When you are not meeting your sales goals and expectations as a business owner, what do you do? Does this sound familiar …
- You panic! Who doesn’t? … But you know that is not a solution.
- You decide to verbally attack your VP of Sales – or worse yet, bypass him or her and go after the sales rep directly. Again, not a solution, although you may see some short-term results just by raising the fear factor. … You may feel better afterward, but that will surely pass when sales don’t permanently improve.
- You get on Google and type in, “Improving Sales,” and are instantly presented with a list of the latest and greatest sales tips and strategies. … It’s a start, but not a solution.
- Finally, you figure it out. Your team requires sales training. You again hit up Google, type in “Sales Training,” and voila! You have an endless list of sales training companies, all promising to solve your sales issues and improve the performance of your team to meet your sales goals. … It may be a solution, but is it?
I believe in the 4 Ps when it comes to Sales: Plan, People, Process, and Performance. Whether your sales are great or dismal, you continuously need to review your 4 Ps.
What are your goals and objectives for the year? Have you identified them? The majority of business owners I talk with do not have a growth goal. If they do, it’s something like, “I think we can do ‘X Amount of Dollars’ next year.” So, I ask, “Do you have your goals defined, on paper, staring you in the face at all times? What is your retention strategy? What is your new customer acquisition strategy? Do you have a new product or service? Do you have a new marketing initiative? Are you expanding your territory? How will you get there?”
Just because you want growth, does not mean you will get it. So, what is your plan? If you don’t have one? Get one!
If you have a plan, do you have enough people to achieve your well thought-out and defined plan? Do you have the right people? Do they produce consistent results and beat the numbers assigned to them annually? What do you do if they don’t reach their goals? Do you have a sales leader? Exactly what are they doing to develop and motivate your people daily?
If you do not have enough good people, you will never beat the plan.
What is your sales process? You know, the steps required from the time the lead comes across your desk, until delivery of product or service, and the customer is delighted? What does that look like, and is the customer aligned with the process?
It is very hard to sell your product or service on your timeline when it does not meet the client’s buying schedule.
How are you doing? Are you exceeding the metrics needed to get to the end game – which is sales growth? Is the team making more qualified calls? Is the pipeline increasing? Is the close rate better than the prior year? Are your existing customers purchasing more?
There are endless leading and lagging indicators/metrics you can track to see how you are improving. Increased and better performance will come with the right plan, people, and process.
Bottom line – you need a foundation. The 4 Ps are your foundation; and once set, it is time to develop your sales team. There are many excellent training organizations to develop and upskill your team. Go back to your plan and define what training is needed, interview the companies that meet your profile, understand their tools, process, and delivery, and get a guarantee for performance improvement. The 4 Ps are at work again.
As an Outsourced VP of Sales, I regularly see companies existing without the 4 Ps in place. Get your foundation in place and set the stage for further growth and sustainable long-term success to meet your sales goals. I’m here to help. Reach out to me at [email protected] or at 901-821-9216. Or better yet, take my free, 10-question Sales Agility Assessment to identify areas needing improvement to meet and exceed your sales goals.