If you’re a ‘lifestyle entrepreneur‘ – meaning that you’re building a business primarily designed to feed you and your family and the lifestyle you want to live (you aren’t raising money from venture capitalists and trying to create the next Unicorn) – what I’m about to tell you is the most important and practical advice I can share regarding how to grow your business to seven figures or more fast.
For a little context in case you are new to me and my history, I’ve built multiple seven-figure businesses, and helped many people do the same.
I’ve also been a student of business for two decades, earning my MBA from the top-ranked entrepreneurship program in the world.
I don’t say those things to brag…only so that you’ll hopefully take what I’m about to say seriously:
I’ve come to believe that the very first thing that every business owner should do to grow their business as fast as possible is to…
Automate Your Sales Process.
There are a few reasons. And I must warn you: they are easy to underestimate in terms of their impact.
But please don’t!
There is no other single, universal piece of advice I can share that has as much impact.
Yes, you should have a powerful strategy, a clear brand message, and incredible products and services – of course.
But we all know businesses that have inferior products and yet they are still nice-sized businesses making a lot of money.
Because they are simply outselling their competition.
In my experience, most entrepreneurs overcomplicate what it takes to get to seven figures in revenue, and end up trying to do too much.
They power of focusing on automating your sales process is just that: FOCUS!
When you put your energy into creating an automated sales process, you’ll get all kinds of benefits that may not be immediately obvious to you.
Here they are:
You’ll Work ON Your Business Instead of IN Your Business
Most entrepreneurs have read the E-Myth at some point or another, and they get the concept of working on their business instead of in their business (if you haven’t read it, buy it now!).
But most of us also struggle to apply the concept as thoroughly as we should.
The #1 thing that keeps us working IN our business instead of ON our business is sales.
In the far majority of smaller businesses, the founder is the #1 salesperson, and they get stuck in that role to try to generate enough revenue to keep the lights on.
It’s easy to get into the flow of doing the manual processes – picking up the phone, meeting with people in person, and creating proposals – it does generate the all-important revenue you need to survive, after all.
The problem is, that’s all most entrepreneurs end up doing. They get stuck in a cycle of treading water, never getting enough time to get ahead.
They never get the time to work on their strategy, work on their brand, or improve their products.
All of those things get sacrificed due to the time spent ‘doing’ in sales.
Have you been there?! Yeah, me too!
There’s no reason for that now.
By leveraging the power of automation, content marketing, and retargeting on ad networks, any business owner can replicate their perfect sales process into an automated sequence that works on their behalf, giving them the ability to step back from the majority of the day-to-day manual effort of the sales process.
Nothing will free up more time and headspace to work on your business.
What Gets Measured Gets Managed
As I said before, at the far majority of small businesses, the founder is the #1 salesperson.
The big problem is that they don’t know why.
They don’t know what it is exactly that they are doing well, and what they aren’t – they just know they’re doing it better than the next guy.
When you put an automated system in place, no matter how imperfect it is, you at least now have something that you can measure from start to finish – and as the saying goes…
What gets measured gets managed. And improved.
If you’re currently in the weeds of doing a manual sales processes to build your business, it’s almost guaranteed that you don’t have accurate measurement of each step of your sales process.
If you don’t have a good way of measuring something, then you don’t have a good way of improving it.
How are you going to identify opportunities in the process workflow if you aren’t measuring it? What are you going to change?
If you don’t have measurement to guide you, then that means you are operating on gut.
That works great if you want to run a very small business forever, but if you are going to grow, you need to be able to measure.
One of the hardest things in business is trying to improve the sales skills and consistent execution of a sales team; it’s absolutely grueling!
I’ll never forget doing ‘ride alongs’ with my sales team in my first business, coming to meetings with them so that I could hear their presentation to prospects.
Within 5 minutes of attending any meeting, I was usually sweating bullets in frustration at what was coming out of my salesperson’s mouth!
How could they be getting our sales script so wrong?!
Why didn’t they ask the right questions like we role-played?!
Why haven’t they gone for the close?!
It seems that no matter how much you train and role play with salespeople, they will never do things the way you think they should be done, and no two of them will do it the same way.
The inconsistency of relying on a variety of humans to make your sales pitch for you makes it really, really hard to improve!
Automate your sales process, however, and every prospect will get the same message – exactly as you’ve scripted it.
Now instead of spending money on salespeople and training, you can spend it on advertising and getting more prospects into your automated sales process!
Time, Freedom and Peace of Mind
You most likely started an online business to give you freedom of time and location. But if you’re stuck in sales conversations every day, you don’t really have that, do you?
You have a job.
Automating your sales process gives you the time and freedom you were looking for when you started your business in the first place.
And it gives you the peace of mind that comes from know that you can step away from the business for a day or two, without your sales pipeline drying up.
So you can go on trips (like the 8 day soccer trip to Sweden I did with my daughter), without experiencing that sense of dread that your business is going to fall apart with you on top of it every minute.
Now you have a business, not a job.
Don’t get me wrong, I still had my laptop with me on that trip to Sweden, and I put in an hour or two every day I was there, but my business largely stayed on track.
The way you get ahead in business is rarely by breakthroughs that lead to exponential growth overnight, but rather by continuous improvement of your critical business processes over time.
It’s the compounding interest of business.
The tools you’ll use to automate your sales process will also give you measurement of each step of the process, so you can see what’s working and what’s not, which creates the opportunity for continuous improvement.
Almost every singles step of the process can be split-tested and improved.
This difference – the fact that you can now spend the majority of your hours improving your sales process rather than ‘doing’ your sales process – is the difference between a fast-growth business that leaves the competition in its dust, and one that feels stuck in neutral.
Get Started…No Excuses!
Step one in growing your business is to automate your sales process.
Automate as much as you possibly can.
You can automate your emails, workflows, scheduling appointments, creating follow-up tasks, creating proposals, ad campaigns, and just about everything else.
The tools that are available to you today are both incredibly powerful and affordable, and there are mentors that will help you.
And if you can’t automate everything (personal touch is still absolutely necessary in many sales processes), automate everything up until the point where you need to get involved – don’t simply ignore this advice because ‘your business is different’ and ‘your prospects INSIST on personal interaction before they’ll buy’.
I’ve heard it all before, and you still have plenty you can and should automate! No excuses!
Take action today, and let me know if I can help!
All the best,