The One Simple Step that Sets Your Sales Team up for Success

The One Simple Step that Sets Your Sales Team up for Success 900 600 C-Suite Network
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Is it possible to manage a sales team “by the numbers”?

Many of the sales leaders we work with try to do this. They set a quota, they make sure everyone knows what the quota is, and they push for that quota to be hit. They track the number of sales completed, then they try to hold the salespeople accountable by requiring status reports showing potentials of closing and estimated dates for each prospect. In our experience, though, there’s a problem with this approach. While you can track numbers, you can’t really manage them, any more than you can manage the weather.

Of course, managers get to keep score by revenue. The problem is, though, most salespeople don’t have a path to get to the revenue numbers. Numbers are the what. As a manager, you need to help your salespeople get to the how. Here’s an example, based on a real-life situation that will illustrate what I mean.

Mike was given a quota of $4 million per year. Early in the year, he met with his manager Juanita, who asked if he understood the number and needed any help. Mike said he didn’t need any help. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

As is so often the case, there was an underlying issue that neither the salesperson nor the manager had come to terms with. The big issue was that Mike didn’t know how he was going to get the $4 million from his territory. Yes, he knew he needed 40 buyers in order to hit the goal. Yet he didn’t know:

  • What was the right balance of new buyers compared to Mike upselling existing customers?
  • How many new conversations did he need each week?
  • How many first calls did he need to make each day?

Sure, Mike was going to work hard; he just wasn’t going to be working smart without the answers to the questions. He was going to require some luck in order to hit his goal. Since that luck did not come his way in the first weeks of the first quarter, Mike found himself falling further and further…