July 6th, 2016
July is Sales Leadership Month
As a sales leader you must always have a vision and action plans for a rolling six months, this is why July is the perfect month for anyone that has sales management responsibility—so why not name it Sales Leadership Month! Ok, it is not an act of government and it is only Acumen’s opinion, but let’s explore why I feel that way.
July works because it tends to be a slower month in most organizations, individuals take vacations and the summer weather makes thinking and planning better as your activity levels peak generating “fresh air” and new thoughts. So lean back, put your feet up, put some suntan lotion on and feel the breeze and consider the following ideas.
The first half of the year is over, it’s time to reflect on what has worked? And what has not?
- Based upon your Sales Plan where are you against your quota? Where are you against your planned headcount? Were new product/services launched? Were they successful?
- Did the quarterly sales training plans work? Are you getting the results you expected? Are you grooming new levels of professionalism or even new sales managers? What are 5 new ideas to coach and train more effectively?
- How is the sales compensation plan working? Are the goals of the organization the same as they were when you created it? Is the market/economy or products/services performing as you expected it to perform? Do you need to make an adjustment?
- Did the sales contests generate the expected levels of revenue or generate the excitement you wanted? If not, why not?
- Did you lose a salesperson unexpectedly? Are there members of the sales team that need to be placed on probation or even let go? What can you do to retain your talent? How can you build higher levels of belief or commitment to your organization?
- Are the salespeople using CRM effectively? What else can you do to ensure it is updated and cleansed on a regular basis?
- Marketing; did your messaging and campaigns generate the expected results? Were the leads generated moved into the pipeline and can you measure where they came from? Did those leads close and do you know the best lead source? What new ideas could we try to out position us from the competition?
- Metrics: does the formula for running the sales organization work? Have you tested new metrics to give you a better idea to pipeline velocity? What leading indicators are business drivers? Were your sales forecasts/commitments accurate? If not why not?
This is just a short list to stimulate your July thinking and to ensure that your second half Sales Plan is on target to exceed your goals. This checklist obviously should be reviewed each month, but with a six month trend and measured results the proactive sales leader can move the dials and alter the course if necessary. Continue to Inspect what you expect and make sure your quarterly reviews are thorough.
Two last thoughts:
1) if you have questions or comments on any of these ideas let me know : Ken@AcumenMgmt.com
2) On our website we have a White Paper on the Top 40 Actions Sales Managers Must Take to Drive Predictable Revenue and several free Sales Management assessments, www.AcumenManagement.com
Have a great July, sit back, reflect and take action.
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.
He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2015. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!
Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.