Every sales leader will have to do better in 2012. Even sales programs in the best-of-class tier (average win rates greater than 30%) need to continue improving their year-over-year performance. It's one of those indisputable laws, like paying taxes and getting older.
Where to Start at Getting Better Results
Maybe you're newly promoted into the role of chief sales officer, recently hired to jump start an under-performing team or entering your fifth year as CSO, you can use the same process to decide where to start. We suggest initially focusing on the big building blocks that most impact sales results to decide where your biggest challenges / opportunities exist. Once that is done you can decide what specific area you want to target. Here are a few Big Block suggestions to get you started.
- Sales Representatives / Sales Team
- Sales Managers
- Selling Process
- Lead Generation Program
- Pipeline Management and Revenue Forecasting
- Selling Model and Structure
- Territories, Targets and Channels
Some sales leaders will look at this list and claim they have huge challenges in every category! Just recognize that you rarely should change everything at once. Instead, once you have prioritized your issues create a strategy that will generate the best return on effort. Look for dependencies between categories or obvious 'cause and effect' connections. Those are often the best places to start.
You may also want to consider help from an outside sales consulting resource like 3FORWARD. We help companies work through these kinds of challenges in two ways. First, we can provide an external assessment of your sales effort that won't be affected by internal politics or preconceptions of what's good or bad. Second, if you have already prioritized your issues we can help you put the solutions in place, freeing you up to continue running the sales team and closing new business.
The most important takeaway however is to realize you must do better in 2012 than you did this year. Hope isn't a strategy! Having a plan is the only way it will happen.