Balancing Sales and Delivery
Accelerating Sales to Scale your Business
Sales doesn’t come naturally for some business owners, so they instead spend extra time on delivery. But balancing sales and delivery is essential to meet your growth ambitions. In this episode, you will learn how to allocate time to sales and how to reduce your time in delivery.
01:13 – Three key areas to get new clients
04:57 – How do you reduce time in delivery?
06:44 – Customer meetings
09:31 – Design and architecture
10:51 – Comfort
12:29 – Three key actions from today
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Three key areas to get new clients
I run the Cloud Consultants Collective, a community of around 150 cloud consulting business owners. And when new members join the group, I have a call with them to make sure that I’m getting to know them, adding value, and connecting them to other members where there are synergies because they’re all across different platforms.
During that initial conversation, I ask about their challenges, and their answer it’s typically new clients. That’s the number one thing they say. And when I ask them how much time they spend on sales and getting new clients, they go a little bit quiet.
Whatever it is, I know it’s not enough. When digging to find the core of the problem, the conversation leads to a discussion about three key areas: Confidence, capability and capacity. Now, think for a moment what is the area that is making it harder for you to spend more time in sales.
Most consultants are getting clients through referrals, SaaS vendors and their network. But is that enough to meet their growth ambitions? No. You need to invest your time in outreach, and strategic partners, which I think are the two greatest ways outside of your network to get you more clients.
How do you reduce time in delivery?
Are you tracking how much time you spend on delivery? Some people use fantastic tools, and some others don’t want to do any time tracking at all. It’s a personal choice. Time tracking helps you identify where your delivery is or what part of the business you spend most of your time on. And then, you can track your improvement as well.
If you don’t want to do that, you can create a task list by functions of what you do for a typical week and track it. Let’s say you spend around 30 hours a week on delivery, and you need to get it to around 20. What do you do? There are three big areas that you can focus on.
You’re passionate and service driven, but when a skill is overplayed, it becomes a weakness. And by overplaying your passion and your service delivery, and basically, over-servicing your clients, it’s robbing you of sales time. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a great ethic around customer service, but you know when you cross the line.
One of the key things you can do with customer meetings is to delegate the non-essential meetings. If a family emergency comes up and you are forced to make a choice. Which ones would you go to, and which ones you wouldn’t? And then, just get your team to use a video tool and record it.
Try to make the meetings 30 minutes instead of the default hour. I know that’s not always possible, but where it is, do that. How can you do that? Send your clients an agenda beforehand with everything you’re going to go through. If they don’t have the information, don’t go ahead with the meeting.
Design and architecture
This is a tough one because, ultimately, you are the best in the business at doing it, but you need someone to delegate it to. If you need to hire someone that will pay you back. The time you spent on sales, marketing and other areas will pay you back by having someone in. But it’s essential to create frameworks to support the delegation. The more you document that, the easier you make it for your team to be successful. The biggest point here is to accept progress over perfection.
It comes naturally to you to play in your comfort zone. You are really good at this stuff, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You need to eliminate tasks that are not adding value, but you like to do it. You can also get some automation in. Think about things you can automate in the process so that no one needs to do it manually. And for the rest, delegate to that team I spoke of before.
And once you do that, block some sales time in your calendar. You’ve probably heard of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In that book, he talks about you put the big rocks in first, and then the pebbles will find their way. And sales has got to be a really big rock to deliver your growth ambitions.
Three key actions from today
- Track your time on sales and delivery, and see where you are.
- Work on customer meetings, designs and comfort.
- Send me your questions at [email protected]
- Ep. 415 – How to Spend 25% of Your Time on Sales
- Ep 2213 – The Marketing School
- Cloud Consultants Collective
Connect With Paul
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