With a new year starting the timing is right to shift the focus to executing your sales strategy with precision and achieving the planned outcomes. The tolerance for under performance is diminishing each year as companies understand that sales is a science not an art form and good planning and implementation methodologies do deliver results.
If you cannot plan and see how to make the money at the start of the year
the results are most unlikely to be there at the end of the year.
CEOs spend considerable time and effort in the development of strategy and it is the responsibility of the sales manager to interpret that strategy into a deliverable and manageable plan. One that takes into account the business requirements and team requirements and highlights immediately when things are not going to plan for remedy actions to be taken.
Delivering strategy is no easy task as sales managers face challenges each month and quarter to overcome. Those challenges coming from customers, markets trends, competitors and internal issues; all potentially removing the focus from what delivers the sales plan. You can become very busy on activities that will not contribute to revenue growth.
Sales strategy execusion requires a sales plan implementation process that is focused and dedicated to a process. The key focus areas need to be:
- Sales Planning – a detail sales plan with the mix of segments, existing customers, new customer acquisition, products, territories and revenue opportunities.
- Breaking down the sales plan – what are the objectives of the sales plan and what is the requirements to get them delivered. The micro detail of what is required to be completed by sales representatives each day, week, month and quarter. The activities with the customers which steers the direction from where the sales revenue will be derived.
- Daily Progress Tracking – when you understand the activity requirement for the business, you can then monitor to ensure the activity, and the right activity is occurring. This is the engine behind any sales results being achieved
- The level of customer interaction,
- The quality of that interaction, and
- Conversations with the right customers and personas.
- Weekly Individual Review Meetings – sales managers meet to review the progress with individual team members to the plan, realign them where necessary and remove barriers that will stop them achieving.
- Weekly Sales Meetings – discuss team results, success, opportunities, performance indicator dashboards, and share successful strategies and tactics. Keep the team focused on the right activities and allow them to demonstrate how they are managing their territory and customer base.
- In-Field Coaching – sales managers on the front line working the team members to assist in improving their capabilities and effectiveness. This role being one of the most vital contributors to strategy execution.
- Review Meetings – reviewing sales plans, making changes to reflect movements in the market and providing formal training for the team.
- Annual Sales Planning – keeping the sales plan active with a runway of one full year ahead, at any time of the year. Ensuring the activities are feeding the short, medium and longer term objectives of the company.
With the focus on performance, effectiveness and results maintained through quality dashboards, the team will understand how to manage and deliver the planned results. The most important contribution of all is frontline coaching and reinforcement of the activities that deliver success.
To understand more about sales improvement and delivering results, please read the lastest book “The Sales Focused CEO”.
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