Sales revenue & value: getting traction fast

About traction

We spoke recently to Robert Fedder, Co-Founder of nil plus ultra, about how to drive rapid sales results using the +traction approach – ideal for businesses under pressure, needing results fast. “It’s a challenge we’re being asked to address a lot at the moment. Businesses may be facing tougher competition, slackening in demand, or even just higher ambitions with bigger targets. We’ve had many people ask us to help them fend off these pressures, and help them to boost sales performance. nil plus ultra sets up a highly focused taskforce with the right mix of sales and marketing know how. The taskforce typically operates for one, two or three quarters: and needs to show results very early on.”

“+traction benefits are compelling: it applies effort intelligently, accelerates results and generates much higher return on effort”

Jude Meadows, a member of nil plus ultra’s Senior Leadership Team, adds “we have experienced managers who know how to drive this activity without any kind of handholding. They interact as closely with the sponsor or client as required – or they can just get on with it. The taskforce leaders use our experts in the sales, marketing, online and commercial teams, as required. The whole trick is knowing where to focus effort for maximum impact, soonest”

Robert, again: “this is where our +traction approach comes in. It’s just a time-proven method really, which has worked for us consistently, over many programmes. It’s all about being clear on what you need to do, and what you should ignore. This is highly efficient and cost-effective: with a clear focus on those key actions which will generate the required volumes and revenues. It’s also very simple, actually. The knack is keeping ruthlessly focused on achieving the goal. Easier said than done. So, we drive a relatively small number of impactful things, leveraging things we can use, ignoring things we can’t change. It’s a highly operational application of the 80/20 rule, here addressed to sales and marketing activity. For example, we apply an 80/20 rule to research and analytics. Most of the value comes from bringing experience, relevant contacts and know-how to the table, and applying judgement, quickly. It also saves time, effort and costs. We also scale opportunities early in the process, saving time by only developing avenues of real interest. This approach, when combined with the right people from nil plus ultra, effectively “on demand”, is impressive.”

Jude Meadows comments “it’s remarkable how quickly this works. We use a phased approach, which actually speeds things up, by ensuring we focus on the right things. The first phase takes no more than 2 or 3 weeks, usually just a few days, and it surveys the possibilities quickly, working out what needs to be done. By this time we know which initiatives are feasible and can make an impact. We therefore know what tasks we are going to do, properly planned, understanding what we can use, and how we will do the job. It forms the basis for the highly focused executional programme the taskforce delivers in the second phase. We then measure the results on a regular basis, expecting prompt payback.”

Robert also notes “+traction is a great model to help us keep taskforce operations aligned to impactful outcomes. It forms the basis for working out who does what, where and when too. But we remain flexible…but it’s always smart to keep relating back to the model: are we making a difference?…are we wasting time on things which won’t have impact?…is this the smartest way to get better results, sooner?”

Here’s an overview of the essence of the approach:

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Posted on 28 Jul 2012
Posted in NilPlusUltra News, Services, Solutions

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