Contributed by Kim Jennings-Eckert
How do you hold your sales team accountable? Do you base it strictly off quantity sold or clients in your portfolio? In my experience, businesses tend to view sales as $ transactions. Of course! We are in business to make money and if quotas are met, then business is good right? BUT – and you knew it was coming – Do you have employees that struggle to meet their sales goals? Or, do they just make their goals at the end?
This is a common problem among many salespersons. I’ve been in sales for most of my life – in some way or another I am always selling – professional, personal items on Craigslist, my stint as a manager at a video store – yes, those did exist and it was in my lifetime! Over the years, through different experiences, I’ve made a few observations. For the purpose of this article, I’m focusing on one issue that can easily be remedied.
I have identified 3 types of sales performance categories:
1) The Rockstar salesperson: people who are rocking it out all month long, every month. Every manager wants their salespersons to be high performers.
2) The Just-In-Time salesperson: people who just work best under pressure. Or do they? We’ve all been there at some point in our sales career. Either we don’t know the product or we aren’t self-motivating. There’s hope for these guys and gals!
3) The Struggler salesperson: people who are trying sales but it probably doesn’t come naturally. There are just folks that are attempting a sales career, not realizing how tough it truly is to be successful.
So how do you make the employee who works best under pressure, perform better and potentially increase their output?
One of my roles at The Artist Evolution is to ensure our team meets projected sales goals. For 2017, we set our goals a bit aggressively and followed the 12 Week Year¹ – which simply means we break down our year in 12 week increments. This concept keeps us hyper-focused for shorter periods of time, ensuring we end our fiscal year on target!
In addition to setting attainable goals, we still had to answer the question of how? In a small company, wearing multiple hats, it’s easy to put off sales until the last minute. I knew I needed a guide to keep all of us on track. We implemented a sales strategy, incorporating KPIs (key performance indicators), that clearly demonstrate what is expected of each salesperson. Every member of the sales team has clear expectations and shares a daily update. This small change keeps everyone on track – it’s become part of our daily to-do list.
It seems so simple yet it’s amazing how many managers don’t implement measurement tools to ensure they are hitting their outbound sales goals. Our system has been successful in achieving our goals and has also encouraged good sales habits. In fact, we believe in it so much, it’s now part of our client’s marketing plans.
Footnote: ¹12-Week Year by Brian P Moran and Michael Lennington