Need a clear, specific action plan to improve sales performance for your service-based business?
It’s frustrating to be doing so much, yet it still seems like nothing’s working to get consistent clients.
The thing is, if you’ve been getting clients for even a year or two, something is working. Even if you’re not exactly sure what.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely stuck at a business stage where things are chugging along. And maybe you’re even pulling in some really good revenue.
But you’re not sure how you’re doing it, or what One Thing to ramp up to help you accelerate sales.
The good news is, there’s always something. High performance coaching can help you figure out what.
💡 High performance entrepreneurs focus on easy wins. Then, they capitalize on them to uncover the least they can do to boost sales the most, the fastest, and the easiest.
Here’s a 5-step sales performance action plan your company can use, even when it seems like nothing’s truly working:
Let’s break it down step by step.
Step 1: Install analytics and start tracking.
Again, you’re getting clients. So your marketing IS working. At least, some of it is. You just need to review your analytics to see what’s working best. Then use that data to inform your action plan.
No clue what I mean by “analytics?” I got you.
As a primer, see What Data to Track to Create Faster, More Predictable Company Growth. Then if you have time, check What Are Website Analytics (& Why You Can’t Predict Revenue Without Them).
Back to what it is.
The easiest and fastest path to increased sales for existing companies? To maximize what’s already working. Period. So get someone to activate tracking for you immediately.
What kind of data are we talking about?
- top lead source most prospective clients find you from
- how many times prospects visit your site before they book or buy
- whether prospects opt into your list(s)
- where they opt in from (specific web page, social post, etc.)
- what percentage of subscribers open your emails
- what percentage of those are clicking to your offer
- what percentage of those are buying AND how many times they visit before buying
- what type of content resonates best (gets most opens, clicks, clients, et al.)
- and so on.
Most small companies don’t know these sorts of things. We often just promote, promote, promote, then estimate what’s driving the most business. But that doesn’t work.
Let’s say that, in January, you run a press release, your partner does some networking, and you’re on three podcasts. In February, you get six new clients. You ask the clients, but they can’t remember how they found you. Or they just say “social media.”
Where did those clients really come from?
If you’re tracking, you can just consult your analytics, at least for some hints.
If you’re not, you’re literally wasting time and money on marketing that never seems to pay off.
So start collecting good data ASAP.
Step 2: Figure out what marketing is working (best).
Getting sales and clients a bit unpredictably? Consult your analytics to guide next steps.
Let’s go back to those six February clients from our example above. It’s important to set clear goals in your analytics tool. If you do, you should be able to track a user’s journey from most recent website visit to booking a consult. Depending on the tool you use, you could track a user’s path from their first visit to final booking or sale.
Be sure to calculate conversion rates, not just number of sales, when deciding what’s working best. We get conversion rate by dividing number of sales/clients by number of unique leads.
Marketing A: 6 clients / 300 leads * 100 = 2% lead-to-client conversion rate
Marketing B: 13 clients / 1,200 leads * 100 = 1.08% lead-to-client conversion rate
Although Marketing B drove more total clients, Marketing A drove more clients per number of leads.
How many leads are you getting from all the types of marketing you’re doing? And how are they converting?
Even if you’ve got only 1 or 2 sales per marketing tactic, something you’re doing should start to rise above the rest.
Especially when you look at not just clients/sales, but total leads and resources expended to get those.
Once you find a winner, pause the rest of your marketing, if you need to. Focus on what’s working best.
Tip: If you haven’t installed tracking yet and can’t see what’s working best … there’s another way:
Conduct customer research interviews or surveys to determine your marketing strategy. Ask how customers of companies like yours found their existing providers.
Step 3: Map your 1-year (minimum) goals.
Let’s take our heads out the analytics for a moment.
What are three firm goals you’d like to have achieved a year from now?
My clients almost always choose one revenue goal. That’s great. I also encourage you to have at least one personal goal. (You know… work/life balance and all.)
Let’s say your three, 1-year SMART performance goals are:
With all this data, we can move to the next step. For now, we’ll focus on your revenue goal.
Step 4: Craft a monthly sales plan connected to your revenue goal.
You know what your 1-year revenue goal is. You know what marketing is working best for your company. (Or, you’ve conducted research interviews to see how clients find companies like yours.)
Now, we connect those two things to your offerings, to decide exactly what to sell to meet your revenue goal.
Regardless of number of the services you sell, remember we’re going for lowest-hanging fruit:
What’s the least amount of work you can do for the highest return on investment (ROI)?
To decide, what services do you enjoy providing most, that require the least amount of resources (time, energy, money) spent, but produce the highest returns?
For example, let’s say you offer a range of home improvement services with a range of prices.
Let’s rate each service on a scale, where 1 = fewest resources spent to provide the service. And 3 = most resources spent.
❌ RESOURCES SPENT PER SERVICE
Mowing lawns and planting flowers expend the least amount of resources to deliver them.
Let’s see if either shows up in the next chart.
✅ ROI GAINED PER SERVICE
Flower Planting and Bathroom Remodeling earn the most and are most enjoyable.
Since Flower Planting is a top earner, is enjoyable to provide, and is also a service that expended the fewest resources to deliver it… it’s perfect to sell to reach your 1-year revenue goal.
Note, if you have dozens of revenue streams, choose no more than 3 or (MAX) 4 here.
Otherwise, your client attraction strategy can easily get way too complex to comfortably manage… again, causing overwhelm.
Remember: We’re trying to reduce overall workload and do more of the work that matters most.
Next, decide how many / what percentage of each service to sell to meet your 1-year revenue goal. To do that, it’s often easier to break your 1-year goal down into months, weeks, and perhaps even days.
1-YR REVENUE GOAL: $500,000/yr
= $41,667/mo goal
= $10,417/wk goal
How many Bathroom Remodelings and Flower Gardens would you have to sell weekly to earn $10,417?
Bathroom Remodeling: $7,000 earned per client
Garden Planting: $2,500 earned per client
Charging these rates, you can focus on selling one Bathroom Remodeling per week, and 1.5 Flower Gardens… and you’ve met your sales goal.
You still have clients requesting window installation, porch painting, and your other services. But those seeking bathroom remodels and flower gardens are now your ideal client. You hone in on attracting this specific client type, while letting the other services sell themselves.
Step 5: Create a client attraction strategy from your sales plan and best marketing.
By completing Steps 3 and 4, you’ve taken control of your growth strategy. Instead of being at the mercy of any client who comes in wanting any service… you’re now empowered to control both your revenue and the amount of work you do.
You have the FREEDOM to do the work you enjoy the most AND get paid the most for. And you’re working less, but earning more.
You’ll have the time and money to go to Morocco with family and finish your autobiography. (Those were your SMART goals from Step 3!)
And isn’t this why you started a company in the first place?
Let’s briefly revisit Step 2, where you figured out what marketing was working best to attract clients. Step 2 told you exactly what marketing to focus on NOW (or at least test) to get the exact type of clients you want.
From here, we can still boost your likelihood of success even more.
How? With customer interviews.
Ask your best Flower Garden and Bathroom Remodeling clients for a 15-minute chat about their home improvement experience. Ask things like:
- What problem were you having just before you decided it was time to remodel the bathroom?
- How did you go about searching for a home improvement company?
- What were you dealing with before you decided to remodel the bathroom?
- What was the #1 most important factor in choosing a bathroom remodeling company?
- What made you decide we were the right company for you?
- Did you try any other companies before choosing us? What was that experience like?
Use findings from these interviews to inform your brand language, sales strategy, social media content, and even service delivery.
The Bottom Line: Digging into current data is always easier than starting from scratch.
If you’ve been in business at least a few years, there’s always something you can do to maximize your results.
Even when it feels like results are dismal, your easiest wins are hidden in the data. We just need to be focused, intentional, and balanced enough to think strategically about our growth plan. See how high performance coaching can help you get there.