If you are in sales it is a requirement to use analogies to extend comparison of two dissimilar objects or ideas. I think the reason we use so many analogies is we face so much rejection; we need to compare the rejection to something other than rejection so the rejection does not overwhelm our thought processes. The intro is a set-up to this blog, an analogy on two of my favorite subjects: physical fitness and the Ansoff Product Market Model.
When I was younger I played football; as a result, I started to go to the gym on a regular basis and enjoyed it from day one. I went to the gym for the first time when I was 14; I am now 44 – that is 30 years of lifting weights and physical exercise. What I did not learn when I was younger is the importance of a proper diet, when I played football my position was o-line as; a result I wanted to be big and to achieve this I ate whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted to eat it. After I stopped playing football in my late 20’s I worked out, but I could not lose weight and it took until my early 40’s for me to decide I needed to make a change. The answer was to change my eating habits, but this has extremely hard as I spent my entire life eating what I wanted and as much as I wanted. The good news is I have made change, I have started to eat healthier while maintaining to exercise and it has resulted in weight loss.
This week I was working with one of my customers who has set a revenue target for the year, the target includes revenue from selling their existing products to existing customers (renewals) and new customers (Ansoff Product Market Model). The customer has done a good job of signing new customers, but the total revenue growth has been flat. In Q3 last year we started to track renewal rates closely in salesforce.com and after collecting data for four to five months we discovered that they are not hitting the customer renewal number that was used in the revenue projection model. The good news is we have identified that we have a problem, and the better news is we are working on implementing a plan to improve customer renewals.
The analogy that I am working towards in the blog; personal health and sales health is very similar. To achieve the desired outcomes they both require a balanced plan of attack. In the case of personal health you need to combine exercise with eating the proper quantity and quality of food to achieve the desired health state. In the case of business you need to service your existing customer in order to get them to renew business (if you do not have a renewal stream you need customer referrals) and you need to add new customers acquisition if you want to grow the top line. In health and business you cannot achieve your goals without a well defined plan that is built on balance, ability to measure the outcome of your plan and the willingness to makes changes.