August – It’s Back to School and A, B, C’s!

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In last month’s blog, we talked about the importance of the month of July and how it is a great time to figure out where you are going to finish the year and create a sales plan to ensure that you are on track.

And now, it’s August!  School is nearly back in session, pre-season football is about to begin, and we have about six weeks of summer left.  Wow, where has the year gone?!  If you’re a Sales Leader or Business Owner, you might be asking yourself the same question!

You started the year off full of hope, feeling great about your sales pipeline … it was full of opportunities.  Fast forward … it’s August. The weather has been hot and it seems everyone has been on vacation.  

What now?  The answer can be found in the alphabet – just think A, B, C – “Always be Consistent.”

  1. If you haven’t prepared your year-end forecast and evaluated your sales plan (see my July blog), now is a great time to get this completed as it will help you understand your gaps. Also, proactively being consistent with this process annually will help provide more visibility into your sales plan so you are not surprised by year end.
  2. August is also a great time to get that budget template updated for next year. You have six full months of data, you’ve done your forecast, so you know by now where you are going to finish the year.

    A good budget template should consistently provide the following:

    • Current year goals and performance to revenue by quarter
    • Forecasted finish through the end of the current year; updated monthly with actuals
    • Overall revenue, broken down by revenue line
    • Monthly revenue, broken down as a percentage of overall revenue
  1. Finalize any special promotions or pricing you want to roll out as part of your sales plan for the remainder of the year to help increase revenue. Set your budget for sales contests based on the goals you desire to achieve.  Be consistent in your pricing and logic to ensure you maximize your revenue.
  2. Start creating your sales strategy for your sales team for the next year.

    Consider the following:

    • Create some type of sales incentive to get sales booked in for the following year
    • Create customer incentives to get clients to book in now (for the remainder of this year) and/or next Q1
    • Make notes of any customer churn that you will need to reflect in next year’s plan
  1. Start working on the analyses you will need for budgets. Request those items from departments as needed so you will have time to review before you must submit budgets.

Starting to incorporate these tasks consistently during the same timeframe each year will help you set yourself, your team and your company up for success.  Consistency is the key!