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Hope is not a Sales Strategy

The Traditional Sales “Strategy”:

There’s a vicious cycle that plagues a lot of sales efforts today. It looks kind of like this:

  • Caffeinate – Slug back 20 oz coffee and give yourself a pep-talk. Today is the day.
  • Wing it – Work like a person on fire and hope “the flow” will just happen.
  • Rejection – The flow didn’t happen. Why didn’t the flow happen? More caffeine.
  • Overwhelmed– The flow cannot be found, no matter how hard I try. Prayer offered.
  • Panic – The axe is coming, because the flow isn’t happening. More prayer.
  • Justify – Report imaginary numbers to delay the axe from coming. We’re good, really we are.
  • Realization – The process isn’t working. Something needs to change.

Hands Praying for HopeHope is not a strategy and by itself, a tragedy. Sure, you may get lucky once in awhile but I doubt your company is all that excited about your occasional lucky streaks. What they get really excited about is regular, consistent sales results they can use to build their business month-after-month.

A Simplified Sales Strategy
If you think about almost any other type of work where something complex is built, there are principles that make all the difference between successful completion of goals, and getting lucky from time to time:

Developing a Plan
Some of the best advice we’ve heard about planning comes from the late great Stephen R Covey: “Begin with the end in mind.” What is the end goal for your business? If you are in sales there’s probably a quota that is the primary objective of your job: X Dollars per X timeframe. If a company does not begin their sales strategy with concrete goals, they will not have any idea if they have achieved them. Many salespeople fail simply because they do not set realistic achievable goals for themselves to start with.

Measure and Adjust
Set up milestones to determine if goals are being reached in a productive way. Breaking these goals down into smaller chunks will enable sales professionals to keep track of where they are. Am I still on track for the month? If not, then the sales plan needs to be changed. At this point, it is easy to see what points within the sales cycle need to be adjusted in order to make a productive change.

Report True Projections
For a manager trying to determine the health of their sales team’s efforts, and the level of completion of their goals, true numbers are a must. By reporting exactly what the sales team is up to and demonstrating the results match the companies plan, sales managers can determine if their efforts are paying off.

Does your sales team follow this simplified strategy? Or, are they stuck in a never ending vicious cycle of imaginary numbers and caffeine?

Resolve to Increase Calling Performance by Up to 50%

Have you broken any of your resolutions yet? Get back on track with a proven way to do your job better. (That was one of your resolutions, right?) Incite2 from ShadeTree Technology is a tool that’s changing the way your sales force will use salesforce.com.

Resolve to take charge:  You’ve heard complaints from your team for years about salesforce.com’s complexity. You’ve experienced the cumbersome clicks firsthand. You’ve seen numbers that are not confidence-building. You’ve had trouble getting an enterprise view of your department’s productivity. There is a way to take charge and do something about all these issues. Something straightforward. This isn’t a resolution to add one-hundred new products, open seventeen worldwide branches and surpass Apple in volume. This is a simple plug-in that will change the way your team sells, for the better.

Resolve to increase sales: Now where did you finish your fiscal year?  CSO Insights stated that less than 50-percent of sales teams met their quota last year. If you want to build on last year’s success or gain success this year, take a closer look at Incite2. This tool consolidates the screens your salespeople use from salesforce.com so everything they need is right in front of them. More calls (20-50% on average!). More details about each call. This automatically leads to better conversations. Which translates to what? More sales. With the changing landscape of sales, your people need to do more research than ever to make their conversations more targeted, meaningful and relevant. The way you keep track of all this information leads directly to how successful they’ll be when they do get a prospect on the line… or even when they leave a voicemail. Sure, technology can help them dial more numbers… but Incite2 ALSO makes each dial more relevant, meaningful and productive. Read more