Yesterday was the first day of July. I know you all have a calendar so I am not bringing you real news, but I do want to ask a question for your consideration. As you reflect on the first half of 2014, are you where you want to be? Have you hit your performance, growth, and commission goals?
On December 26th of 2013, I posted a blog called 2013 in the Rear View Mirror. It seemed to hit a chord with readers, because many folks read it at the time of the post and some made comments. I asked in that blog that readers consider their 2013 performance honestly, and after review begin the process of planning to be successful in 2014.
July 1st is a natural time of the year to look back at the first half of 2014. Are you pleased, elated, disappointed, upset, apathetic, or maybe looking for a new job? Whatever your outlook, if you desire success, now is the time to engage and get serious if you are not where you would like to be, or if you are, to stay focused and keep doing what you are doing possibly more effectively.
Here are some things to consider as we take a look back over the last six months:
- Did you grow your keys accounts during this period year over year? Remember, the Pareto principle posits that key accounts are the top 20% of your account list, which normally generates 80% of your revenue. If you focus on these accounts you need only to grow them faster than the general market is growing and you will come out ahead in most instances. Treat this 20% of your account list like a mutual fund portfolio. Some will grow very fast, some may grow more slowly, and some may even be flat or down for the year. But, if you grow the group as a whole you will have positive performance year to year. Take time to use your media sales CRM to do the analysis and then commit to putting strategies and tactics in place to get these accounts in positive territory.
- Once you feel very confident that you have a plan to grow your key accounts, now pay some attention to the other billing accounts on your list — the remaining 80% of your list. Is there an account or two in that secondary account list that if you put some more time, focus, and energy into them you could get a significant amount of lift in spending year over year? Consider those accounts and then target that one or two for maximum efforts with more focused and investigative questions during your next conversation or more strategic and creative solutions when you brainstorm and develop for needs you have already identified. Don’t overlook these opportunities to get significant spending lift out of established relationships.
- A final factor you may need to consider is new business. Have you generated enough new business to cover the flat to negative growth key accounts discussed above? If not, you had better zero in on your efforts here. No one can get away with not generating new relationships that drive new revenues because everyone experiences account attrition. Ask yourself, are you getting assignments from your customer needs analysis conversations with target accounts that your station can generate results for when activated? This is critical to generating new revenues. You must have a vibrant new account acquisition plan and work it daily.
The end of second quarter is a natural and intuitive time to check progress towards you goals. Honest reflection and introspection only serve you in the long run. If you love this business as much as I do, you know if it is to be it is up to YOU. Now get busy and make it a great second half!
By Chris Crawford, General Sales Manager, Efficio Solutions