses” comment. Fits me to a “T.”

    I think that the social CRM thing has become incredibly important. Although I always smile at the “social” part (And social CRM, social media,etc. because isn’t most of the nurturing and relationship building we do “social”? But we didn’t invent the terms; we just live by them. : )

    I;m keeping this list to measure my efforts by. Thankytou so much for this!

    • http://69.195.124.93/~scoremo1 Lori Richardson

      funny to read this, because I “meant” that Peter and I are not geniuses! – but how true, none of us are… other than a couple of really smart folks I know who figure some of this stuff out regularly!

  • Tammy

    Good tools and offerings here Lori. I have been working on my systems for some time now. Specifically to overcome the ‘things falling through the cracks’ issue. And I found that it started with clearing my desk! Actually have a new post coming out today on that very topic. All thanks to my 3rd grade teacher. :)

    The CRM system is the one that I know I can improve on and I am not sure what level to take that to the next. What do you suggest people use as as CRM system?

    • http://69.195.124.93/~scoremo1 Lori Richardson

      Tammy, that is the funny thing. There are SO many options – and it depends. Coming from my corporate roots, I lean toward a program like Salesforce.com that works for many of my small-medium sized business clients. Another choice in that category is http://www.landslide.com/ – and for solopreneurs there are some neat new options like http://www.batchblue.com (Batchbook) or http://www.pipelinedeals.com/ that simply track sales opptys. – and Tshombe mentioned a new one to me, insight.ly which works with Google Apps (Peter is looking into this one).

      I’m pleased that on March 11th we will have a most incredible CRM discussion on our Friday call – you won’t want to miss it! You really need to make a list of what you need and want to track – compare it with what is available, and your budget, and go.

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