Sales Exercise for Association CEOs

IStock/Credit:Szepy

Increasingly, I am finding association chief executives becoming more active in the fundraising programs of their organizations.   Possibly some rumblings from your Board recently include “Where’s the growth? We need additional revenue to fulfill our mission.”  Here are some preliminary recommendations for CEOs who wish to actively embrace a business approach to generating new association revenue.

#1:  Go to your sales team or whomever is responsible for new membership, sponsorship growth or other selling activity and ask them to identify their top 10 prospects, how much money the deal is worth, and when the approximate close date. If they can’t answer these questions right away, that’s a symptom that your organization may need more tracking or intensive focus on sales.

#2:  How often are your sales teams reporting their progress?  I would recommend a weekly summary with an activity report, sales pipeline and color commentary on what seems to be working or not.  We provide similar reports to our sales clients to ensure communication is ongoing and the rhythm of sales is well known in the organization.

#3: Get in the game. Take 5 of the top 10 prospects and make a call to the prospect yourself. Learn firsthand what the prospect is considering and if the sales intelligence from your team is accurate.

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#4: Pitch and be pitched.  Receive a sales presentation from your team.  Would membership interest you if you were a prospect?  Would you join?  And, then reverse the role and gain feedback from sales executives about your skills.  This is an incredibly uncomfortable but useful exercise.

The very best CEOS are absolutely involved at some level in the new money game. Whether that is from leading the effort to actually being involved in sales calls. These are just a few recommendations to get you started.  The overall theme is your organization will follow leadership about the importance of revenue growth.  It’s up to you to set the bar high.

Bonus content on sales – The #1 Prospecting Tactic You May Not Be Using