These are common, end-of-year problems for top Sales performers. Today’s article focuses on 2 ways to overcome these problems and maximize your income.
A Sales Rep friend of mine, Kevin, described it best. “Every year is the same. The things I can’t have are the things I need most. I lose a week to the holidays. I lose countless hours planning for next year. Every Sales Engineer is stretched thin and unavailable. This is the most critical month but I can’t get things done.”
How do you solve the problem? To get ahead next quarter, focus on these 2 areas:
- Simplify the forecasting process: 2013 planning is necessary but time consuming. It usually requires you pull data from multiple sources then manually create your model. It can be overly complicated. The solution is to influence your Sales Operations leader. Tell them to build forecasting into your Sales force automation software (such as Salesforce.com). The more they automate, the more selling time you have. More selling time enables you to reduce sales cycle lengths.
- Get resources when you need them: Sales support resources such as sales engineers create value for your offering. They answer the toughest technical questions. Time to influence your Sales Operations leader again. Tell them to allocate resources more effectively. Well managed sales support resources translate to higher deal values. When executed consistently, you increase your Average Selling Price.
Surely you’ve heard this all before. But have you calculated the positive effect these changes could have on your income? See the example below.
Think in terms of real dollar value. Reduce Average Sales Cycle by one week and another deal can be added. That equates to $400K of additional annual revenue.
What if a sales engineer helps you add 5% of value to every deal? That would provide an additional $200K in annual sales. There is huge potential upside for your personal bottom line.
It starts with the Sales Process
Sales Process is a series of steps that guide the way a Rep sells. It is repeatable and replicates top performer behavior. Ultimately, it enables Sales Reps to consistently sell more business more efficiently. The goal of a sales organization is to have one standard selling approach. When successful, the results bring more revenue in less time. A good process should include forecasting automation and better resource allocation. It is something your Sales Ops Leaders are responsible to provide for you.
How do I overcome my problems and maximize my income?
- Download this Sales Process Report and give it to the Sales Operations leader. This download explains your problems in a way that matters to Sales Operations. Tell them “I need a better process so I can sell more.” Then while you focus on selling, Sales Ops can focus on understanding your needs.
- Voice your concerns. Make sure a Sales Process leads to your expected monetary benefits. Ask questions of Sales Operations that assure success
– What are the activities you expect me to complete at each step in the process?
– What job aids are required at each step?
– When will our forecasting tool be integrated with our sales force management software?
– How will our sales support resources be allocated going forward?
- Suggest outsourcing. Sales Operations may not have the resources needed to provide a successful Sales Process. This is a time consuming initiative that requires a specialized set of skills. Suggest outsourcing to a third party firm such as SBI.
While you discuss this with Sales Operations, make sure your needs are met. Reduced Sales Cycle Length and increased Average Selling Price start with Sales Process. Good process makes you more efficient. Ultimately it will put more money in your pocket.