Don’t waste time worrying about 2012 anymore. It’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to change it. But you can excel in 2013 because of your shortcomings in 2012.
There are 3 main areas to look to answer these questions. And with these answers come chances for improvement in 2013.
1. Talent Assessment of Sales Leadership and Sales Reps
The question to ask yourself is: Was the team good enough?
Organization talent and people is often an emotionally charged area. It’s easy to make talent decisions based more on gut reaction than facts. This is dangerous. If you have a team of “B” and “C” players, winning will be impossible.
Start the year with a formal assessment of the entire team. Build specific competency and accountability based scorecards for Sales Leadership and Sales Reps.
Conduct a complete assessment of your team on all competencies and accountabilities. The output will be a Talent Portfolio ranking of your “A”, “B” and “C” players.
Now, what should you do with this information?
- “A” players – Overinvest. Go out of your way to make sure they are happy and do not lose them
- “B” players – These fall into 2 categories. Those that can become “A” players and those that cannot. Invest in the ones that can make the jump to “A” players. Those that cannot, move out of the organization today. (John Kenney writes a great post on how to Maximize Your “B Player” Sales Talent in 2013)
- “C” players – Can they perform another job inside the company more aligned with their skills? If not, move them out of the organization.
Making the number starts with having the right talent on board.
2. Lead Generation
Did you generate enough leads in 2012 to make the number?
The VP-Sales and the VP-Marketing own this area jointly. Regardless of ownership, making the number requires sufficient generation of leads. Can you analyze your 2012 Lead Generation using top down and bottom up approaches?
Here are a few key things to keep in mind with lead generation:
- Do you have a clear definition of what a “lead” is? What about a “qualified lead?” This changes by the organization. Make sure the VP-Sales and VP-Marketing are on the same page
- Joint tactics and strategy will be required to make the 2013 lead gen target. For instance, marketing will need a committed lead contribution goal. Sales will need a program to address “qualified leads” as soon as possible
- Sales teams can generate their own leads. These can come by way of referral or existing customers. In the digital age, reps can also utilize social selling to generate leads. (make sure and register to attend the Social Selling Webinar Here)
3. Win/Loss Assessment
A Win/Loss Assessment is an invaluable tool. It provides a sales assessment through the eyes of your customers. It allows for transparency, and reveals why opportunities are won or lost. It can also help pinpoint untapped areas of opportunity within your organization.
Download the Win/Loss Review Template Here.
Use the Win/Loss template to immediately to get a jumpstart in 2013. When addressing Win/Loss ratios for 2013, focus first on:
- What deals did you not win at the end of 2012? These are the opportunities potentially easiest to win today.
- Did they choose a competitor or decide to wait? If they waited, what is your plan to re-engage? The urgency, focus and resource allocation should be similar to what it was prior
- Did you miss opportunities because of misalignment in your sales process? Your selling process should be outward-in. Meaning that your entire selling process should occur through the customer’s eyes. Not the sales rep’s eyes.
Understanding how your customer buys allows you to remove friction in the selling process. This in turn generates more conversions. Without this knowledge you eliminate yourself from deals by not being aligned. Your competitors are aligned – you need to be as well.
Initiate a formalized Win/Loss/No Decision process in 2013. You’ll have continuous visibility and transparency into:
- The strengths and weaknesses of your organization
- Actionable data allowing you to modify your processes to increase win rates.
- Continuous improvement by using the customer voice to increase win rates.
Discover opportunities for growth by examining your organization in these three areas. These are the three biggest “buckets” where you can improve your organization. Just think about the process.
1) Get enough leads.
2) Have the right talent to convert leads.
3) Analyze past successes and failures to continuously improve
Download the tools to take your first step to a successful 2013.