In this article, leading sales expert Andy Preston talks about the problem of ‘hidden’ revenue, and how you can find the hidden revenue in your business…..
I’m often asked by business owners, sales managers and sales directors to help their sales team increase sales. And part of that focus is always on driving new-business revenue.
But what about the ‘hidden’ revenue that’s already in the business? The revenue that’s there to be had, but isn’t being unlocked currently by your salespeople? There’s often lots of that, especially in low-transaction-value, repeat order businesses!
There’s gold in them thar hills! So let’s have a look at where it might be in your business……
Hidden Revenue Number 1 – Annual Existing Customer Orders
One of the areas where you may be missing out on revenue, is in orders from your existing customer base. Don’t get me wrong – if you’ve already locked down 100% of your customer’s spend then that will help – but even then you could be missing out!
Some customers will buy on an annual basis. Especially if they buy for an event, trade show or exhibition for example. Why not think about getting together a list of customer orders from 12/13 months ago (depending on your lead-times), and calling those people to see if they need anything?
And if you make a note on your CRM or database that they are ordering for a particular event, you can ring them next year as well, talk about the event, and seem really informed and on the ball!
Some customers need a prompt to buy. And not ‘prompting’ them might mean they don’t buy. Or they don’t buy as much as they would have with a ‘prompt’ much earlier.
Hidden Revenue Area Number 2 – Your ‘Lapsed’ Client List
Another source of revenue that you’re currently losing lies in your ‘lapsed’ client list. You know the companies that used to order from you, but haven’t bought anything for ages.
You probably feel a little awkward contacting these people, as it’s likely they are now using someone else, yet they are one of the easiest types of prospect to persuade to buy!
You may have a problem to solve, or a difficulty to overcome when you contact them (as that may be the reason they no longer buy from you), but most people change suppliers based on ‘perceived indifference’ – so just the act of getting back in touch might bring you business!
Hidden Revenue Area Number 3 – Your ‘Lost’ Deals
Another area of ‘hidden’ revenue is your lost deals. You know, those deals you pitched for that you didn’t win? The ones that chose to go with someone else when their annual contract came up, or they called you in for a review?
Just because you didn’t win the contract, doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t buy from you! Even people who say ‘we are under contract’ and ‘we don’t buy outside of it’ often still do – especially when they need something that their existing provider cannot provide in time!
There’s no harm at all in ringing up your ‘lost deals’ 3 months, 6 months or 12 months later, to see what’s changed. Who knows, the person responsible for buying may have changed, and suddenly you have an ‘in’. Same if their existing supplier has just let them down with something!
Remember – if you don’t call them, you have no chance of winning 😉
Hidden Revenue Area Number 4 – Your Existing Client Base
Interestingly, your existing client base can also be an area of ‘hidden’ revenue that you’re not currently unlocking!
Most companies I work with tell me they have ‘clients’ or ‘customers’. Yet what they really have is ‘transactions’. Unless you have locked down the majority (if not ALL) of your customers’ spend for the products and services you provide, you’re leaving money on the table!
Do you have any idea what percentage of spend you have of your clients business? How much currently goes to you, and how much currently goes to your competitors (for the products and services that you could provide).
Customers will say things like ‘I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket’, or ‘we like to keep 2 or 3 suppliers on the go’. What they really mean is they’re not giving all their business to you! But they could be giving MORE of it to you!
If you can get an idea of how much they spend with others (and perhaps in what product areas), then you can get an idea what the potential for extra revenue is for you! Remember, we don’t need to take all the business off another supplier (and usually that isn’t possible), but you CAN get more of it to come to you!
Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on……..
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