January 21st, 2013
Sales Leadership: Bringing a Sharp Focus to Your
During the past few months I have been consulting with several clients on a variety of issues and coaching others via our new “Acumen Project”. (more on that later), in both environments I have begun to revert to a similar sales management technique to achieve the desired results. For this week, I thought I should share this fundamental concept with you. If you are attempting to bring an increase focus on weekly sales and activity and exceeding your monthly sales goals, this idea will help you.
First, you should be using Acumen’s Sales Meeting Template, (if not check out our previous blog), when you get to the sales forecast section and opportunity discussion, you can either go to the “white board” or via Excel and a PC projector; you note your monthly sales objective. For example $250,000.
Second, you then ask each salesperson to forecast each account and dollar value on all sales opportunities greater than 75% probability of closure. Write each entry underneath your sales goal.
Third, total the overall sales to see if they exceed your sales goal. If they don’t, list all additional opportunities greater than 50%. If you still don’t have enough opportunities and potential sales to exceed your quota—you are in trouble-, see past blogs.
Fourth, discuss each opportunity as a team to ensure the salesperson has the next TWO sales steps planned to close the opportunity for this month-see Acumen’s 10 Magic Questions.
Fifth, perform this exercise each week of the month (save the list) and as certain opportunities close or are postponed, work to move other sales opportunities to the close list. The 50% list becomes your “upside” list.
Six, track what your individual salespeople forecasted at the first of each month and what they actually ended up the month selling. This is called the Forecast Accuracy ratio, a great ratio to better understand your team’s ability to forecast and understand their prospects buying reality. You will be in a great position not only to forecast pipeline values to your management team with this historical view, but be a better coach for your sales team.
Seven, each week, each salesperson should be prepared to report on specific weekly activities. While this will vary by type of sales organization, by having a weekly reporting function, salespeople will have to be accountable. As a rule we ask each salesperson to rate their previous week on a scale of 1-5 at the beginning of each sales meeting. In other teams, each salesperson must earn 25 points a week by performing certain level of variety of activity levels. If you would like to see a sample of the 25 point, send me an email: Ken@AcumenMgmt.com
What’s the bottom line? Its fundamentals-back to basics; salespeople pay attention to what sales management pays attention too. Discipline of focus always is the payoff to success, what is your commitment to success? Let me know your idea’s to drive performance.
The Acumen Project? I was watching the golf channel several months ago, a show called the Haney Project where a golf coach would take a well-known celebrity for 6 weeks and provide customized coaching to improve their game. While it was somewhat a reality show, positive results occurred. I thought about that program and have now created the Acumen Project. Where using our online Interactive Sales Management Tool Kit, my books, DVD’s and 12 hours a month of consulting services over 5 months, we will turn executives or sales managers into leaders of sales teams. We cover the strategies and tactics of successful sales management; recruiting, compensation, reporting and coaching and much, much more. For more details, ask. Ken@AcumenMgmt.com
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. His latest book is titled: “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”.