UnNoticed Entrepreneur - public relations for business

Sprint your way to doubled sales in 90 days by focusing on these three things

May 24, 2022 Jim James
UnNoticed Entrepreneur - public relations for business
Sprint your way to doubled sales in 90 days by focusing on these three things
Show Notes Transcript

Doubling sales is not easy for everyone, especially in just 90 days. But my guest for this episode, Simon Severino, Business Strategy Advisor of Strategy Sprints, will make it sound so easy that you will sprint you're way to doubling your sales in 90 days by focusing on 3 key things to #getnoticed.

In this episode, Simon shares the 3 key things that you need to focus on in that 90-day period, how your marketing, sales, and operations team should get aligned to reach your quota, how the law of reduction can help your boost sales, and why and how you shouldn't spend a single cent on marketing until you reach the $35,000 monthly recurring revenue. He also shares about their 90-day Sprint program and how they can help entrepreneurs like you to double sales in just 90 days, and how he's getting noticed by showing up on 6 podcasts a day and producing videos on YouTube.


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Jim James:

Hello, and welcome to this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur. Today, I'm delighted to have Simon Severino joining me from Austria. Simon, welcome to the show.

Simon Severino:

Hey, Jim. Hey, everybody. It's cool to be here.

Jim James:

It's cool to have you here. We've got a lot of common friends, but you are an expert in helping clients to get noticed and to grow sales. Tell us about Strategy Sprints, Simon.

Simon Severino:

So Strategy Sprints, we are a team of coaches that help people double revenue in 90 days. That's our program - it's Strategy Sprints, it's 90 days and it doubles sales. So, of course, one of those foundations is that you have a positioning, and then there is awareness about you, and then from that awareness that generates interest, and then, how do you turn interest into engagement, engagement into a ready-to-buy, and how do you close the deal? So that's what we do. We help entrepreneurs in 90 days improve each one of these parts, and we can jump into any of those, and then go a little deeper.

Jim James:

Well, if you don't mind, let's start at the beginning and move through all of them in sequence, Simon, cause that would be great. So where do we start? Because all of us, me included, would love to double sales in 90 days.

Simon Severino:

Yeah, so it's not even hard to double revenue in 90 days. You have to focus on three things. And those three things are the activities. So of all the activities that you are doing this week, and most of you are doing too many. You are doing like 20 or 30 different things. Make a list of those things and now prioritise the ones that take one of those three boxes. Do they increase? So let's say you are doing LinkedIn posts. Do they increase by 25 percent the frequency of your sales? Then, yes. Do they increase by 25 percent in the next 90 days the amount you can charge for the same thing, the price? Then, yes. Do they increase by 25 percent the conversion rates from your existing leads? Now, if for the next 90 days you just focus on the few activities that tick one of those three boxes, you will double your sales. Because 25 plus 25 plus 25, in this case, makes plus 99, because they compound. And so, you just do these three things, which is much less than you are doing probably this week - much, much less. It's less flight, it's less marketing, it's maybe the same amount of sales, but with more focus, more intention, more awareness, and then also with more joy, because now you have time to think about each word and you can play in the conversations. And this is really what it is about.

Jim James:

So you make it sound so simple, Simon, that I'm embarrassed that I haven't doubled my sales in 90 days. So what's holding people back from implementing your system?

Simon Severino:

The simple things are sometimes hard to do. Like everybody knows eat, clean, workout every day, right? And sleep well. But it's hard to do because there are so many shiny things, "Oh, we can do this," or "We can do that." So, if you want to double revenue, you just use this checklist, focus on the things that take one of those boxes. And it's a program of reduction, of simplification. For some people it's hard to simplify, so that's what's holding us back. If you look at your room, this shelf would look so much better if there was just one book there instead of 40, but for some reason, it's hard for me to let go of 39 books. And so the work of reduction sometimes, if you do it alone, it's overwhelming and takes emotional work, and that's what we avoid. But if you do it with a coach, if there was Marie Kondo here, and she would ask me, "Simon, which one of those books really sparks joy?" Then I would pick one and it would be easy and in five minutes we're done. And my room is cleaned up. That's why it's easier with a Sprint coach to do this in a 90 day Strategy Sprint than to do it alone. But I have also shared this as a book. So, clients of ours are stating here in the foreword and in the single chapters what their challenge was, how they tackled it in a 90 days period, and how they solved it. So that might help already many people. You use it as a checklist. You are not completely alone. You have a blueprint, the checklist. And some people, they like to have a coach because it's accountability, it's energy, it's knowledge right there. And the blueprints saved them a ton of time because we're just put in half an hour instead of putting in three days into creating something.

Jim James:

So Simon, sounds fabulous by the way. Now, most of us have got businesses that have got finance issues to address, marketing, HR, product, logistics. So into the mix, a war or a zero COVID policy. If you've got Strategy Sprints, and if you like getting to reduction of activities, how do you decide across which, if you like, discipline or portfolio that a business owner has to address should be a priority and which ones to let slide?

Simon Severino:

So the 90 days, they get three goals, right? The sales goal, a marketing goal, and operations goal. And each of those goals, gets a number, the number that will tell us are we working in the right direction and at the right pace. So we'll have a Sprint dashboard, which have three numbers. We'll see a blue line, a red line, the current and the target, and we learn from that every seven days. Now, how do we define all these hundred moving parts, which one is the bottleneck? So the Strategy Sprints method is you solve one bottleneck after the other. It takes eight minutes to identify a bottleneck. You map out your business - awareness, interest, engagement, ready to buy, closing, fulfilling, retaining, upselling, cross-selling. And then you'll ask a set of questions. Sprint coaches come with a set of questions and in eight minutes you'll find it. One example of this questions is, "If you get 10 times more clients in the next week, which part of your business breaks first?" So maybe week zero you can still onboard them, but in week one there is a specific part that breaks because you just have a limit of people. And so, you know, "Oh, there is a manual process in there, that's the bottleneck of this week, how can we scale that?" And then when we have solved that bottleneck the overall throughput, even if you just improved to 20 percent you have still 80 percent more throughput overall. And so with that, you move to the next bottleneck. And again, you focus only on that one. The difference to conventional methodologies is that in the conventional world your team is doing 17 tasks this week, none of them gives them energy back. Like angry birds, you shoot the bird, 500 points, you shoot the bird, 600 points. Next thing you want to shoot for eight hundred. So that's a flow state because it gives you immediate feedback. So if for seven days, the whole team is solving only one issue. Whenever that is solved, it gives you immediate feedback and everybody goes, "Woo hoo, let's go. Where's the next bottleneck? And give me the next problem." And that's the momentum, that's the energy, that's why it's a sprint, right? Because there is momentum and there is energy that makes it easier for the stone to continue to roll when it's rolling than to stop.

Jim James:

And of course, this is something that the software world has used for a while with agile scrums, isn't it? This sort of focus on a particular problem. Simon, tell us from a sort of team structure and team communications perspective, how do you address that? Because often, one person sets off on their priorities and then someone else is not aligned. Could you share with us how you're solving that bottleneck for teams rather than just as an individual business owner?

Simon Severino:

Yeah, that's the reason why we have a Sprint dashboard and it has three numbers. The marketing numbers, sales number, and ops number. Now every seven days, we do this every Friday, the whole team comes together. You have the marketing people, the sales people, the operations people. And now you look at the activities, "Oh, I built a landing page." "All right. Are you done with the landing page?" "Yeah, how do you know that you're done?" " Well, look at the marketing number. It went up." And now sales says, "Yeah, but I don't care about that number. the other number is relevant for us because I don't care if you increased the number of posts on LinkedIn, so what? Increasing the number of posts is not a relevant number on our dashboard. Look at our dashboard. It says, "Conversion rates." Conversion into sales calls. On our sales calendar, we had minus 0.2 percent discovery calls." "Yeah, but I did more posts." So, you see, you get immediate alignment between misaligned activities, which traditionally are misaligned. Marketing and sales, sales and operations, marketing and operations. They usually don't talk to each other. And it's really important that you align them, because their KPIs are different, right? Marketing things in number of posts and number of creative pieces. And the sales says, "Wait a moment. Where is the conversion rate?" And then, operations comes in and say, "Oh, you sold too much. You should sell less. I cannot deliver." And "Okay, let's talk about it, right? How can I promise a little bit less, but you deliver also a little bit more, okay? Let's agree on that." And so, these are the very relevant conversations in a team.

Jim James:

Oh, I can see that. Fantastic. Do you have a platform that people log in to severely at the same time?

Simon Severino:

Yes, we have the dual approach. Very old wisdom, because, as you can see, these are very simple principles. So very old wisdom. This is how people have built the pyramids, but always vary new technology. So whatever our clients get works everywhere on every device, whatever software they use and wherever they are, even when they are in a plane, they get their dashboards working, they can text their Sprint coach. This has been for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs are in action. It's like Spider-Man and his friends, the guy in the chair. Spider-Man is in action and goes, "Oh, should I kick the left or the right door? Or what should I do?" And then his friend goes, "Give me a minute. kick the left door because behind the right door, there is a cactus." So this is what entrepreneurs need, and this is what we have created. My dream was always to create the Jarvis for entrepreneurs. And then we kind of created it. So we are always on front of the technology, in terms of, it needs to work wherever you are, whatever you use. Completely agnostic from where you are and what your tech setup is. If you have a wifi, it works.

Jim James:

Right. So that's absolutely fantastic and really liberating as well for entrepreneurs, especially the alignment, because so many people are working across geographies now, and remotely. Simon, this show's about, you know, entrepreneurs getting noticed and really helping with the brand and the pipeline. Can you share with us from the Strategy Sprint's perspective, like the things that people are doing wrong. What are some things that you see as being traditional bottlenecks, when it comes to getting noticed, that people could learn from you how to overcome?

Simon Severino:

First thing is spending in marketing too early and too much. I believe that the first cent in marketing spent should be after you have reached $35,000 monthly recurring revenue. So when every month makes more than 35K this is the first time you should think about spending your first dollar on marketing.

Jim James:

And this controversial.

Simon Severino:

Quite opposite of what most everybody hears.

Jim James:

That's a stunned silence for me, for all those people who run an agency, you know, out there. So how do you get that number and how people are going to get the first 35K if they're not doing any marketing, Simon? What's the secret then? You're getting sales without any marketing.

Simon Severino:

Yes, you don't need marketing to do good work. You just do good work, and you get to 35K just by doing good work, solving real problems for real people, and the client referrals are enough to get to 35. So just organic. But from there, and especially before you improve operations, so one question was, how do I get to that number? 21 years and 1,600 sprints, which get measured every seven days. So this is where I get my data from the field. And 35K is the demarcation line if you have a concept from a tool you have market validation. Concept validation is 10K, 12K. Okay, the concept is validated. 35k is when the market is validated. Now, somebody really needs it and takes it.

Jim James:

And that's interesting. And is that across all four areas?

Simon Severino:

Before you know that somebody takes it, you shouldn't be caring about marketing at all, because you have not created a business yet. Business creation is that, this is something that the people want, need, and take. And that's operations work. That's not marketing, that's not a sale, it's full operations. You build an experience, if you're a service or a product. If you're a product, business that people really need, want, and take. That's the only thing that you need to do before 35K. That's it. And you just speak to people. Yeah, but I don't call it marketing, that's directly sales. You say, "Hey, people, I have this thing. Do you want it?" That's it. It's a five-minute conversation.

Jim James:

Okay. So that's interesting.

Simon Severino:

The few people who take it they bring you to 35K. You don't need many.

Jim James:

Okay, that's interesting. So it's almost like a half a million US, sub half a million US, validates and gets you to the next level of growth. If that's what you're saying, Simon, right?

Simon Severino:

Now you have operations. From operations we move to sales. Sales is now that short conversation "Hey, I have something it's cool. It can bring you there. If you have this problem, it can solve. It is built for you. This is how we bring you there," that you will put more curation into that. It becomes a proper sales grip, the proper flow, you start building some material, you collect client testimonials. For example, like I do, this is Chanel. Chanel came before her business was working independently of her, in those 90 days she created the systems that work now also without her. That's an example of a client testimonial. This is what you should build before you reach 35k. You have 15 of those client testimonials, you probably are now above 35K and you have something that works. Now it's time to scale it because if you put more conversations too early into it, it doesn't transform to more impactful, but now every single additional conversation becomes more impactful. Now it's time for marketing. Now put in as many conversations as possible. Start many conversation, tell the whole world, scream it from the rooftop, whatever you like to do, do it and show up everyday, build communities, connect people, send flyers, whatever you like to do, do it, sing your song.

Jim James:

Okay, so that's interesting. So really, in your view, before you get to say, just about half a million US in revenue, all the marketing is possibly even just a distraction. You should really just be focusing on operations and finding that core community of customers that will become your advocates, your ambassadors. Is that right?

Simon Severino:

I described the whole process step-by-step. So how do you get to your 35K? What do you do when you have 35K? How do you scale it? All the blueprints, checklists, et cetera, are in the book, Strategy Sprints. It's available right now on Amazon. So there is a literal order of things to do. And many mistakes come from people just do the right things in the wrong order. For most people, marketing is the most enjoyable part. Sales is the least enjoyable part. And operations is the most boring part. And that's why they convert the order. I'm like that. And they converted the order. So, okay. Let's start with marketing and then let's see what happens. That's not how I do it.

Jim James:

And I guess that's why you hear so many companies pivoting, isn't it? Because they built a marketing channel before they've maybe built a customer base, or a product first.

Simon Severino:

Even worse. We will see most people, most companies crashing, just tanking over the next 12 months. We are heading into a recession. If you are built on marketing, I hope you are built on solid operations and solid sales, and you have enough liquidity because we will go through a recession wherever you are. Europe is in a recession, the US is next, and so, technically, it's two quarters of negative GDP growth. That's where we are. So you better focus on operational and sales.

Jim James:

Yeah, that's a really sage advice. And what about you, Simon? You've got a book as an entrepreneur, what else are you doing to build your own brand?

Simon Severino:

I go on six podcasts every day. Because that's my thing. You have to pick your thing, right? Many people are asking me what I do. It's not just one-to-one what you should do. My process of finding what I should do. I'm happy to share both - the process how I found what works for me, and also what works for me. So the process of finding what works, what should Simon do, starts intuitively, like what I like doing. And so when I wake up in the morning, what will I want to do first? I'm a video kind of guy. I like to talk to people. Ideally face-to-face, but in a scaled way, that's only possible via video. So I'm a video guy. So instead of writing, or calculating, or other things, this is how I start. So I do a lot of videos. Now every seven days, I have my Sprint dashboard, obviously, so I measure what happens with those videos. Right now, on YouTube, we have published around 600 videos. And so now I'm starting to learn which one get really noticed, and why, and what are the keywords, and what else. Now YouTube is telling me what else do these people follow. And so I'm learning about them, but it's after 600 videos that I'm starting to learn about it. So the first thing is just you show up and you come from a good place from your heart and you have something to share, you share it. The second thing is you measure, if anybody cares, and then if anybody cares, then you find, "Okay, who are these people and why do they care? And what else do they need?" And that's your next video. So that was the process. The process is intuitive creation, playful exploration, and showing up, being vulnerable, because, of course, you look like an idiot for 300 episodes. But it's okay. I was so many times live alone, and it's fine. It's fine. Just show up. Just show up. That's the process. And then every seven days, learning from the analytics, learning from your data, and then doing more of what people really need and less of what they obviously don't need. That's the process. And now at the end of the process, what works for me right now is being on podcasts, being on keynotes, client referrals, colleague's referrals, because we are now a franchise. So there are certified Strategy Sprint's coaches in every continent, in every time zone, so they are also ambassadors now. Plus I run communities, joint venture clubs, where I connect people. And in the first place, they create six-figure collaborations with each other, but in a second -level effect they also think of me. I stay top of their mind because I'm the host of those events. And whenever somebody asks them, "Hey, I need to increase my sales," or "I hate sales, but I have to get better at it." They go, "Oh, call Simon. He is fun teaching sales." And so they send it to me.

Jim James:

And that's how we find you, Simon.

Simon Severino:

Joint ventures. Small joint ventures. One every week via the email list, and big joint ventures. Per year, I select one big platform that we collaborate with. This year, it's Google, in their program Grow with Google. And they grow businesses and they say, "Hey, if you want to grow a business, the Strategy Sprints, 90 days, that's what you need to do."

Jim James:

Simon, if people need to talk to you, which it sounds like they do, how can they get a hold of you, Simon Severino of Strategy Sprints?

Simon Severino:

Strategysprints.com. And most of my knowledge is in the book Strategy Sprints, available on Amazon. If you want to connect with me and my team in strategysprints.com.

Jim James:

Simon, I've learned a huge amount. Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom in such a short time. And I know you've got five other podcasts to do today. So thanks for giving me so much energy on The UnNoticed Entrepreneur today.

Simon Severino:

Thank you, Jim. Thank you everybody. Keep rolling.

Jim James:

Yeah, now I'll put all these details, of course, in all the show notes. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur with me, Jim James.