How to Change the Tires on a Speeding Racecar
Insights from Chief Mastermind Jack Kelly
While working with a client to improve their sales process and organization, he said to me: “We need to change the tires on a speeding racecar.” And isn’t that usually the case in sales? We need to figure out ways to strategize and plan for long-term results while still getting short-term results.
One of the biggest challenges I see in many sales organizations is the sales kickoff meeting. It feels like the racecar needs to come to a halt in order to be able to do the thinking necessary to set goals and plan for success. However, what I have found is that it is much better to bake it into the process than to try to do the big thinking once a year.
So, how can you keep things rolling? Take time to plan your year out, your month out, your week out. Otherwise, it ends up in your rearview mirror and you have missed your goals.
Have you done this yet for 2017? If you have not, now is the time! Here are answers to the top 9 questions I get:
1) Should goals be established before your fiscal/calendar year? Yes. If not, leadership should be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
2) Should your goals be measurable? Yes, we are in Sales/Business Development/Account Management. There should not be too many and it needs to be clear how individual goals connect to company goals.
3) When do you start planning? Now! Don’t wait for a milestone to do it like “End of Q1” or the “end of the year.” If you don’t have time, do it after hours. You will be amazed how efficient the process gets over time.
4) When should you implement? Now. Years ago, I was asked by one of my client’s when they should start with the new model. My answer was and always is: NOW! The racecar is never going to stop moving so there is no time like the present.
5) When should measure success? Weekly. Yes, it is easier than monthly or quarterly. Your goals need to be broken down into weeks and into specific activities to support those goals. If your weekly activities are not being met, deal with it immediately, not a month from now. Your activities and your ability to achieve them or not achieve them are LEADING indicators of success of failure. Sales and revenue are lagging indicators – let’s get ahead of it.
6) When should you adjust? Daily. The Sales Professional and Sales Leader should have a transparent, fair and frank relationship. If you see something going sideways today, address it. Don’t wait until your next sales meeting or next one-on-one. Do it now.
7) Should you have an annual meeting? Yes. It gives you perspective. These offer a view of lessons learned and an opportunity to set the tone for the new year. Limit the big announcements that take your team off track if you can help it. Keep it focused on them and their success.
8) Should you have a semi-annual meeting? Yes. In addition, progress should be published at least monthly. By having a focused meeting 6 months prior to year-end, you still have a chance to make course corrections that have an impact. Leave out the vision and mission statement creation here, focus on the challenges that need to be solved and the best practices that need to be shared.
9) Will it be hard? Yes. That is why it is called a job. Your work should be fulfilling and something that excites you but if you don’t do the ongoing, not-so-exciting and sexy prep-work, you may as well start looking for something else. This is what separates you as a Sales Leader and Sales Professional from your competition, hands down.
If you make this part of your ongoing process, your next annual sales kickoff won’t require you to bring your revenue producing team to a grinding halt to assess the state of your sales organization. Instead it will be the next natural step for you and your team. You will have clarity on the strengths, weaknesses, and trajectory of your sales organization. And you will have set your team up for continued success.
Improving Your Sales Process
Proper planning is the key way to improve your sales process. It helps you identify what is working or not and who is working or not… before you miss your year-end numbers. The Corlea Group helps clients develop and refine their sales process to ensure your team is focused on the Right Targets, the Right Activities, and the Right Opportunities.
If that sounds interesting to you, then let’s talk and see if there might be a good fit. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (858) 863-9913.
Stop assuming, start knowing!
Jack Kelly, Founder and President of the Corlea Group
Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.