School is out and upcoming summer vacations are top of mind with many of us, which also means that there about six months left in this selling year. Summer can be a difficult time to sell because so many decision makers, other executives and managers, and even sales reps are away on holiday. If you are a sales leader this is the perfect time to use these dog days of summer to your advantage.
How to Complete a Mid-Year Sales Performance Assessment
Where do you start? Since people, process, and prospects are key ingredients for sales success now is a good time to inspect all three.
How does the sales team look heading into the last 6 months of the year? Is it time to start taking action on the C players who are not meeting quota expectations? If you wait until the end of the year to begin this process you will handicap yourself as you begin your 2012 plan year. If you are not in a constant recruiting mode, now is the time to begin sourcing for new talent. Top talent is hard to find so make sure to do your research, replacing one bad rep for another can be career limiting for a sales leader.
Does your lead generation process pass the sniff test? Do you have a lead generation process that is providing a steady flow of warm leads to your sales team? If the answer is no, this is a good time to get with your marketing team to talk about establishing one. Building high quality lead generation programs often means the addition of technology such as marketing automation software and website enhancements. This process can take one or two quarters to design and implement. A recent 3FORWARD blog entitled 7 Steps to Marketing Automation Success can give you additional insights into the process.
Have you done a recent sales pipeline audit? Now is great time to do a detailed pipeline audit and remove or reset any stalled opportunities. Also take a close look at those perpetual no-decisions that always seem to hang on. Double check to be sure that every deal is in the correct stage, and that they have not aged to more than 150% of your average sales cycle. Having an accurate sales pipeline that the executive team can count on will give them the confidence they need to continue investing in the sales team as you move toward 2013.
So far 2012 has been an interesting sales year, some of the CSO's we work for tell us that the investments they have been making in their sales and marketing process are starting to pay off handsomely. Others are telling us that their sales teams continue to underperform and they are now realizing that they have to change the way they sell or risk falling further behind their competition.
Take the time to inspect your 3 P's now! Want help? Consider a Sales Optimization Review with a 3FORWARD partner for outside perspective on how to improve your sales performance.