Another quarter is in the books.
How are your 2011 results?
Did you exceed 2010’s sales?
Do you have new customers?
Do you have new products or services available?
Did you achieve quarterly plan?
If you answered yes to those questions, keep up the momentum because your results are smokin’.
If your sales results are under-cooked and answered no to those questions, you need to start making some good business decisions, change the way you are doing things, and focus on high payoff activities. Here are three reasons your sales results are disappointing and some ideas to eliminate these obstacles to growth.
Prospecting goals, Selling goals, Networking goals, and Revenue goals.
How many calls does it take to get one appointment?
How many prospects does it take to obtain one customer?
How many appointments does it take to close the sale?
What is the average revenue per sale?
Goals usually have five criteria: specific, measurable, achievable, reachable, and timely, and have the nickname S.M.A.R.T. goals. We like to add one more criteria: ‘W’ or written-down. Most firms start with an annual revenue goal; usually an achievable lift from the previous year. From there, quarterly goals and monthly goals can easily be calculated. To achieve these revenue goals, work with each rep (or your sales coach) to gain buy-in on prospecting goals, networking goals, and selling goals. Remember to focus on the high payoff activities. Post the goals in a prominent location to ensure everybody sees them regularly and are always fresh on their minds.
The plan is like your road map. Many women believe Moses wandered the desert for 40 years because he didn’t ask for directions. Probably not the real reason, but businesses do wander aimlessly without a plan. During initial discovery questioning with one client, he informed me his plan was to have four locations by 2013. I was impressed with his solid response and asked to see the plan. He replied, “See what?” In fact, he did not have a plan. His was a dream. The plan gives businesses direction. Look at the goals and develop a plan including marketing strategies and sales tactics allowing you to achieve those goals.
The end of the quarter (or month) is the perfect time to schedule sales results meetings and measure your progress against your plans. If sales are smokin’ and you are at plan, maintain the momentum. If revenues are half-baked and you are falling short, the end of each quarter is also the perfect time to make corrections. These interim checkpoints can provide the much needed kick in the pants to change the tactics and strategies that are not working: heat up the planning, whip up some strategy, blend in some tactics, and mix in some training. Make some good business decisions along with action steps during the review meeting enabling you to achieve plan.
Planning requires management commitment. There is no silver bullet for success. Setting goals, developing a plan, executing the plan, and measuring progress monthly or quarterly is hard work. Management commitment requires accountability. Make your team accountable for results and you will be heading in the right direction to ensure your sales results are smokin’.