Business Growth: New Customers are the Key

October 14, 2013

by Mark Paggioli

Recently, we discussed some of the strategic business growth opportunities that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) might consider as they seek to increase topline revenue.

At one point or another, each of these elements (products, markets, customers, and technologies) will have a role to play in an SMB’s overall business growth strategy.  Today let’s focus on customer expansion efforts.

We’ve all heard the cliché that the least expensive business growth comes from selling to existing customers.  It’s true that if a business is already familiar with the ways you provide value, a conversation about increasing purchasing quantities will be much easier to start.

Unfortunately, by focusing their business growth efforts on that low-hanging fruit, many SMBs end up working with a precariously small customer base.  Diversifying the product lineup is one way to offset that risk, but new customers often present a faster, less expensive avenue for business growth.

Whether you decide to search within your current geographic region or to push those boundaries back a bit, benchmarking your best existing customers is an outstanding first step. Who are they? Why do they buy from you? Who are the decision makers?  What job functions lobby for us when it’s time to buy?  These customers already understand your economic value proposition; they know exactly how you help them save money or do more with less.

Conversations with new buyers will require a compelling reason to switch.  You’re asking them to take a chance on you, and when you can offer a proven economic value proposition with hard numbers, you are making their job much easier.

It’s not at all uncommon for SMBs to struggle with the new customer development aspect of business growth.  In many cases, they lack the sales horsepower to benchmark key customer attributes, identify prospects that align with those descriptions, and then perform the ongoing sales outreach needed to turn prospects into buyers.

CONNSTEP can help.  With a mix of in-house talent and strategic partnerships, we have a proven process to broaden the reach of any SMB.  Prospecting efforts require sustained effort, and together we can provide outstanding return on your business growth investment.

Whether it’s a Lead Generation push to identify prospects and get them on the phone, an ongoing outreach effort to get you in front of trade show and other leads and keep you there, or a structured web enhancement project to make sure your website is putting your best foot forward, we’re here.

The Rule of 45 says that 45% of all B2B inquiries (not just qualified sales leads) will buy from someone—typically in the next 12 months.  Will they buy from you?  Call 800.266.6672 or email me today to learn how CONNSTEP can help make sure that your name is atop the list when it’s time to decide.

CONNSTEP solved a huge problem for us and helped us bring our delivery rate to 100%. As a direct result of that, we have been awarded with an increase in business which, ultimately, will also benefit (our supplier) Har-Conn.”

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Chris DePentima

CEO, Pegasus Manufacturing Inc.

“The CONNSTEP team has been great to work with. In addition to being extremely flexible, they took the time to get to know us, our business, and our market which allowed them make the connection between our needs and goals with the continuous improvement and growth theories, principles, and knowledge they provide.”

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Frank Nevins

LogoSportswear.com

“We view the team at CONNSTEP as trusted advisors and enjoy an open relationship with them.  We use lean and continuous improvement to fully engage our staff, be responsive to our customers’ needs and remain competitive.”

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Bob Luther

CEO, Lex Products

“CONNSTEP has proved to be a tremendous resource for ESI. CONNSTEP has helped us to adapt to today’s marketplace and remain a quality minded, competitive global player. Our ISO/TS16949 implementation process was efficient and rewarding. I look forward to our future projects with CONNSTEP.”

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Ron Delfini

President, Engineering Specialties Inc.

“CONNSTEP worked with FuelCell Energy to educate and facilitate Lean initiatives and to help meet our needs to establish an overall production improvement plan. This plan has been utilized over a period of time as a ‘guiding light’ to spur numerous improvements that dramatically reduced our product cost.”

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Tom Lucas

Manager, Process Engineering, Fuel Cell Energy Inc.

“CONNSTEP is a valuable partner to Hologic, providing the expertise and ‘outside eyes’ everyone needs to keep their continuous improvement on track. We are now well-positioned on a dynamic growth path and look forward to a long-term relationship with CONNSTEP.”

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Greg Safarik

VP Manufacturing Operations, Hologic Inc.

“Our experience working with CONNSTEP has brought us benefits we never expected. It’s a great team to work with!”

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Bruce Wheeler

VP of Operations, Metal Finishing Technologies Inc.

“The goals of the team were to reduce manufacturing lead-time, reduce floor space utilized, and increase worker productivity. All the goals were met. CONNSTEP helped us to better compete.”

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Dan Rubbo

General Manager, Tornik LLC

“The Business Growth Program is working well for us. We enhanced our website following the meetings to improve our SEO and become more visible to search engines. The segment on negotiating …  promoted changes in our thinking and improved how we interact with customers. The mentoring between sessions was helpful in boosting our progress.”

Bill Lathrop

President, Colonial Spring Co.

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