Updated: Jan 8
It’s the start of a new month, so you know what that means? New targets!
Depending on where you are with your numbers that can either be very comforting as you may be ahead of your numbers or have a business already lined up to close or very daunting as you’ve been behind for the last couple months and there is some catching up to do. Either way, here are some tips you can use to make sure you start your new sales month the right way.
Review Last Month's Performance:
The best place to start is with a review of how you just closed. If you closed the previous month short then looking at what was forecasted for the previous month is a good start. We should either review our pipeline and the customers that were not closed as expected and what would have been the reason. For those of you ahead in your numbers, it is still wise to review what has been working, that way you keep the momentum and also tweak certain areas. The support of the sales manager is always beneficial as it relates to strategies and improvement. Know Your Numbers:
From my experience as a sales manager, I’m sometimes very surprised when I ask a sales executive where are they as it relates to their numbers and I get the “eyes looking up at the ceiling” response. This is a serious “No-No” where I’m concerned. Each sales executive must know where they are as it relates to their numbers at all times. Not knowing your numbers is like not having a map and trying to get to a destination. A clear understanding of your performance also gives a snapshot as to the amount of work required, either to catch up or to stay ahead of the curve. Owning your numbers should always be a part of the sales culture.
“Doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result equals INSANITY”
Re-evaluate Your Strategy:
This tip is specifically for those behind on their numbers. It’s also highly recommended that you complete this task with the support of your sales manager. Having a strategy or plan of execution is important to every team.
A coach at the end of each game looks back at the game film to see what his team did well and the areas they can improve. It’s the sales manager’s responsibility to make sure they review sales activity with their team and individual team members. Not doing so is irresponsible and sets up the sales executive for a repeat of poor performance.
For executives ahead of their numbers, I’ll use the example of Steve Kerr when his Golden State Warriors were on the path to break the Chicago Bulls record for most wins in a single season. When asked what contributed to their success one of his responses was “Even while winning, we always review the film from the previous game to look for ways we can improve.” This is an example where top performers don’t take their success for granted.
“You practice anything long enough, you get good at it” - Denzel Washington (Safe House)
Start Putting The Plan In Action:
Ok, so you reviewed last month's performance, you know where you are as it relates to your numbers and targets and you looked over your strategies “quick wins” and “improvement areas”. Now it’s time to get busy, be systematic in your approach and put your plans into action but keep this approach throughout your sales career as not having a plan each month is the start of a failed year.
Sales is not an easy profession, however, once the time is taken to properly execute the tips above then you will be justly rewarded. It’s easy when a sales executive is on top of their numbers but it takes great resilience to put some work in, change some strategies, and turn your performance around, keep at it.
Image Credit: IMAN-HARAPAN-KASIH