High water covers a lot of stumps. It’s not until the water recedes that the stumps are revealed to you.
Right now, the economy is humming along rather nicely. Companies are generally doing well, growing, and spending money. Because your clients are doing well, you are doing well right along with them. You might have 12 percent or 15 percent growth this year, a fact that should make you happy. But a closer look might dampen your spirits a little.
How much of your growth is really your client’s growth and not your own? What percentage of your increase is really the fact that some of your clients—and maybe even a subset of clients in a certain industry—are producing your performance improvement?
“But wait,” you say. “These are clients we expected to grow. This is a good thing, Iannarino.” And I agree that it is a good thing. But how much of a good thing? If your goal was 12 percent growth and 8 percent of that growth comes from your existing clients, then the growth of new revenue is 4 percent. Maybe that’s what you expected, and maybe it isn’t. Would 4 percent be the right growth number for new revenue when the economy slows, or when your existing clients reduce their spending in the future?
Do your increased sales really belong to your client’s growth? Is their growth covering up your lack of growth? Could it be hiding a problem that you will not recognize until sometime in the future when it is too late to do anything to change your results quickly enough?
If you look at your sales results, would you be able to generate the 12 percent or 15 percent growth with the opportunities in your pipeline now? Would you risk going backward in an economy that was just average or slightly below average?
Make hay while the sun is shining, but don’t pretend that good fortune isn’t responsible for some part of the success your experiencing.
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Filed under: Sales