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597: When Sales Stops Working

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What do you do when ‘sales’ stops working in your (otherwise) sustainable business?

We fix it! (What’s the alternative?)

First: Is it you?

There’s one of three reasons why your sales would decrease. The first is the most common: you’re the problem.

Not the market, not the platform… you.

How can you be the problem? Simple: you break it.

You could overcook the “marketing” with overly-complex technology solutions you don’t fully understand. Now it’s broken.

You could decide to try to improve on an undocumented sales process by introducing yet more undocumented sales process. Now nobody knows what they’re doing.

You could misallocate resources to sales, instead under-investing in training or development. Now nobody’s taking ownership of sales.

Any of these sound familiar? If so, you broke it. Fix it by refocusing on your audience.

Next: Is it the market?

The second way to break your sales, aside from you breaking it yourself, is when the market changes… and you didn’t notice.

Perhaps a competitor disrupted your space, and you had no response nor competitive advantage to combat it. Now you’re less desirable.

Or maybe the needs of your target audience changed, and you’re no longer solving a need that they have. Now you’re behind and have fewer leads.

Sound familiar? If so, you stopped paying attention to your market. Fix it by refocusing on your audience.

Lastly: Is it the platform.

The last way to break your sales is when platforms evolve… and you didn’t evolve with them.

Perhaps you’re an commerce company and Facebook Ads started dropping in sales. You didn’t notice Facebook is controlling more of the process and prefer to serve higher-ticket items for their own profitability. Your strategy for the platform didn’t adapt to the landscape, and now you’re behind.

Or maybe you’re running AdWords on a product with thin profit margins and the price of your keywords increased to the point of break-even… and your business model didn’t create back-end repeat business to absorb the rising cost of acquisition. Your strategy for the platform didn’t adapt to the landscape, and now you’re behind.

Sound familiar? If so, your business needs to simply adapt to the rules of the platform; they’re the same rules for everybody! Fix it by refocusing on your audience (so connect at lower CPA and increase CLV).

Whatever the reason for a drop in sales, the answer is usually the same: Refocus on your audience.

 

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