Fall is that time of change. It can be beautiful and almost like Summer and the next day the ice of Winter can be blowing in.
Sales is a lot like that you can feel the warmth of the sale and at the last minute the northern wind can blow in and you can lose the sale.
One of the traits that makes a sales person good is the constant belief that there is light around the corner if they just find a way to make it. So they like to consistently believe the glass is half full.
One of the traits that makes a Sales Leader great is their desire to figure out all the ways a sale can fall apart. So they listen. Managing sales is not easy because what makes a top sales person is often not what makes a great sales leader.
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What to do when my sales team keeps missing their goals
Every month I need to present to our Executive Team where we are going to come in with sales. I go around and ask my sales team if the funnel in Salesforce is accurate or not and if any will be pushed off so I can turn in an accurate number. Even with doing this I am finding we consistently miss the sales goal. The miss can be as big as a 60% swing.
I am getting really frustrated and don’t know what to do. How can I make sure the numbers are accurate in our funnel?
Other Person’s Perspective: Your sales team wants to believe they can deliver on the sales. Thus they may be mistaking optimism about a deal with realism about whether they have properly vetted the deal. This optimism can cause them to over forecast.
Thinking it Through Using Outcome Thinking®: There are a couple of things we want to make sure of:
1. The sales team understands how their delivery impacts the organizations ability to pay expenses and function.
2. They clearly know the difference between optimism and properly vetting a potential sales deal.
3. They are committed to the accuracy of the sales number.
Best Handled/Phrased: First there are things we have to own as the Sales leader-
1. Have I created a clear linkage for the sales team on how a “sale” is used to pay expenses within the company?
2. Monthly, do I challenge their numbers appropriately with curiosity?
3. Do I know what their “pattern” of accuracy with sales forecast is and do I call them on that?
4. Have I shared with them the difference between the optimistic hope of a sale and the proper vetting of a sales deal?
For todays purposes I am going to address the top 3 and in next month’s ezine I will address the last step.
Step 1 Linkage for sale to expenses— As a leader you have to clearly show your team how a deal breaks down in the company to pay expenses. So for example a $1 million dollar deal- what % goes to the sales person, the support person, the marketing, the packaging, the office overhead, operations, etc.— do it all the way down to the % profit margin left for the company.
Then show them what happens when we are 10% off, 20% off, etc.
Step 2 Tie to Trust Share with them how, for the Executive Team, their trust with you is to the same degree that you are accurate in telling them how much revenue is coming in to the company so they can make effective decisions.
Step 3 Then show the team the pattern of accuracy in sales forecasts for the last year. Ask them, “if you were the Executive Team would you trust me on any number I turn in with this kind of track record?”
Tell them you will be reviewing with each of them their accuracy in forecasting sales for the last year looking at it on a monthly and quarterly basis.
Share that you will be remaining in curiosity and asking questions to make sure the numbers we deliver are real to a percent your company is comfortable with. (For example your Executive team may say they are okay if they are within 10% accuracy and if they quarterly roll to a 10% accuracy— so for example you can’t be off 10% a month and then 30% off in the quarter. That 10% has to be below and above in a natural ebb and flow so quarter balances).
Stay tuned for next month when we talk about Step 4!!
How To Open Doors And Close More Sales
This question and answer style book includes valuable How To’s for the sales professional
How do you develop a follow-up plan that confirms that a session accomplished what it was supposed to?
In a meeting with a sales prospect, you want to close by recapping what was agreed on, what the next steps are, and how you will follow up. Most sales people miss the opportunity to find out from the client how they want you to follow up with them. Some prefer phone calls and some prefer e-mails. If you find out in the meeting exactly how to follow up with them, and agree on when, then you are not pestering the client.
Make sure you have included all the decision makers if you set another meeting! Notice how we went from a mild follow up of, "Sure, I’ll send you information,"”" to a closing situation where you get in front of the decision-makers. The worst thing you can ever do is to merely send a proposal and hope and pray that they buy from you.
Click here to
that you can
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at actually begin to change."
Wayne W. Dyer
Are there ways to change the dynamics of a bad meeting and glean more information from a prospective client?
One of the easiest ways to change the dynamics of a meeting is to simply change the body language.
You can’t change a person’s mind until you change their body language.
"I sometimes felt like I would get lost in my presentation before participating in Managing Your Strategic Message.
Now since I’ve experienced Outcome Thinking® I focus on my audience as well as the goal and my key messages. The training was an amazing experience with so much information and takeaways that can be used/applied for immediate improvement."