The serviced office sector has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years; take-up of office space in the City of London reached 5.1 million sq. ft. at the end of the third quarter of 2018, an 18% rise on a 10-year average. According to a report by JLL Europe’s flexible office market is set to grow by 30% a year for the next five years, suggesting that the sector is still some way from maturation.
As Group Sales Director at Office Space in Town (OSiT) my job is to anticipate market trends and customer expectations, with the ultimate goal of capturing and converting interest into confirmed sales. I believe the following steps, the four ‘T’s’, help to achieve that…
Targets: be clear on what success looks like
It is vital to set realistic targets that deliver against your business objectives but also take into consideration, current and projected market conditions. A critical part of setting targets is assessing where and what the sales opportunities are. Who are your customers in this evolving market? How can you reach them? What could impact their appetite to buy?
Good sales targets
Good sales targets will be two things: specific and measurable. Inevitably, as a market expands, the target audience fragments. We have seen this with the flexible office market. As demand for flexible workspace has soared, the market itself has split into subsections of ‘audiences’, from co-workers in the gig economy to sophisticated, HQ style scale-up businesses.
In an expanding market, it is arguably more important to be ‘sniper’ in identifying your target audiences than in a static market. Identify the segment of the market that you are targeting and align your sales strategy accordingly.
Time frame: map, adapt, and progress
In addition to your action plan, you need to set benchmarks to ensure that each step and milestone you achieve is building towards your ultimate revenue and sales targets. Make each interim goal measurable, to ensure that you remain on track.
This is particularly important in a shifting, evolving, expanding or even contracting market. Make target deadlines realistic and reasonable, but also sufficiently challenging to ensure that progress is delivered. Establish your target time frame for completing the overall sales goal and work backwards, setting your target dates accordingly to align with this.
Traffic: captivate to convert
We are operating in a fast-paced economy where customer attention spans are short and many messages vie for a sliver of their precious time. As salespeople, if we are to cut through the noise and confusion of modern life, we have to be captivating. This is particularly true in an expanding market where a proliferation of suppliers rises to meet expanding demand. It is critical to be able to differentiate your offering from that of your competitors and communicate it in a compelling way to potential customers.
At Office Space in Town that means combining our special brand of quirkiness with the very highest quality in every aspect of our proposition. In our online marketing strategy, including our website, SEO and social media outreach, we take every opportunity to engage and inspire our potential customers.
This also extends to our physical spaces and each of our buildings has a unique design theme such as Alice in Wonderland at Waterloo, luxury yachting at Monument or, at our latest development at Blackfriars, ‘happiness’. Coupled with our reputation for excellent customer service, our strategy enables us to captivate attention and convert that into hard sales.
Talent: nurture talent to nurture leads
In the words of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, “The real competitive advantage in any business is one word only which is ‘people’”. Take the time to engage with your team, capitalise on their key skills and embrace each individual’s talents.
Develop your team
By taking the time to develop your team, offering them tailored coaching and training, you will motivate them, build loyalty and ultimately reap the revenue rewards. If a market is expanding, then demand for talent within that market will also be high. Retaining talent is essential if you are to retain your competitive advantage and win sales.