“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein
For any organization, one of the critical metrics that is measured is hitting and/or exceeding revenue performance targets, or as we like to say – being 3 digits to the left of the decimal point or 100+% of budget!
But what happens when you come up short? As we approach the end of the calendar year first quarter 2018, it’s a fantastic time to assess your team’s performance and determine the adjustments that must be made to drive positive change in the coming quarters.
Whatever position you find your organization and your team members facing, it is absolutely critical that the sales team is supported in assessing its successful failures.
So you’re sitting with one of your salespeople discussing the first quarter, reviewing activity and pipeline, and it sounds something like this…
VP of Sales: “How do you feel about your performance in the first quarter?”
Salesperson: “Well, I missed my number, but I’ve had lots of activities – phone calls, emails, LinkedIn requests. And we’ve submitted many proposals so I feel good about the coming quarters.”
How you respond next will very well determine whether you see a continuation of missed performance. One thing we know for a fact is no change results in no change… "if we do what we’ve always done, we will get what we’ve always gotten." You must establish the foundation of expectations to help the sales organization move from simply trying to “win orders” to becoming an innovator and expert in your industry.
One of the very first items to address in any performance review with your sales organization, quarterly or otherwise, is the primary objective and ultimate outcomes from the activities being done.
Are activities being done simply for activity’s sake?
Is there a disciplined method to the cadence and messaging being leveraged to drive value FOR the customer?
Are you consistently keeping the focus on the customer’s operating reality with every touchpoint for a potential client or opportunity?
Below you will find several best practices to help each individual on your sales team learn from previous failures and drive progressively improving performance, or as we call them “successful failures”:
1. Script every communication you send to a targeted prospect, whether it’s an email, voicemail or LinkedIn connects or messages. Scripts ensure that the messaging consistently resonates with the specific buyer role focused on creating a connection. Have your sales team member send you a sample email or leave you a voicemail like they are leaving with your customers. Ensure it is constructed in a way that will captivate the attention of your target and creates differentiation so it doesn't sound like every other communication they receive. Help them adjust as required.
2. Follow up on communications to be considered persistent, but not a pest. What is the right formula for following up on communications? Below is a recommended cadence to follow.
3. Gain a commitment at each stage of the decision process. It is critically important to test the prospect’s investment in the buying process along the sales cycle to ensure the opportunity is qualified and the customer is equally as committed in learning more about your specific solution. Too many times a proposal or solution is presented prior to truly establishing a compelling gap…remember “prescription before diagnosis = malpractice”.
At Butler Street, we know that, If we solve our customer’s problems... we solve our own®. If we can help your sales organization keep its focus on the right targets, the right types of decision makers and the appropriate messaging that creates value through the eyes of your customers, we will continue to achieve and exceed our budgets.
If your sales team is not approaching your customers in such a manner, click CONTACT and let’s talk. We help companies and their people grow.®