You are one month into 2018. Do you have a plan to hit your 2018 revenue goal?
Every sales leader knows the routine. You crushed last year’s number. Your CEO and board repay you with a new, unrealistic revenue goal. You need a fast start to the year because 12 months will pass quickly.
Here are five steps to set you up for success:
- Determine what markets you will compete in, and which you won’t
- Determine which accounts you will go after, and which you won’t
- Identify the buyers you will sell to, and how they make buying decisions
- Create an execution plan for going after these markets, accounts, and buyers
- Develop an operating cadence to track progress against the plan
To help you get started, download the 5 Step Guide to Hitting Your 2018 Goal.
Step #1: Determine what markets you will compete in, and which you won’t
Determining what markets to compete in is easier said than done. First, define if the market is vertical, product-centric, or a mix of both. Then identify who the competitors are and how you win against them. Finally, prepare to make trade-offs: which markets you will pursue and why.
This step is critical as it ultimately directs where the sales team’s resources are allocated.
Step #2: Determine which accounts you will go after, and which you won’t
Once you have your markets defined, next is identifying the top accounts. Which customers and prospects are most critical to hitting your 2018 goal? What is the potential of those accounts? Who is most likely to buy this year? What resources do you need to allocate against those accounts to win the deal?
You are defining a list of target accounts to go after. Having this creates clarity and accountability in your sales force.
Step #3: Identify the buyers you will sell to, and how they make buying decisions
Knowing who the buyers are within your target accounts is key to hitting quota. According to “Challenger Customer” there is an average of 5.4 buyers in every account. Don’t assume the decision rests with one person. Your team must know who’s involved in the decision-making process and what their role is. As well as understanding how decisions are made.
A best practice is to have personas and buying processes mapped out for target markets and accounts. As the sales leader, this is where you’ll want to pull your marketing leader into the discussion.
Step #4: Create an execution plan for going after these markets, accounts, and buyers
Steps #1 – #3 provide the foundation to create a plan. The plan should focus on hitting this year’s revenue target. Which markets, accounts and buyers are you most likely to generate revenue within the year? Craft a plan that is targeted and specific. Be deliberate about where you allocate resource and where you don’t. The plan must have defined milestones and ownership for it to come to life.
Once you have the plan defined, circulate with your direct reports, and gain their buy-in. Sales management is the linchpin to the plan being executed.
Step #5: Develop an operating cadence to track progress against the plan
To ensure the plan gets put into action, implement an operating cadence. The operating cadence is the daily, weekly, and monthly rhythm of the sales organization. For example, what is the pipeline and forecast management process? What meetings are sales managers holding with the reps to keep them accountable? How are we celebrated major wins as a sales team? What is the win-loss feedback process?
The operating cadence creates structure and enables a sales culture to live in your organization.
Bringing it all together
These five steps outline what’s required to hit this year’s revenue number. Start today before you’re too far into 2018. Download the 5 Step Guide to Hitting Your 2018 Goal.