Prospecting for new business

prospecting for new customers can be challenging.  Which makes keeping them all the more important, but that’s another story!

We tend to leave generation of new customers to our salespeople, and in some ways that’s fair enough because that’s what they’re paid to do.

If we look at it from an organisational point of view however, it’s worth considering the following:

  • All businesses need to continually acquire new customers just to stand still.  With takeovers, retirements, changed circumstances and so on, you will lose customers and your business will go backwards if you’re not continually acquiring new customers.
  • To grow your business needs to acquire enough new customers to replace natural run-off and maintain a decent level of growth.
  • To grow at a fast rate you need all of your people to take responsibility for finding new customers.

You will find throughout this website references to the benefits of building a strong sales culture, particularly in making sales an organisational responsibility.  But what might that look like in practice?  Consider some of these:

  • Give everyone in your business (particularly those in Head Office if you have one!) the prospecting objective of finding at least 1 new customer for the business each year.
  • Give your people in customer-contact positions, but not sales positions, new business referral targets.
  • Set up internal new business forums, where non-sales people develop ideas to support new business generation.
  • Have your salespeople educate your non-sales people in ways to obtain referrals, new leads and so on.
  • Set up award systems for the best new business generation by non-sales colleagues.  Reward great sales behaviours!
  • Ensure that new business generation keeps a high profile.  Make the message clear and consistent from Executive and Senior Managers and constantly publicise it in internal magazines and the like.

In a vibrant culture everybody is responsible for prospecting and everybody sells…

Contact Brendan now while it's on your mind
Brendan Walsh