What Sales leaders should do to ensure their team makes quota in 2018.

When setting a yearly quota, all too often leadership defers to a top-down approach. Territory potential, industry dynamics, and the skill-set of the sales team are not taken into consideration. Reps get overwhelmed and nothing gets achieved. Here is what Sales leaders should do to ensure their team makes quota in 2018.


1. Know Where Your Team Currently Stands


Data is crucial to making informed decisions. Use your CRM to collect and monitor KPIs critical for success. 


What metrics should you track? You should focus on sales activity and pipeline metrics. These metrics are forward-looking and alert you early to any issues within your organization. Below are some questions to guide you in identifying gaps in your current KPIs. If you can’t answer these questions, develop a KPI to capture them.


• What percentage of total leads convert at each stage in your sales process?
• How long does it take to execute each stage in your sales process?
• How many initial sales meetings is each rep setting a week?
• How effective are reps at converting these opportunities?


I want to provide you with an additional tool to evaluate your team’s interlock.  Click here for the Sales and Marketing Alignment Tool.


2. Define Intermediary Goals and Hold the Team to Them


Achieving an aggressive quota is dependent on proper planning. Using your activity metrics as a baseline, calculate the effort required for everyone to hit quota.


To make your number, how many appointments does each rep need to set every week? What does their conversion rate need to be at each stage in the sales process? Ask each team member to develop a specific plan to meet his or her target. Review the team’s plans often and rely on dashboards to monitor progress toward the goal.


3. Stay Laser-Focused on Your Ideal Customers Who are Ready to Buy Now


It is critical not to waste time on deals that won’t materialize this year. To ensure your team is focused, define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and calculate each customer’s Propensity to Buy.


Define your ICP – An ICP allows you to remove clutter in your pipeline and hone in on your sales “sweet spot”. Companies in your ICP benefit the greatest from your solution, therefor you win the most. Use firmographic data to define what types of customers deliver the most value to your company. Point sales rep activity at these customers.


Calculate Propensity to Buy– You need customers that want to buy now, not next year or the year after. A propensity to buy calculation helps you quantify the customer’s buying likelihood. You can use your existing customer data to get started. Are there certain industries, company sizes, or lifecycle stages that are more likely to buy? Are there certain factors that inhibit buying? Spending the time to identify these characteristics upfront can save your team tremendous amounts of time in a year. If a lead needs to be nurtured for a sale next year- offload that effort to Marketing.


4. Breakdown Barriers, Collaborate with Marketing


A common reason for poor performance is not enough leads early in the year to fill the funnel. This is where Marketing comes in.In many organizations Sales and Marketing operate in silos resulting in missed opportunities. If you do not already have a working relationship with Marketing, forge one.


For an initial meeting ask Marketing to discuss their content plan for the quarter. Sales should come prepared to discuss the ICP, customer intelligence and pain points in the sales process. Establish an ongoing meeting cadence to foster collaboration between your teams. Without collaboration, you run the risk of delivering weak, inconsistent messages to the customer. For more instruction on creating an ICP, use these 6 steps.


Still unsure if you will meet your quota in 2018? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you are on the path to success.Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate your Sales Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices.


Sales Revenue Growth


Ellen Wade

Provides clients strategic and tactical support in uncovering new revenue opportunities allowing them to make their number.

Ellen is an experienced consultant with a demonstrated history working directly with executive-level clients to deliver implementable solutions for high priority business issues. Ellen uses a data-driven approach in developing solutions, often blending strategy, analytics, technology and creativity to ensure project success.  Most recently, she helped a Fortune-500 retailer integrate after the acquisition of a major competitor. Ellen aided the client in sustaining revenue growth while rationalizing operational costs, driving higher net profits for the business. The project also realized historic pre-merger customer service level metrics. Her client portfolio spans Retail, Government, Finance and Technology sectors.


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