Defining The Critical Factors of Your Sales Success

    May 15, 2003

When know what your customers think about you, what they want and need and what you have to do to improve their perceptions, you need to find out how your business functions in its present foundation. You need to break the entire process into smaller, easier to control elements that have a decisive impact on your lack of success.

In doing this, you will define your critical factors of success. These are the main elements you need to make your product sell well and your business successful. These factors could be (the following are just some of the possible factors that can affect your sales success; you should know which of these specifically affect you):

Purchasing (quality, on-time delivery, etc.)

Promotions and advertising (generating visitors to your web site, store, etc.)

Business discussions and acquainting your customers with your product (selling, web site, web site ad copy, auto response follow-ups, etc.)

The actual purchase process from the viewpoint of your customers (‘the shopping cart experience’). By the way, did you know that more than 40% of shopping carts are abandoned before the customer approves the purchase? Definitely a critical success factor!

After-sales marketing activities (building relationships with your customers, up-selling, etc.)

After-sales customer support (Are you giving your customers the help and support they need to maximize the benefits from using your products?)

You could even narrow your factors to a specific project or even a specific process in your business (such as email marketing). Be creative!

Remember, these are just some of the elements that influence your success. You need to define which are relevant for your business and your customers.

It’s very important that you do this task with utmost care and detail, because you will find out which elements of your process are your weak spots and thus fail to satisfy your customers and which help you make the most sales. You now want a clear image of where you are failing or what elements are holding you back from achieving greater success in your sales and business.

Once you know what these critical factors are, you can study each and see, specifically, what needs to be improved. The following rule: ‘A chain is only as strong as its weakest link’ is really true here. For example, if you are experiencing difficulty with purchasing, even if all of the other elements are working 100%, you will be losing sales. You won’t be able to supply either the quality your customers seek in your products or an exact time they can expect to receive them. In addition, if your customer acquisition and making a sale to a first-time customer are perfect, but you are only making sales on the back-end – you are missing out on most of your profits!

It won’t help you much if all of your factors are perfect, except one, because that one factor is your weakest link and challenges the integrity of the whole chain. It’s enough to hinder your complete process and destroy the effectiveness of the other factors, even though they’re currently perfect.

Once you reach the level of knowing what you are doing well and where you need to do better, what your customers want and what they don’t need, then use this to form a competitive advantage over your competition as well as in all of your promotional activities. Make certain your customers find out how hard you are working for them and what you are ready and willing to do to make their experience and satisfaction as positive as possible.

Alternatively, you can also find your competitive advantage with the following question:

Are you offering your customers or visitors something they really want and need, but can’t get from anyone else? KNOW what it is they are getting from you that they aren’t getting anywhere else and you’ve discovered your competitive advantage!

Whatever ‘it’ is, it is likely the most important, if not the only reason why your customer entered and remains in a business relationship with you.

Nikola Grubisa is the co-author of the best-selling Millionaire Mindset e-book. To read more of his articles, get the one book that can help you attain your desires, or get the other steps (this article talks about step #1) to improving your sales, visit’dp1