You’ve probably come across many quotes that appreciate the idea of “failing forward” in business.
Sayings that prepare entrepreneurs of having to go through a few inevitable trials when starting out before they can bear any fruits.
Suffering through the occassional setback is an unfortunate experience that’s sure to happen.
However, sometimes the setbacks we encounter are manifested as a result of our own weaknesses.
As aspiring Black Entrepreneurs, we had clear-cut goals for ourselves when starting out.
A better house, a better car, a better lifestyle, you name it.
In fact, the sole purpose of venturing is to achieve a better state of mind. Even so, this does not address the concerns of the business.
What some small business owners don’t understand is that their businesses are a separate entity from them, with a life of its own.
A fine line of distinction lies between an owners goals and those of the business. And you can most certainly guess what happens when the business has no specific targets to achieve. Which drives us to our main point.
What exactly defines a business? Many would disputably agree that sales are what builds an enterprise.
This is fact as a company’s main activities revolve around the selling of services and products for money.
Therefore, most of the targets of the business should always be aimed at achieving higher sales.
The type of weakness I was referring to earlier comes from the fact that I’m finding many black entrepreneurs will start a business without knowledge of setting and achieving sales targets.
When somebody who’s never been in sales decides to take up this daring field of business without a direct plan to proactively close new sales, the inevitable happens.
So, does this mean that you cannot successfully engineer a startup without a background history in sales? Most certainly not.
The rules of business have existed since the 1900s and they remain the same now. You can learn those rules, and you can adapt.
Before we look at the main pointers to setting and achieving sales targets for Black Entrepreneurs, there is one mindset that you should adopt. One that will assist you to reach your intended goals on time. Let’s evaluate…
The Sales Philosophy
“Make a customer, not a sale”- Katherine Barchetti
One entrepreneur might see their business literally i.e. as an avenue to sell things to people.
Another will take a more philosophical approach and base their focus on selling the idea of what their products can do for their customers.
What’s the difference between these two perspectives?
The first person conducts his business with the aim of making a profit. He/she is interested in gaining something for himself herself rather than for the client.
While the sale might go through, it’s highly unlikely the buyer will return or refer new customers. No one loves having something shoved down their throats after all.
Alternatively, the other business person knows their product in and out and is genuinely interested in meeting the needs of their clients.
This is a helpful approach that makes clients happy and brings them, and their friends back for more.
The general idea around the sales philosophy leans towards concentrating on the products and how it can solve the needs of consumers rather than the sale itself. Adopting this understanding sets you up for success even as you aim to achieve the sales you desire.
How do you set and achieve sales targets for your business?
The first few months or years as a startup can be challenging.
Challenging is also what you would call the sales goal setting process. Don’t despair yet. Starting something is always the hardest part and this isn’t any different. Others have done it and you will too. In fact, you can do it bigger and better!
You know that revenue is what you really need for growth. That’s where you start.
Set realistic revenue targets
You can tell if your goals are realistic by looking at the details of your venture.
From what it cost to set up shop, your field of interest, the period of operation, to the clients’ feedback, the market potential, and your sales team.
Be sure to conduct research on the necessary demographics such as what kind of clients you’re after and where they’re located. This gives you a hypothetical impression of how much a sales territory holds in profits.
Do not shy away from setting your sales targets high. Big goals will excite you, fueling unstoppable momentum and inspiring you to achieve them.
A constant spreadsheet review enables you to keep track of your sales success rate.
Keep a close eye on how and why revenue fluctuates each month. Should you alter your product or hire a new team member? Be sure to adjust the spreadsheet and check if it improves the bottom line.
Ensure there’s activity on your sales spreadsheet at all times.
Empower and Incentivize your sales team
When starting out, hire and train your team for higher productivity.
Entrepreneurship is demanding. Handle the most important workload and outsource the simpler tasks.
That way, they are motivated to work for you. Conduct meetings from time to time to evaluate how the business is fairing and recognise your top producers.
Also, your fellow salespeople should assist you on setting realistic targets for the business.
A transparent CRM reporting database system
A CRM (customer relationship management) reporting system gives you access to the contact details of your customers and prospects.
Check with them regularly to keep track of how accurately your salespeople deliver.
Also, have you ever wondered why the most successful businesses advertise very little?
They simply don’t have to look for new clients because they kept their original ones. Establish a healthy communication with your buyers every now and then to create a long-lasting bond. Doing so will earn you the right to build your business by referrals.
Master persuasion skills
The skill of persuasion may just be the most powerful tool you can acquire in sales.
The previous two points heavily depend on how good you are with your people skills. If you can establish enough rapport with anyone, you’d be surprised at how easily you can get them to give you anything you want.
The above information provides you with the tools and drive that you need to set and achieve your sales targets as a black entrepreneur.
Below I’ll leave you with a proven process that is simple to start now, yet to you can expand on it as your business grows.
Set your sales targets> Develop an action plan to achieve those targets> Track your progress to know if your strategy is getting you those targets> Change your strategy until you get what you want.
Follow those steps, prop them higher & higher as your business grows bigger and bigger!