How did you fare on your sales results for the first quarter? If you’re behind on your plan, what should be done to get on track and stay there?
Let’s quickly explore some of the best options for reigniting your sales growth.
1. Get real about the cause
A proper diagnosis is the key to a successful treatment plan. Leave no stone unturned to get to the root cause of your performance issues. Look at your key metrics and my guess is the answer will jump off the page. If you’re not tracking the proper metrics, that may be a good place to start.
Be sure to go deep during this assessment phase and identify any structural areas for improvement. For example, some questions to ask:
- Do you have the proper resources on-board, trained and producing to realistically hit your sales targets?
- Are your sales resources singularly focused on their goals, or are they constantly distracted?
- Are you watching the proper leading indicators required to effectively manage the sales process, such as monthly pipeline growth, length of each sales stage, deal win rate, etc.?
- Do you have excellent visibility into the sales process and sales team productivity?
2. Revisit your sales plan
If you own the sales plan, be honest and re-evaluate the plan. Were your expectations grounded in reality, or were they too optimistic? Did you invest in the proper sales and marketing resources and were they qualified for the roles assigned? Are your marketing and lead generation investments weak, or poorly executed?
At the end of the day, someone must own the plan. If that’s you, now is the time to re-think the plan and not “hope” things will get better. Hope is not a strategy, someone once said!
3. Make the hard decisions
You’ve examined all the data, gotten close to the sales process and properly diagnosed your challenges. Real decisions now need to be made. If you don’t make those decisions, your second quarter sales goals (and beyond) now become at risk. Additional questions to ask yourself:
- Have you been “nursing” along sales resources that just aren’t going to make the grade?
- Are you hearing a lot of excuses and weak commitment to assigned goals?
- Are you experiencing product or service delivery issues that are having a negative effect on your overall sales?
4. Rally the team
Now that you’ve received a dose of reality, you must quickly move forward! Do whatever you must to make reassignments, move out poorly qualified sales people or make the real investments required for the sales ROI you’re expecting.
The sales and marketing teams that own the results must know that the management team is laser focused on helping them achieve their goals and removing all barriers. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to building a better business that serves your markets above and beyond all expectations.
If you’re struggling with any of these issues, we’d love to discuss ideas on how to move forward. Just drop us a note and we’ll respond promptly.