June 12, 2012 by Bob Hill
Posted in: In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, sales management
Here are three proven strategies world-class organizations use to erase early deficits, energize salespeople, and consistently shatter annual sales goals:
1. Hold a kickoff event
The majority of best-in-class companies now hold annual kickoff events prior to every new sales and marketing campaign, according to the Sales Benchmark Index. Sales kickoff events are generally designed to accomplish some or all of the following objectives:
- Close the books on the previous campaign by publicly acknowledging superior contributions, and congratulating the team as a whole
- Communicate the company’s (and/or department’s) specific goals for the new campaign
- Revisit the fundamentals of the selling process, reinforcing the importance of each step
- Introduce new products and services that are part of the campaign, as well as changes to existing products or policies
- Expose the team to new selling techniques or strategies for increasing overall effectiveness, and
- Announce any changes to compensation/incentive plans, while allowing salespeople an opportunity to voice any concerns they might have about the changes.
Note: While sales kickoff events are traditionally held before a new campaign launches, managers can also use them to motivate reps throughout any new contest, campaign or product launch.
2. Capitalize on prime opportunities
During the first month of the year, managers should review the previous year’s numbers in order to pinpoint opportunities and avoid mistakes that have cost the company sales. Some questions to consider:
- Statistically speaking, which prospects (i.e., SIC, region, title, industry, etc.) were most likely to buy in 2011? Segment your lead lists based on this info, moving high-probability prospects to the front of the line.
- Which metrics represented the biggest challenges for salespeople throughout 2011? Why? Make these areas the focus of coaching sessions and meetings during the first six months of 2012. Monitor and adjust based on results.
- How did your market share fluctuate in 2011? If it increased, how can you build upon that success? If it decreased, it’s crucial to zero in on the reason(s) why, and develop a strategy for recouping your losses.
- Who are the prospects who told salespeople to give them a call in six months’ time? Now’s the time to revisit these prospects!
3. Turn C players into A players
Here are three revealing statistics about average salespeople:
- only 73% of them reach quota on a regular basis
- 68% wind up leaving the company (either voluntarily or otherwise) within five years, and
- just 15% of them evolve to a point where they eventually wind up being the company’s best salespeople.
That final stat is the most critical in the sense it reinforces why it’s so important to coach and develop average reps on a regular basis. Determine which salespeople have breakout potential, and meet with them to establish quantifiable goals for the quarter, personalized incentives, a plan for achieving each goal, and firm dates to follow up and adjust accordingly.
The key: Assume shared responsibility by volunteering to play some role in helping each rep achieve his/her goals. This way, you earn reps’ respect, while also making them feel more accountable for results.
Source: “4 Steps to Kick Off Your 2012 Sales Strategy the Right Way,” by Tony Albachiara, Sales Force Effectiveness Blog, 1/2/12.