In 2017 Q1, the US Middle Market * continues its momentum from 2016, “with all measures at their highest levels since the inception of the Middle Market Indicator (MMI) in 2011.”
Revenue growth swells and hiring is on the rise. Confidence is strong and more companies are planning to spend.
Some Key Indicators:
- Revenue Growth: 9.2% over the past 12 months (higher than any prior quarter in MMI’s history) and beating the S&P 500 (at 5.8%); up in all industries except wholesale trade
- Hiring: 51% of middle market businesses are adding employees and only one in 10 is decreasing
- Economic Confidence: 90% (a new high), with national confidence levels higher than local levels for the first time in MMI history
- Investment: 64% of companies plan to make additional investments, which is relatively consistent since 2013
*The National Center for the Middle Market defines the U.S. middle market as companies with annual revenue between $10 million and $1 billion.
In sales, sales performance, increase an upcoming post “I DON’T WANT CHANGE. I WANT SWISS CHEESE.” we will look at strategies for providing a market focus for your sales team. Without such guidance, your team is left to roam the open prairies. A few super scouts will regularly locate and shoot their buffalo, dragging that meat back to the camp, but the remainder of your team will soon struggle to survive the winter with mediocre sales performance.
In Arthur Miller’s classic play, “Death of a Salesman,” Willy Loman laments that he can’t make it in the world of sales anymore. It’s changed and his old methods don’t work. In the opening of the play, his wife asks him to try the new cheese she bought because it would be a nice change, and he utters the famous line.
In trying to figure out how to increase sales, you may be resisting the change that will make it happen. Your sales have flattened and your team’s not making its targets, so you think you need more people. But the problem isn’t your people, it’s your process.
You’re looking over your sales numbers and thinking “what happened?” This isn’t where you’d expected to be at this point or maybe not even where you were last year. Whether you’re starting out new or have been operating successfully for years, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate what you’re doing.
Sales isn’t rocket science, but it does take expertise to be effective. Look at the five elements below as ingredients for a successful sales process, and you’ll see what may need tweaking in your organization.