No chicken or egg question

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January 12, 2017- ISSN# 1545-2646




No chicken or egg question

The age old adage of which came first the chicken or the egg has been the basis of many debates over order of priorities.

This week we look at the priority of sales for your business.  There is no question of priority here.  In a profit oriented endeavor, you can plan your business efforts and invest in the best operational software. You can have the most spectacular office space and hire the best people to serve your customers.

If you don’t have sales then there is no business!

Granted there are businesses which are direct goods/service providers that are funded by non-profit, charity or philanthropic dollars.  These entities are not in the business of generating profit. Their sales are simply transactions to fulfill an identified need etc.

In the capitalistic world of for profit business it all starts with a sale. With this in mind your business cannot grow and mature into its fullest potential with out a definitive sales and marketing effort.

Do you know what and why your potential customers needs are?

Do you understand the options in your market space they can acquire these goods and services from? What may separate you from your competition?  Is it product?  Is it people? Is it salesmanship?

Understanding your customers needs and wants and being the best value proposition to meet those needs and wants puts your organization in a better position to realize sales.

If you understand your customers needs and wants and have positioned your business to deliver on those requirements then your next step is to hire the best sales talent you can find and afford to deliver on the message.  Yes, advertising and social media are key parts of the message branding but if your sales team can’t convert initial interest into closed sales then your marketing budget is spent on simply gathering leads and not revenue.

This week, review your sales process and test to see that it is holding opportunities to some critical factors.  If each sales opportunity can pass the test then it belongs on your sales forecast.  If not, then it is still wishful thinking on the part of your sales person.  Have them rework the lead into a real opportunity. Here are a few sample elements to initially consider.

Has the real decision maker been identified and validated?

Is there a committee hidden in the background?  Is there a partner hidden in the background?

Is there a defined budget?

What is the budget actually allocated for – goods, services, extras etc.? Is there timing associated to the budget?

Are there defined criterion under which the purchase will be governed?

Is there a Request for Proposal lingering in the background? Is the prospect’s investigation structured or defined as they go?

What is the driving factor pushing this purchase of goods or services?

What is the real need and want that started the investment interest?

What is the real timeline and unique event to establish the implementation date?

Decisions happen when an end date is known – what is going on in the business which is requiring this to happen – when and why?

I’m sure there are additional questions your specific industry may value and should be part of your criterion when validating sales opportunities but with out a solid set of criterion, the sales pipeline is a best guess of the sale person.  It becomes very difficult to forecast revenues, expenses and cash flow when hard data is not part of your sales efforts.

So it is not a question of which came first – SALES always precedes operations.  You can’t spend money your business does not have the ability to pay!

Need a third party review of your sales process?  Call JKL Associates (313) 527-7945 so 2017 can be a better sales year.

Questions or comments – email us at or call our Office at (313) 527-7945

Copyright – JKL Associates 2017

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JKL Associates
18530 Mack Ave #242
Grosse Pointe Farms MI 48236

Main (313) 527-7945
Fax   (313) 731-0626

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