January 2nd, 2011
Sales Leadership: What? All my numbers are back to zero?
Yes, that is the reality of every sales organization at this time of year, even with sales backlogs, recurring revenues and hopefully a pipeline of opportunity-this is a psychological issue that you, as sales leaders must address.
There are really two aspects of this topic that sales management must face.
First: sales management must face the mental aspects of your sales team and your general business management team. Recognize that after the past two years sales teams are tired; with tough economic challenges and depending upon your industry-a multitude of consumer and business issues have worn down many teams. Having a sales team considering that they have to “climb” the mountain again can be daunting. If indeed the economic times are improving it may be tempting for your sales teams to be considering other sales opportunities where the grass is greener-so this becomes a critical aspect to consider. Just today, 1-2-11, I heard on TV that hiring for sales positions is expected the biggest percentage increase in all hiring for the New Year and if you are in IT, the market was the hottest in years! (We will discuss “Recruiting next week) What to do? 1) make sure you are upbeat at all times,( your own mental toughness is critical), you must reinforce your own “new” positive thoughts about 2011, 2) show proof from any magazines/paper of positive economic activity, 3) introduce an exciting new concept from a marketing or product/service perspective that will excite your team, 4) create a Drive Statement that will propel your team with motivation and provide them a specific goal for the year and first quarter. Guru Hint: make sure the 1st quarter goal is highly achievable. 5) Create a fun contest that you can announce at your sales kick off meeting. If you have other thoughts on energizing your sales team, please add them as comments below.
The second action that sales managers must consider is to re-assure their sales teams that you have a formula for success. This includes both knowing the physical actions of the correct ratios for a) new sales calls to qualified prospect to proposals delivered to the number of wins for each salesperson. B) You have a plan to assist or help each salespeople attain those numbers and c) you have a plan to help them improve on those numbers. These plans may include increasing the number of 1) blitz days for telemarketing, 2) increase sales strategy tools or 3) a new sales training program to increase skill development. One last Guru Hint: have your salespeople review their entire 2010 calendars and look for suspects/prospects that were dropped, networking contacts to re-open and schedule new meetings and ask them also analyze their schedules/calendars to see how they could have worked more effectively and what lessons they may have learned-share their idea’s at your next sales meeting. Add your thoughts as comments below.
This combination of working both the emotional and logical aspects of the sales brain will provide your team the confidence they need in you and themselves to succeed in 2011. It all starts at zero, but it doesn’t mean it has to stay that way for long. I wish you all the best for this year and I appreciate your interest in our organization and our tools and blog thoughts. If we can assist you in your sales kick off events or in other ways-just let me know. Ken
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!