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How to Hit Sales Targets in the Last Quarter

Pitcher Player throwing a ball to hit sales targets
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To hit sales targets in the last quarter when you are behind takes precise management working with analytics, and a solid coaching methodology.

The financial year is drawing to a close; is your sales revenue lagging behind the target? Do you accept being 10-20-30% short of profitable planned goals?  Do you think we failed less this year? If you do, you are setting yourself up for failure this year and in the next financial year too.

Companies must be unyielding when it comes to the delivery of sales revenue, as so much is at stake.

The unwritten financial impact when you don’t hit sales targets

Most companies underestimate the impact of non-performance in sales on company profitability. Profit is made in the last 20 to 30 percent of sales forecast revenue, not in the first 60 to 70 percent. Traditional accounting practices manage all costs as a variable. Therefore, when a company loses $100,000 in revenue, the company accepts this as fine: “If the gross margin is 30 percent, then we’ve only lost $30,000.” If the company is behind its sales goals by 15 percent, then it applies the same thinking.

This measure is incorrect. In reality, a lot of the costs in your business—your facilities, management, and staffing, as well as insurance and similar factors—are fixed, or they are fixed in the shorter term. You cannot change them in any reasonable timeline to match the changes in the top-line performance of the business.

A planned 30 percent gross margin contains your variable contribution to profitability based on a forecast level of sales revenue. When your company does not deliver that revenue, your variable margins might be more like 60 percent—so you lose $60,000 of profitability, but half of that loss is hidden.

Sales managers at their limit

Sales managers can only deliver a certain level of revenue in markets based on their experience and the tools available to them. Good product and pricing are just not enough, even though it is a good start.

When a company hits a 2 or 3-year plateau, the warning signs are loud and clear that the sales manager has reached its capability limit. They may attempt to distract the obvious through conversations of products and markets, but in most cases, the growth opportunities are there. The business has exhausted itself internally, temporarily, and created a plateau.

It is a common growth barrier that companies can struggle with for years by not facing the simple fact that you have outgrown your internal capability. The typical but not so simple approach is to swap the sales manager out for a new manager, but that may not solve the problem as often the issue relates to company sales systems and management methodology.

Why intervention is required to hit sales targets

The bottom line is the current sales velocity, behaviours, and decision-making processes have the team well behind, and to continue forward, believing there will be a change is futile; without intervention. You can identify when you have exhausted your internal processes when these warning signs appear:

  • Reliance on big deals to pull you over the line;
  • New business acquisition is low;
  • The emergence of bluebird sales (sales that just fall from the sky) saves the day;
  • Pipeline reports that are not within 10% of accuracy;
  • The sales team is reliant on a couple of good sellers to bring the sales team over the line.

These are all signs of a sales manager who does not have sufficient tools and methodology to manage the performance of the team to the required levels.

The solution:

CEOs need to intervene and provide tools and methodology that will make immediate and sustainable changes to the performance of the sales force. Sales Focus Money Ball™ is assisting companies and sales managers to achieve results.

Recently, chatting with one of Sales Focus Advisory’s client’s national sales managers of a well-known IT company about their recent implementation of Sales Focus Money Ball™, a key finding he has is how much effect driving a team through different metrics and methodology has on the overall results. An accomplished sales manager with a fine record, he needed to uplift how they did business and to deliver ever-increasing sales goals. Embracing the process he had delivered in just 90 days, a major upturn in sales performance across a team of some 25 sellers. Even more impressive, the state managers are embracing the new methodology as they improve their decision-making and can deliver reliable information to the company.

In fact, companies using Sales Focus Money Ball™ are achieving results consistently in just 90-120 days when adopting the methodology.

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Sales Focus Advisory is so confident of the results that when companies implement the methodology, we can guarantee you will see immediate and sustainable improvement in the effectiveness of your sales force and the results achieved.

Furthermore, Sales Focus Money Ball™ provides you with a planning tool to ensure you deliver increased sales goals in the years ahead.

To find out more, contact our office for a telephone conversation with Adele Crane about your specific sales revenue improvement requirements.

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About the Author: Adele Crane

A leader in Implementation Consulting.
CEOs and Managing Directors have relied on Adele Crane to solve challenges with the performance of their sales and marketing since 1990. Her consulting experience in delivering results in 90-120 days is unprecedented by any other known sales and marketing consulting professional in the world. As an author of 3 acclaimed books, appearances on major media, and publications in USA, NZ and Australia, Adele’s experience brings fresh thinking and contemporary practices to business.