What Are The Benefits of Sales Dashboards for your Business?
As one of my customers put it to me once: “ Exporting is like gambling time and money”. So it means, that exporters, small or medium-size high-growth businesses, need to keep a very good view of their export business: making sure they invest in the right activities, within the right budget and monitoring progress in creating leads and converting into revenue.
There are three key factors that will help you understand how to keep the pulse on your export business through dashboards. In fact, these are essential if you are to have a successful business in the European market, as they ensure you are monitoring:
- The revenue side of the business
- Looking at the business expenses
- Funding your export project
The Revenue Side of the Business
While establishing yourself in the European market, it may be difficult to track your sales team’s progress. Depending on the stage you are at, you will have to adjust your key performance indicators (KPIs). If your pipeline of potential customers is limited, or perhaps if your team needs to build a pipeline of leads, you may be at that stage.
Here are a few indicators for your sales team to understand how revenue is tracking for your business:
- Concentrating on the right clients.
- Keep tracking the early wins.
- There are several new distributors.
- Forecasts and results of sales.
Management of sales performance for distributors
Most business owners fail when they do not monitor sales from distributors and do not hold them accountable. Distribution teams are like your in-house sales team. We must establish your expectations early on, so they will know what to expect.
Make sure your sales teams are targeting the right profile of customers in the same manner as your marketing teams. By doing so, you are more likely to close deals. When their sales grow, you can track the new leads they generate by giving them some key performance indicators.
Performance management for sales agents
It is not a requirement for sales agents to report to you since they run their own businesses. However, seasoned sales agents are adept at reporting. Their market knowledge is generally excellent, making them valuable members of your team. In most cases, sales agents will tell you what their goals are for the year. This is because they know their territory very well.
Conducting high-performance sales meetings
I have been organising, leading, contributing to, or taking part in sales meetings with European sales agents and sales teams all over the world for the last 13 years at Exportia. Keeping your sales meetings productive, motivating your teams, and implementing them are the three most important lessons I’ve learned.
Tip 1: Before the sales meeting, address any issues or dissatisfaction.
Tip 2: Give the team some time to get acquainted.
Tip 3: Have everyone present at the meeting.
Tip 4: Search for leveraging activities.
Tip 5: Maintain accountability within the group.
Tip 6: Take everything you learn to heart.
Look at the Business Expenses
As you create your export budget, you need to consider several factors that will help you implement your strategy. It depends on where you are on your export journey and what kind of costs you will incur. We can start by looking at the costs when you have no revenue or when you generate a few hundred thousand euros of revenue when you start in Europe.
To help you draft a simple budget template, here’s a list of things that you can include:
- List the teams you have on your business, that includes the sales team, customer service, and engineers or technical team.
- Travel expenses should be included too.
- List the marketing collaterals like the brochures and banners.
- Include also the trade shows and conferences you attended.
- List all advertising platforms, from magazines to social media campaigns.
- The cost for translations.
- You also need to include the cost for lead generation.
- And list all the legalities – trademark registration, distribution agreements, sales agents agreement review
If your turnover in Europe exceeds one million euros, you will incur the following expenses:
- An on-site or local sales team.
- Setting up a European entity and managing it.
- Logistics platform for Europe.
If you are dealing with these scenarios, you may also need to add the following to your data dashboard:
- Additional travel expenses
- HQ team costs to support the local teams
- As you build your sales in Europe, you will surely need to hire more staff.
- Logistics platform costs.
Funding your Export Project
After listing all the export budgets, you now have a clear idea of what it will cost to expand into the European market. If you don’t invest sufficiently, you won’t be able to generate revenue quickly.
Grants from the government
Many government grants can be obtained through local, state, or federal government bodies. The majority of our clients in Australia receive funds to support their export efforts through Austrade. In case you are not familiar with Austrade, it is the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.
Austrade reimburses 50% of a set of expenses. They must submit applications within a certain period. To qualify, there are several requirements. On the Austrade website, you can find this list of eligibility criteria every year.
There are also export programs run by local governments. For example, they may provide subsidies for market research or travel. These funds tend to be smaller.
Fundraising with investors
A company’s potential for international growth attracts venture capitalists. International growth shows your business is scalable. Potential investors will find it easy to leverage the European market. Often I tell people that companies that succeed in Europe stand a good chance of becoming major players in their fields.
Taking advantage of these benefits from creating a data dashboard will help your business to be more successful during your expansion in the European market. Having a clear export plan that includes clear targets and a budget that allows you to achieve your goals is one of the advantages. It helps your team to focus on the right goals.
Want to know more about how to effectively market your business in the European market? Get your FREE copy of “The 4 Steps to Generate Your First Million Euros in Sales” book here: https://www.exportia.com.au/export-business-europe/