One VP of Sales recently said to me “We are procrastinators by nature. Sales reps love to wait until the last minute to slam in their business. I got tired of the year-end anxiety, so I decided to make some serious changes in how we lead our team.”
Looking for ways to avoid the status quo and consistently hit your numbers? Here are 3 things you can change in Q2 to get your team back on track.
1. Talent Evaluation – How good is your leadership team? Are you evaluating them based on specific criteria? Are they engaged?
Hiring and retaining “A” Players correctly is a lengthy process, but well worth the investment. Take the time now to evaluate three things.
- Evaluate the current team (A/B/C players)
- Assess the bench (hiring pool)
- Fill the gaps
Using something like the enclosed chart to rank your leadership team based on their core competencies (characteristics) and accountabilities (performance) will help provide you with direction on how to improve your team.
2. Activity vs. Productivity – What are your leaders and reps doing? Are they busy or productive?
Immerse yourself in the business. Conduct deep deal analysis and determine where your people spend their time. Just because a Sales Director is spending time in the field doesn’t mean it is productive. Do you have a sales process? Do your leaders manage it to ensure you are winning deals faster, at higher prices and with more frequency? If not, its time to get back to the basics.
3. Leading vs. Lagging Indicators – Mature (world class) sales organizations can predict their results based on leading indicators.
Is your leadership team using flavor-of-the week tactics to get by? The output may lead to short term success, but the results are not sustainable over time. Your team is Level 1 (chaos).
Last quarter’s (or even last year’s) revenue trends are lagging indicators of where your team should be relative to quota. How many of your sales leaders can tell you what is going to happen in the next 90 days? Ensure leading indicators like funnel inspections are happening to ensure the forecast you see each month is filled with real opportunities.
Level 5 organizations are world class. The leaders of those organizations sleep well at night because they know where their teams will finish relative to quota. They don’t rely on last year’s data to predict this year’s success.
World class sales organizations have great talent, processes that work and predictable systems in place to keep the engine humming quarter after quarter. If your team looks more like the Washington Generals than the Harlem Globetrotters, it’s time to go get some new players.