IS IT TIME TO CORRECT YOUR SALES TEAM’S COURSE?
Insights from Chief Mastermind Jack Kelly
We are well over halfway through the year. As salespeople, our thoughts are focused on the year end. Will it be a glorious one for you or is the stress setting in? If you are on the not-so-great side of things, you are probably in for a difficult conversation with the executive team come January 1.
Are you paying attention to your leading indicators? Right now, you have months of lagging indicators – sales. As great as it is to make the number for one month or another, that is not a reliable gauge of future success.
Your leading indicators will give you a much better idea of your success in the future. There are two places you should look for these indicators… but they come with some assumptions:
2) Stages of your Sales Experience
The assumption here is that you are paying attention to activity and tracking it somewhere such as a CRM. The other assumption is you have clearly defined the activity levels with the Right Targets and Right Buyers that will bring success to your team. If so, the evaluation is simple:
1) Are your Sales Professionals consistently hitting their target “right” activity metrics?
2) Are your Sales Professionals converting those prospects into qualified opportunities at the rate you expected? (This assumes you track your conversion rates from prospecting activity to qualified opportunities, so your team and you know if they are on track.)
These metrics need to be measured weekly and challenges addressed proactively, so adjustments can be made earlier rather than later by your Sales Team.
Stages of Your Sales Experience
The assumption here is you have defined the steps of your Sales Experience and you know how many opportunities should be in each stage of a healthy Sales Experience. In my experience, I often see Sales Leaders focus on the forecast for closed opportunities in the current month. They fail to pay attention to the forecast of opportunities in each stage of the Sales Experience. When you develop these metrics and the whole team understands them, gaps can be addressed in real time, not just at the end of the month or quarter.
There Still is Time
You may not be able to do anything to save your quarter, but you can save your year if you are willing to do the work to create, measure and understand the important leading indicators your Sales Team needs to be successful. In the remaining months, you can focus on understanding your team’s areas of strength and areas for improvement. So, when that difficult meeting comes, you are prepared to confidently present how you will execute for the remainder of 2017 and turn around the performance of your Sales Team.