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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
February 2016
CEOs that Focus on Big Sales Gain Big Profit
CEOs are focused on growth, but growth in 2016 may be more challenging than in prior years. Headwinds from raising interest rates, a very mature economic cycle and deflation in certain sectors will require CEOs of small and mid-market companies to focus on sales more than ever.

The two primary avenues for growth are a) organic growth and b) growth by acquisitions.  Growth by acquisitions can enable you to hit a home run, but organic growth through additional sales is the primary focus of most CEOs nationwide.

CEOs that put sales management at the top of their agendas outperform their competitors in revenue and profits by up to 80%. While CEOs and presidents of small and mid-size companies play a key role in driving performance improvements across all aspects of a company, sales has traditionally not been the main focus of business owners for many companies. This is a very costly mistake.

CEOs, presidents and business owners of top performing companies are very hands-on in driving the business forward. Setting budgets and sales goals are just the beginning. The best CEOs pinpoint specific tools, analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure substantial growth (at or above industry growth rates) in revenues, gross margins, and profits. They also ensure that they have the right people in the right positions and that each sales team member is performing consistently and optimally.

Similar to marketing, sales is both an art and a science. Here are 5 key sales issues that will create a tremendous return on investment and grow your business to the next level. If sales and sales management are not your strengths, gain the help you need as failing in these all important aspects of sales can cost you hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over the coming year.

1.) Deep Dive on Sales Goals to Increase Results. Well managed sales teams produce big results. CEOs must go beyond a weekly sales meeting and monthly sales goals for each member of the sales team. CEOs must develop KPIs that produce heightened, consistent results to meet goals. A direct sales team should have clearly defined goals for each salesperson that include, for example: a) Dials per day, b) live contacts per day, c) opportunities created in your customer relationship management (CRM) software per week and month, d) sales appointments per week and month, e) proposals presented per month, f) closed sales per month, g) closed sales in dollars per month, etc.

2.) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Drive Sales and Profits. Additional goals that can be readily tracked monthly (in real time if possible) will be the difference in a proactive, results-oriented sales team vs. a sales team that is always behind the curve resulting in poor profits or losses. You should monitor and track: a) average size of each sale (ensure you are selling to larger customers with larger budgets), b) average length of contracts, c) renewal rates of contracts, d) track the amount of sales to your top 25 customers per quarter and year to ensure you are properly servicing them and hitting sales goals, e) gross profit margins, f) net profit margins, g) industry growth rate, h) your total market share, i) market share of your key competitors, j) growth in your market share, etc.

3.) Build a Sales and Marketing Machine to Optimize Sales and Value of your Business. By building a sales and marketing machine within your company, and this can be done very cost-effectively, you will optimize your gross and net profit margins and tremendously increase the value of your company. Making this a top priority is the greatest return on investment you can make. This takes some planning, focus and attention to details to put in place and manage, so gain the needed outside advisor to get this right.

4.) Get Out of the Office and Visit Customers. As the CEO of your company, get out of your office and go with sales managers and individual salespeople and visit your major customers at least annually. Understand the customers' needs and satisfaction level, understand how you can help them by upselling and cross-selling additional products and services, renew annual contracts and secure a tighter relationship by demonstrating real interest and commitment to your customers.

5.) Make Sales and Account Management (Serving Existing Customers) the Life Blood of your Business. A) Strong sales management should be part of the fabric of your company, B) Making top sales performers heroes at your business should be paramount to you, C) Training your sales team should be exciting and part of every week and every sales meeting, D) Designing the right sales compensation plan and retention of your best performing sales team members should be a top priority, E) Consistently held sales meetings that are motivating, numbers driven and training-intensive should be a weekly occurrence like clock-work.

Maximizing sales will be the difference in reaching your goals and a successful exit in the future versus strained cash flow and diminishing value of our business. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today for a no cost, no obligation meeting at your office to discuss your key business issues at (949) 629-2520 or email MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com.

Mergers & Acquisitions Seminar ($500 Value)
How to Optimize Value and Sell Your Business Effectively

Sponsored by CEO Advisor, Inc.

Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016
Registration Time: 8:00 AM
Seminar Time: 8:30 - 10:00
Location: Conference Room at 23 Corporate Plaza Drive, Suite 150, Newport Beach, CA 92660
FREE Parking
Phone: (949) 629-2520
Presented by: Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO Advisor

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Your company is your most valuable asset. Preparing to sell, optimizing your company's value and effectively and efficiently selling your business for the best price is paramount for every CEO, President and business owner.

This 90 minute seminar by CEO Advisor, Inc. will provide you with the information needed to realize your dream of exiting and selling your business. Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. will present and moderate an open discussion on these critical aspects of selling your business.


Mark Hartsell's Credentials:
  • Certified in Mergers & Acquisitions, Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Master's Degree in Business, Loyola University; University of Maryland Undergraduate, Business Admin.
  • 36 Years of Experience in Senior Management Positions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Consulting and Fund Raising
  • Founded, Funded, Grew and Sold a SaaS (Cloud-based) Software Company to a NASDAQ Company (DRIV)
  • CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. (Business Consulting, Fund Raising, Mergers & Acquisitions) for the Past 11 Years

About CEO Advisor, Inc.

CEO Advisor provides business consulting and mergers and acquisitions advisory services affordably and effectively to meet the specific needs of small to mid-size companies in a wide range of industries, including software, technology, media, professional service firms, healthcare, manufacturing and many more.  

CEO Advisor's mission is to advise CEOs, presidents, business owners and principal executives with the needed expertise and focus, coupled with hands-on advice and work performed to grow your business to the next level or realize your life's dream through a successful exit.


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"My company has been working with Mark for the past month and we have already experienced tangible benefits from his advice and recommendations. He brings energy, experience and a high degree of professionalism as an advisor to our company. The value of having such an experienced consultant at our side at a very important point in our company's history aided us in improving our overall value. His input has been a worthwhile investment."

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"Mark Hartsell and CEO Advisor, Inc. provide a unique advisory service for CEOs. He not only tackles high level strategic issues to assist CEOs navigate through challenging times, but Mark also gets very involved in actually addressing important issues head-on by performing the work to achieve tangible results.


Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."

 


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