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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 22, 2013 • Issue 13:07:02

Inspiration

Checkup for the road ahead

Much like a vehicle tuneup in preparation for a summer road trip, a midyear goals assessment is par for the course for payment professionals. As we turn the corner and enter the final stretch of 2013, now is the time to check under the hood and thoroughly analyze the status of sales goals set earlier in the year. Doing so makes it possible to fine tune the sales machine to ensure optimum performance so that all goals are ultimately met.

To accomplish this, start by pulling sales data for the past six months. If sales revenue has not yet reached 50 percent of your target goal for this year, don't fret. The midyear inspection will reveal any flaws in the system. It will also indicate which merchants in your portfolio are producing the best results.

Top to bottom inspection

The next step is to divide merchants into segments for closer inspection. Working from top to bottom, examine merchants ranked in the top third for revenue generated. What are the common denominators? Are there certain market niches that have taken off recently? For accounts that have consistently performed well, what factors have made this possible?

A complete analysis will answer these critical questions, so you can focus energy where it counts most. Recognizing successful patterns in your top group can be used to boost performance in underachieving portfolio segments as well.

Repeat this exercise with middle-ranked merchants in your portfolio. The midsection may reveal minor weaknesses that could be improved with only slight adjustments. Identify midsection merchants who might be on the verge of breaking into the top tier. Plan to interact with these merchants to determine whether equipment or value-added services might help propel their sales in ways that will benefit their businesses and yours.

Plotting the course

Finally, review bottom-tier merchants to see what they have in common. Are a majority of them new businesses? If so, more interaction may be necessary to guide them as they get established. On the other hand, if certain merchants in this group repeatedly lag in sales, a more pernicious problem may exist. Further assessment will reveal whether such merchants might be at risk of going out of business. Attrition could also be a looming problem. After completing the midyear inspection, adjust your sales strategies to gain maximum performance from your portfolio. Then look forward to finishing the year at or above your targeted goals. end of article

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