Infocusselling’s Blog

December 16, 2009

ACTUM Group Growing for 2010

Filed under: ACTUM Group — Educated and Aware @ 12:26 am
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ACTUM Group is launching into 2010 by adding strategic marketing and sales management professionals to our team. If you have business ownership or C-level background, are entrepreneurial, and have thought about coaching or consulting but don’t want to start without reputation, name recognition, or a referral base, let’s talk.

Outsourcing continues to be the best way to add high level skills to a company without incurring long term overhead. ACTUM is well positioned to continue to grow and we have some exciting plans for new directions. Team members must be comfortable having deep conversations with any level of employee, and must understand all facets of business with a specialty that fits our focus–strategic sales, sales training, sales management, or marketing management.

Call Jeff Bowe, Principal and Chief Sales Strategist at 317-508-6601 for a confidential discussion.

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December 15, 2009

Nearly Free Workshop

Filed under: ACTUM Group,Other Sales Issues — Educated and Aware @ 10:49 pm
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Kim Brand & Jeff Bowe speak at Business Ownership Initiative:

Sales & Marketing 2010 (and Beyond)

How I wasted over $200,000 and three years on

ineffective marketing schemes and inept sales strategies

and why you don’t have to.”   Kim Brand, Co-Presenter.

“You can learn selling the hard way which is having

hundreds of prospects telling you no without telling

you why or you can learn it the easy way which is to

have someone give you the tactics and strategies that

lead to yes now. It’s your choice.”  Jeff Bowe, Co-Presenter.

What: Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) presents Sales & Marketing 2010 (and Beyond).

This four hour seminar will be conducted over two days and will be co-presented by Kim Brand, Serial Entrepreneur and President of Computer Experts and File Engine and Jeff Bowe, Chief Sales Strategist at ACTUM Group, a leading sales training and sales management company.

When: January 27-28th, 6-8PM each day.

Where: 4755 Kingsway Dr., Suite 314. (Near 46th & Keystone)

Why: You won’t get a better ‘reality check’ than to hear us talk about real world sales and marketing problems and solutions for small businesses from the perspective of an entrepreneur and sales pro.

Special Bonus: BOI normally charges $20 for this class…that’s cheap!  But everyone that attends will receive a $20 discount coupon from Computer Experts – your net cost is zero and your upside potential is huge and a free chapter from Jeff’s book, Get INFOCUS Get Cash!

You need to call now to register:  (317) 917-3266 ext. 100.

Space is limited, call today

To Save Cut Out Instead of Cutting Down

Filed under: ACTUM Group — Educated and Aware @ 12:36 am
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The end of the year brings new hope amid sometimes tough decisions. Owners and managers this time of year take a hard look at the financial health of their company and I get some interesting and difficult questions. One of most painful questions from those not hitting profit numbers is, “How deeply do I cut payroll?” The answer, while not easy, is straightforward.

The choice when looking at payroll is save the company or save an employee–you can’t do both. As an owner or manager, your responsibility is to make a return on investment which means maintaining the overall health of the company.

Too many managers and owners ignore the reality that revenue is not matching outflow. They look at financial statements with rose colored glasses and unrealistic optimism. Instead of doing what is necessary, they do what is easy. Instead of cutting out payroll, they cut it down by reducing a few hours here and there and ask employees to work harder and faster. The problem is morale takes a hit and every hour the whole team works, they are painfully aware of reduced hours, they don’t work harder, no one is happy, productivity wanes, and then deeper problems arise requiring deeper changes.

A better solution is to objectively identify the jobs you need, fill them objectively with your most valuable and profitable employees, make a clear and decisive cut out of unaffordable expenses, and then work with a team which is happy with their current situation and future opportunity. Deferring a payroll cut or creating jobs around people prolongs the problem and increases the risk that the problem will not be solvable in the future.

Does this sound cold and harsh during the holiday season? A company is a for profit enterprise with the purpose of making a profit. (For an expert opinion, read Milton Friedman’s seminal 1970 article, The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits.) No company can survive without profit and our government counts on corporate taxes (including Sub-S ownership taxation) to fund growing budgets.

Is this a strange message of coldly cutting costs in what is normally a growth and expansion newsletter? Not at all. As we have seen here in the racing capital of the world, you can’t win if you aren’t running at the end. If you want to grow in the future, you have to be around. Implementing the right changes today allows the possibility of future success.

If you are unfamiliar with the laws of employment, you may be well served by contacting a good HR consultant like C&S Consulting or Resources Offered Immediately regarding laws surrounding termination. In short, Indiana is employment at will meaning you can do what is necessary to save the company without unreasonable interference.

Yes it is very unfortunate for that one employee, but your role is to save the company so it can provide for shareholders and as a result employee families in the future. Saving the company is a greater good than saving one employee today which leads to company failure tomorrow.

December 7, 2009

Launch 2010 Now–A New Way to Create Your Sales Plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 11:11 am
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The best time to start 2010 selling was about a month ago. Unfortunately most people will start 2010 selling just after they recover from New Year’s. That is way too late and a great way to miss a strong first quarter.

This will be the first of three articles to help you launch your 2010 sales today with a plan that will launch you towards success now.

First, start by making a written list of every customer you sold in 2009. If you have a CRM (and if you don’t, you should) then print out a 2009 sales activity report. As you write down the name, pick up the telephone and call them to say thank you. Don’t ask them about 2010 opportunities, don’t ask them for referrals, just tell them how much you appreciated the opportunity to serve them in 2009.

As you check that client off the list, make a note by their name regarding how you acquired the client—referral by whom, a business group, cold calling, email marketing, prior client, etc. Use a consistent abbreviation system as this will come back in step two.

If anyone mentions 2010 sales, go ahead and have the conversation and either log it and the appropriate follow through telephone call in your CRM or make a big red star on your printout next to that customer’s name. Repeat the process until you are all the way through the list. A CRM sure makes this part easy.

You have 300 customers and this call process will take too long? First, congrats on having a long client list. Second, since many of your calls will result in you leaving a voice mail, you should be able to make 50-100 calls a day so this is a week-long project. And, can you think of anything more important than touching every single client one more time this year as they reflect on 2009 and start to think about 2010? I can’t.

Step 2. Tally up your “where did it come from notes” so you know where your business is coming from. Look for trends and blocks of business from one source. You may find one advertising campaign was really successful. You might find that one group is more beneficial than others. One person may be your best referral source. You won’t do anything else with this yet, but you will want to know this for step 4.

Step 3. Look closely at those who brought up 2010 sales opportunities during your thank you calls. Why did that group bring them up? What characteristics make them different from your other customers? Which industries are they in—maybe part of your client base is doing better than another. What specifically did they talk about? Did certain product lines or options get more attention than others? You should spend significant time on this step and really think about why this group is already talking positively about 2010. As you generate a sales plan (step 5), it is much easier and much more realistic if you base it on what you know instead of what you guess.

Step 4 and step 5 will be here in about a week. Between now and then, your best activity is contact and analyze. Touch your customers and listen to them about their plans for 2010 before you create your own sales plan. While you are at it, get a CRM (such as http://www.addresstwo.com) because what you think of as just at tool will soon become your best friend.

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