It’s the end of the first quarter. We’re one quarter of the way through 2013. We’ve had our first chance to make quota. We have 3 more chances left. Although chance has nothing to do with it, quarters are fabulous reminders of how much time we have left to make the number.
As sales leaders our job is to help our teams make the number. It’s that simple. And, without knowing these 5 things, sales leaders won’t make their number.
The best way for sales leaders to know if they are going to make their number is to know, inside and out, these 5 things;
What did each individual sales person (direct report) say they were going to do this quarter? Do you know? Was it written down? Did you think it was a good objective for the quarter? Was it aligned with goals and quota? Going into each quarter it is imperative you know what your sales people or direct reports are going to be focused on and why. The objectives or quarterly goals have to be clear and measurable and align with what’s trying to be accomplished.
What did they actually do? Did the sales person do what they said they would do? Did they meet their goals (quarterly quota, number of new prospects, number of calls, meeting with the CIO, X dollars of new product sales, etc.)? Were they successful in accomplishing what they set out to do that quarter – yes or no?
What worked? Do you understand if the efforts they engaged in worked. Do you know what the rep is doing that is producing the results you want and getting them closer to the number? Do you know what the sales person needs to keep doing?
What didn’t work? Do you know what initiatives or efforts the sales person is doing that isn’t working? Are you aware of what isn’t working and needs to stop? Doing the same over and over expecting different results will kill you.
What has the sales person learned this quarter? Do you know what the sales person learned this quarter that will better position them to make their number? Are you in tune with the information that affects the sales person’s selling environment. Are you aware what pivots the sales person is going to make and why? What’s changed in the selling environment? What’s happened with your biggest client? Do you know what you’re sales people are learning from being in the trenches?
What is the sales person going to do moving forward? Do you know what your sales persons going to do next quarter? Do you know what they are going to focus on moving forward. Do you know how this past quarter is going to influence this upcoming quarter. Does the sales person’s go forward strategy line up with making the number? Do next quarters strategies align with what worked, what didn’t work and what the sales person learned in the previous quarter? They need to.
Sales leaders will struggle to make their number without knowing this information. Knowing this information puts sales leaders in a proactive position. These 5 questions provides the insight into the upcoming quarter and the context behind the sales person execution strategy.
Do sales leaders don’t want miss quota? No, of course not. But making quota is hard, but being proactive and knowing the answer to these 5 questions makes it a lot easier.
If you’d like a little help on HOW to get the answers to these questions, we have a great e-book that can help. You can download it here.