I want to start the Business Acumen series with a basic discussion point: Sales Growth. This has become the top subject in many offices and board rooms due to the recessional impact by the economy. Every executive is focused upon increasing revenues. It has become the number one thing keeping them awake at night. While I will discuss this point, I want to share the balanced approach to looking at Sales Growth – since their are companies that are still growing even in this economy.
Sales Growth is one of the first things you should be looking at to understand the culture within the company. There are three variables for you to consider when reviewing growth. First, you can have growth; Second, you can have a declining sales trend; and Third, you can have no growth or no change in sales volume. The key is watch the trends. One year is never enough to assess the progress of a companies sales. Several years of sales (Five years is best, three is a minimum and for large public companies – 10 years) One of the best sources for public company data can be found in Yahoo Finance.
Trend showing Growth over a three to five year period. There are several questions to ask regarding a growth company.
Okay, after reviewing my Google Analytics I noticed that my readers really enjoyed reading about business acumen in my Becoming a Sales Superstar series. So being a believer of data and customer response levels, I decided that over the next couple of weeks I will provide more information on this vital topic.
To start, I want to define a few terms for everyone:
“Business Acumen – the ability to understand how any company or organization makes money.”
“Profitability Growth – the ability to simultaneously increase sales and profitability at the same time.”
“Financial Analysis – Understanding the fundamentals and building blocks of an organization. Then connect the dots for analyzing growth, performance, productivity and profitability.”
During the series on Business Acumen, I will share information that is important to executives, managers and sales people. The top performers understand how to calculate the information to judge opinions, make decisions regarding projects, and to evaluate performance of individuals, groups, teams, divisions and the whole company. This is serious information, yet, I will keep to my goals of making things simple and fun to learn.
Come visit during the week or everyday. You can link to the site and have the RSS feed deliver the daily posts to your newsreader of choice. Sales Managers, use this series to educate your B2B sales teams – they can use it to win more sales. Enjoy the daily posts on Business Acumen.