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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
September 2017

CEOs that Focus on Growth Gain Big Profits

CEOs that focus on growth accomplish the two greatest achievements: 1) Substantially increased profits, and 2) Increased value of their businesses. 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 now 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 accelerate growth, increase profits, gain valuable talent, expand product lines, enter new geographic markets, and increase the value of your business. Organic growth through additional sales from new and existing customers is the primary focus of most CEOs nationwide, and that is the topic of this article. CEO Advisor, Inc. provides business consulting for growth, as well as, growth capital and mergers and acquisitions advisory services to CEO and owners of small and mid-sized companies.


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 of many companies. This is a very costly mistake.


CEOs, presidents and business owners of top performing companies are 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. Growth oriented CEOs also ensure they have strong sales management in place and provide direction and the needed tools to ensure that sales management can optimally do their job.


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 important aspects of sales can cost you hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over the coming year.


1. Build a Sales and Marketing Machine to Optimize Sales and Value of your Business.

By building a sales and marketing machine within your company, you will optimize your revenue and net profit 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.


2. 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 Key Performance Indicators (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.


3. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Drive Sales and Profits.

Additional goals that can be readily tracked monthly 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) Customer churn, J) Revenue churn.


4. Get Out of the Office and Visit Existing 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 up-selling 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 (Servicing Existing Customers) the Life Blood of your Business.

Here are some key factors to increase sales, profits and the value 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 hold sales meetings that are motivating, numbers driven and training-intensive should be a weekly occurrence like clock-work, F) Develop an Account Management Program that ensures customers are retained and well serviced, G) Implement the Account Management Program to provide best practices in retaining, servicing, upselling, cross-selling and educating customers on your value proposition.


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 with no options for an exit. Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise and experience to help you make the tough decisions and execute your plan to turn your company around. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

CEOs - Start Planning for 2018 Now
Here are 7 key factors that typically cause major issues in a business or lead a CEO or business owner to decide to exit the business. This premature exit typically occurs through a sale or liquidation in an unplanned sale or at less than desirable results. Planning now for 2018 will head off these critical issues for a far more productive and profitable year.

1. Lack of a Business Strategy and Business Planning

There is no strategic business plan, financial forecast and goals to focus resources effectively toward results and to increase sales and profits. This is critical and rarely done consistently in small and mid-sized businesses today causing a whole range of problems.


2. Management is Too Thin or Less Than Competent

The CEO can be so tied to the business with a lack of effective additional resources for the CEO to share management responsibilities. Thus decision-making, sales, marketing, operations and growth are restricted to the CEO's abilities and available time.


3. Lack of Operating Capital

Lack of cash to meet short-term cash needs is a major burden and sometimes crippling to businesses and their CEOs. Also, cash shortages preclude funding essential for business growth. Serious cash needs also cause short-sighted actions and even bad decisions that can harm the business short and long-term.


4. The CEO is Seriously Ill or is Disabled

Being prepared for the unfortunate occurrences that can ruin a business is a responsibility a lot of business owners do not take seriously enough. Insufficient financial and management preparation for the death or disability of the CEO can create chaos for those left to sort out the issues. A trusted business advisor familiar with the business can be an extremely valuable resource to any CEO or business owner to plan for and even act in an Interim CEO role, as needed.


5. There is Disproportionate Risk through Personal Guarantees or Expenses Tied to the Business

Because of personal financial guarantees required for the business or considerable fixed expenses and leases, especially in an economic downturn, a major crisis could ruin the business owner.


6. The Business is No Longer Satisfying or CEO Fatigue Sets In

Many CEOs and business owners reach a point where they no longer wish to endure the pressures of the business or the risks related to the business. They have lost their enthusiasm and commitment to continue to invest in and grow the business.

This condition is not only an impediment to growth, but it often creates a downturn in the business that puts the company in a vulnerable position. Proper planning with a seasoned business advisor may be the alternative that works best outside of a sale of the business.


7. The Assets of the CEO or Business Owner are Unbalanced

Most personal assets are locked up in the business. Little independent retirement savings have been established for the CEO/major shareholders in the event of a business downturn. In the absence of a strategic buyer, the sale or dissolution of the business is required.


CEO Advisor's business consulting services can help you overcome these issues enabling you to grow your business to the next level, or explore your alternatives to sell the business at the opportune time.


CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise, coupled with hands-on advice, to help you increase sales, profits, value and to grow your business to the next level. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc., for a free initial business consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us today at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

Testimonial  


"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."



Partner

Haynes & Boone, LLP


"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."
Partner
Haynes & Boone, LLP


"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."

 


Partner

Haynes & Boone, LLP

Words of Wisdom


"It wasn't until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say 'I don't know'."


Somerset Maugham

Novelist, Play Writer




"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."

Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker

"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker
"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker



Prime Minister of the U.K.