There are many elements that create Sales Process for an organization. At its simplest form, the client process involves developing leads, qualifying accounts, understanding needs, serving those needs with your product or service, handling objections and closing the sale. One of the more critical elements involves the delicate balance in the relationship between salespeople and the sales manager. Where many sales managers fall short is not in the managing of the client process above, but in defining sales accountability for each salesperson. As a sales manager have you established sales tools to monitor each salesperson’s productivity? Is there buy-in from the sales team on your process, goals, and direction? Is the team in a position to pivot if markets begin to fluctuate and goals are in jeopardy?
Here are five easy steps to keep your salespeople on track:
- Establish Revenue Goals: Every owner expects a reasonable profit from their business. How will your salespeople get there? Start with the established revenue goals of your company and determine what percentage of revenue will need to come from your team. Determine individual goals by territory size, product niche and opportunities to sell. Once established, have each salesperson sign off on their portion of the goal.
- Create Booking or Contract Goals: How many sales transactions will be needed to reach established revenue goals? Determine the average sale for your company and the effort needed to close the sales process. Create annual, monthly and weekly sales goals for the number of contracts needed to reach these revenue figures. Have each salesperson sign off on the effort.
- Determine Call Goals: How many solicitations will be needed to secure the contracts to reach revenue goals? Discuss with your salespeople their way of selling, eliminate any barriers that detract from “selling time,” and determine the amount of time it takes daily for phone calls, email solicitations and in-person meetings. Subtract any internal meetings and reporting and you are left with the maximum amount of sales time available within a day/week. Establish call goals accordingly to reach your established contract conversion level.
- Write Sales Action Plans (SAP): Do your salespeople have a path to follow to gain successful targets? Sales Action Plans are quite often referred to as the “compass” or “road map” for salespeople to follow to reach their goals. Well written SAPs clarify target markets, territories, hot industries, and usually, the best opportunities for success. Follow these steps to create “actionable” sales action plans:
- Create a time-line for each action. Typical assignments cover a one or two-week period. Set complete SAPs at three-month intervals.
- Sales Action Plan activity counts toward established Sales Call Goals.
- Everyone should participate. Create ownership from the salespeople by asking for their ideas and putting them into action. Have each salesperson sign off on their Sales Action Plan.
- Be flexible. As new sales opportunities arise, allow the salespeople to pivot and change the plan to what’s hot right now.
- Keep the salespeople on target. It’s easy to set aside Sales Action Plans when it gets busy.
- Hold Weekly Sales Meetings: With today’s technology, there is no excuse not to meet with your salespeople weekly to keep them accountable for their sales activity. Use what is in reach to stay in touch whether in-person, by conference call, Zoom Meetings, Skype, in groups or one on one. As sales manager, take a back seat in these meetings. Give your salespeople the chance to shine by letting them talk, to ask for feedback and to encourage others to keep moving forward.
Accounts Will Grow, Contracts Will Increase, and Revenues Will Rise.