Who cares about your sales quota?
That’s a question from a recent discussion on passion that sparked our thoughts about the way we (and you) create enduring value for our customers. Sales quotas are an important tool in guiding sales teams and building a business. However, they are only internal and typically short-term. There’s nothing in a quota that compels a company to provide the customer service necessary to inspire loyalty and generate recurring business. And customer service is not only the domain of your client service team. It is a corporate culture discussion.
Passion starts at the top but permeates every level of the business.
Sales quotas are not relevant to solving customer needs, and if they become the driving force behind marketing, lead generation, and sales, your work may not engage or excite your customers - and customer engagement is key to building your brand.
To be effective, change the perspective, and engage them in a value-creation discussion which connects your solution. In other words, get passionate about how you can help them. It will be refreshing for them and more interesting for you. We believe that being passionate about your work, product, or service is how you create engagement and build a stronger brand.
Passion Helps You Overcome Risk and Doubt
We talk a lot about passion here at GrowthShift because we believe that it holds the key to effective communication and brand impact. Passion is what gets us out of bed and ready to share, learn, grow, and shift our thinking. It’s also what makes someone buy from you again and again. It keeps your customers engaged and inspired.
Communicating passion demonstrates that you care about them enough to thoughtfully relate your product/service’s value proposition to their business need/pain; and therefore care about their long-term success. But it can be scary to be openly passionate, to care about your business and offering. There’s a little voice inside when we get ready to share, and it says:
What if they think this isn’t appropriate? Or they don’t like my passion or me? What if they say no?
It can be hard to overcome these conversations. Surprisingly, a common fear even amongst professional sales people. There’s no single trick to it, only a single commitment - driven by your passion for helping customers. Take the step. So, what if you see value and share it, passionately, but it doesn’t take with that audience? If they don’t see the value, then they may not be the right customer or there is no product fit. However, don’t stop too early. Again, a common mistake. Persevere respectively, until you too are convinced there may not be a fit, or you get a no. Then exit gracefully and leave a strong brand impression.
The fear of rejection isn’t going away.
Remember lead generation involves customers and relationships that can be fruitful in the long-term and yet still generate important revenue in the short-term. The shift occurs when you think about a long-term relationship and customer lifetime value (CLV). It’s important because Harvard found that acquiring new customers can cost up to 25 times more than retaining existing ones, while Bain and Company notes that just a 5% increase in retention rate can increase profit 25% to 95%.
It’s interesting, but not necessarily surprising, that thinking about sales in the long-term aligns with building a company and brand that has a long-term sustainable competitive differentiation.
Connect with the right people who can see your vision and want to be part of it. They’re the ones who will respond favorably to thoughtful, respectful perseverance and take the journey with you. We get that this is a numbers game, and don’t diminish the heavy lifting that goes into prospect identification and qualification. But your quality prospects will in fact help build your brand and validate your long-term value proposition.
This thought brings us back to The Brand Flip, where Marty Neumeier shows that power has shifted from companies to customers. What they care about isn't just a product or company, but how they build personal meaning with (and effectively own) the brands they love. These customers are your best opportunities, and you should dedicate the resources to identify and engage them.
It’s okay if that list is small.
About Our Latest Passion Project
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Our passion on the matter is one of sharing valuable content that can help businesses shift their thinking and grow. Remember our discussion on sharing your passion for helping businesses. We think our blog newsletter is a terrific way to share our passion. As a personal insight - for our blog newsletter launch - we bucked the industry “standard.”
Instead of ads, emails, and calls-to-action to build our newsletter list, we thought carefully about the group of professionals that could benefit and simply sent out our first edition — and we will build on this list. Our passion for creating value drove that decision. The same passion that you can summon in reaching out to prospects, sharing authentically and creating relationships with the customers that will help grow your company and build your brand.
So you know our heart, passion and commitment. It’s real and transparent, and if we communicated that effectively, it holds the promise of building a relationship. But it begins with a view for creating enduring value for customers.
This is our vision and spirit for communication. See our blog on communication. If you adopt a similar spirit in your marketing and sales, then we think you’ll be in great shape. If you’d like a hand in getting started, you know where to find us.