There’s a good chance that today is your first day back at work following the holidays. If you are like most salespeople, you need a plan, and some places to go, so you can some traction in order to get your new year going in the right direction.
Planning ahead is certainly essential, but as the title of this post says, glance at the backup camera first. Reflect on your victories and your defeats from the year you just closed the books on.
Although this won’t be the most fun thing you do, revisiting your 2014 scoreboard will help you gather key information needed to make the course corrections that will move your performance needle in the right direction.
Here are some of the stats you might review and scrutinize:
- Did you attain your 2014 assigned sales budget? In units?… In dollars?
- Were your proposal/exposure activity numbers adequate?
- Was your closure percentage in the acceptable range?
- Was your average price/sale above or below standard?
These are some of the specifics you need to know in order to get under the hood and tinker with your sales activity motor, to tune it for improved performance in 2015.
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As the New Year begins I need to get a handle on where people are finding/reading my weekly posts. If you are reading this right now; please, please, please respond in the comment section below and simply tell me where you are getting my posts. Do you receive them as a subscriber, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, forwarded to you from someone else, surfing my website, or some other source (please name). Thanks for your help. Your response will help me direct my efforts in the right direction.
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Now for the hard part. The sad fact is that most sales people fail to achieve their goals. Why? Because they lack a specific plan for accomplishing those goals in the allotted time.Setting goals without creating a plan to achieve them is like accepting a dare from a friend to run a marathon without any training, hydration or sunscreen.By the way, a lottery ticket is NOT an effective retirement plan.
Why not apply the SMART method, where the acronym stands for goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound?
Goals must be Specific –What is it that should be accomplished,remembering that preciseness is essential? For example:
I will earn $5,000 in commissions this month by selling $50,000 of services as a result of following my sales manager’s weekly instructions concerning planning, prospecting, proposing and closing.
Goals must be Measurable – If it can’t be measured, it shouldn’t be included. It’s like playing basketball with backboards that have no rims. Regardless how hard you play, you never know whose winning. In sales, a goal without a deadline is nothing but a dream. Here’s what that might sound like:
I will contact a minimum of 12 people daily by phone or in person in order to find 4 who are willing to schedule an appointment with me.
Goals must be Attainable – If goals are too lofty, they will be impossible to achieve and frustration will set in quickly. Don’t commit to supersized goals early in your career when you are green and growing. Realize there is a ramp-up period on the road to success, so pace yourself to ensure you’ll be able to get there without having a nervous breakdown. For example, an attainable goal might sound like:
(Rookie) I’m determined to make at least one sale per week, regardless of dollar amount, during my first month in the field following my boot camp sales school.
(Veteran) I will sell something each day to somebody in my territory, regardless how long I have to spend in the field. I realize that selling is like shaving, and if I don’t do a little every day, I will soon become a bum.
Goals must be Relevant – Goals that are important to you are worth expending the necessary effort to achieve, so make sure the prize is worth the endeavor. For example:
I will stay on the phone today calling from the cancelled customer files until I schedule four appointments.
Goals must be Time-Bound – You must be able to achieve your goals during the time allotted, but those goals should also make you stretch. Some goals need to be accomplished daily, while others fit a weekly or monthly frequency. For example:
I won’t quit this afternoon until I’ve canvassed enough businesses to secure 3 future appointments.
If I don’t reach my weekly sales goal by Friday night, I will work on Saturday to make up the deficit.
Putting it all together, here is an example of a goal containing all five SMART components:
I will make 4 sales proposals each day, 5 days a week. This will be accomplished by both contacting cancelled customers and canvassing around recent customer installations. This will result in selling 3-4 new customers per week or about $7,500 in sales revenue. By the end of the month, I will have sold at least $30,000, producing $5,000 in commissions.
And finally, realize that salespeople who share their goals with others are 70% more likely to achieve them. So share your goals with the people you respect the most, and you’ll work harder to ensure that you don’t disappoint them.
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan” – Eleanor Roosevelt
©2015 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC