You Can Still Crush Your 2016 Sales Goals!
No Matter Where You Are With Your 2016 Sales Goals, Ask Yourself the Questions Below to Crush Them for the Remainder of the Year.
Finishing your year strong or getting sales goals back on track both begin with an honest self assessment. Gather in one place, all of your sales data, marketing collateral, recent company updates and anything else you may find helpful. Block off a day on your calendar and prepare to challenge yourself by answering these 10 questions. They’re not numbered because they’re all important!
- How do your year-over-year sales results compare to the sales goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? – This analysis is where it all begins. How far away from your goal are you? What is the trend in your revenue base leading to your gap? Are the same customers buying fewer units or are you losing clients altogether? How does your customer churn compare to historical results? Do you know the average revenue generated by a new client, how long adoption takes and how many of these you need to build your bridge to sales success?.
- After critically reviewing your sales opportunity pipeline, understand if the size and velocity are enough to bridge your gap? – Some of the work you’ve done in the previous question will help you answer this one. What I look for with a rep who is struggling is change in their opportunity pipeline. What I mean is, are they bringing in new opportunities, are they moving those in the system either towards a close or out if they’re duds and do they have enough plausible targets to bridge their gap?
- How does your performance compare to the overall performance of your organization and the broader industry? – It happens that both a company and an industry can have a down year. In fact, generally, these two trends may not be mutually exclusive. While it’s good to understand macro trends like this, the greater opportunity is in being the one who produces when the going is tough.
- What internal and external events are happening that you didn’t expect?– These are important to look for, understand and devise an action plan to address whenever possible. In my experience, because these can be both personal and professional, sometimes acceptance is the best remedy to move past these unfortunate events.
- Competition can be unrelenting. What is your competition doing that is making waves in your pond?– Let’s face it, the other team is trying to win, too. What is your competitor doing that you didn’t expect? What can your marketing team do to help you fight back and win?
- How much communication and interaction have you had with your marketing team to help you achieve your sales goals?– This is one of the most overlooked turnaround weapons I see on most sales teams. The communication gap between sales and marketing seems to be widening with technology instead of closing. This is a shame and neither side is to blame. If you’re behind, ask your closest ally on your marketing team how they would address whatever issue you’re facing. You never know, they may just have some good ideas to help you break out of your pattern!
- What is one thing you need from marketing that will help you succeed? -I hear often from sales reps a variation of the statement, “If Marketing only knew what we were facing, it’s not as easy as they think.” Agreed. Sales is the most difficult job in the company, and may also be the most rewarding, and the truth about marketing is that it’s hard, too, and they want sales reps to succeed. Given this, pick one thing. Just one. And in a respectful and persistent way, ask for it. Help marketing be part of your solution because they can be your difference maker
- How is your sales prospecting activity?– This is the one that may be the hardest to have the “man-in-the-mirror” conversation about with a sales rep. No one, and I repeat, no one, likes to have their activity tracked. And what’s also true, is that in 25 years around sales reps, I’ve learned that the rubber meets the road with prospecting activity. Myself included. You simply must be bringing prospective new clients into the sales pipe and working to expand the business with current accounts. Recently, I read a great book on prospecting by Jeb Blount called: Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling. I strongly recommend you buy it, read it and block out your “Golden Prospecting” times each day.
- What adjustments have you made since your last time usage study and how are they impacting your results?– What, you haven’t done a time usage study? You’re not alone. Most people don’t like to have their time studied anymore than their activity. I challenge you to keep track of your time for two weeks. Once you analyze the results, I promise you will never look at your day in the same way again. You’ll see those inefficient, “it’s just a couple of minutes” tasks as the productivity killers they are.
- What structural changes are happening within your industry?– This is your long-term thinking exercise and perhaps the most important communication you may give to your company leadership. Structural changes occur within industries all the time and the sales team is best equipped to provide insight because of their proximity to the client, competitors and emerging trends. Pass your observations and interpretations along to your executive team, they’ll be grateful for the information and you’ll feel good about being part of shaping the direction of the enterprise.