As we round out the first half of the year, it’s a great time to regroup, recalibrate, and prepare our sales teams to hit the year-end sales goals we’ve set for them.
Maybe your sales team has veered slightly off track since the target was set? By assessing your current situation and creating an updated action plan, your team will have a roadmap to follow and a renewed motivation for how to achieve your sales target.
Follow this 4-step action plan for sales target achievement:
Step 1- Analyze the Past
Analyzing trends in your results up to this point in the year allows you to pinpoint challenge areas and determine the next steps for improvement. (It also reveals what is working well.)
Ideally, your team is regularly conducting post-sale analyses and documenting the findings. This sales action plan process is often overlooked as salespeople are eager to move on to the next business opportunity, but the results are extremely effective for creating a sales strategy moving forward. Make it a point to learn from your losses and repeat the things that have been successful in the past.
It’s also important to analyze your sales funnel by stage. That allows you to look back and see where your salespeople are losing opportunities. Is it in the early stages or in the late stages? Knowing the answer to that will show you where to focus on skills training and coaching.
Step 2- Identify Challenge Areas
Based on the information you gathered in Step 1, determine where skill gaps exist. For example, if conversion rates are low in the early stages, your team likely needs support with a pre-call investigation, qualifying prospects, questioning, or establishing trust early on.
Metrics aren’t the only way to identify obstacles that stand in the way of maximum output for your team. One of the most effective methods is simply to ask them!
Ask each salesperson what challenges they’re facing out in the field with prospects and customers and get their input on what sort of tools or resources would help them improve their performance. Soliciting feedback will also make your reps more receptive to any sales action plan training or coaching you move forward with.
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Step 3 – Implement Steps to Help Sales Reps Achieve Sales Goals
Once you’ve identified your challenge areas, you need to decide the best ways to support your team to reach the sales goals you’ve set for them. Focus on the development areas that will lead to the highest return on your investment of time and resources and get you closer to achieving your sales target.
It may be that your team is struggling with a lack of qualified leads. If so, your first step needs to be improving sales and marketing alignment by discussing ways to align your marketing strategy with sales goals. Or, if your team is consistently struggling with price pressure, you may decide they need some sales skills training to help them build value and hold their ground with prospects and customers.
Whatever strategy your unique situation calls for, you should work with each salesperson individually to create a detailed business development plan. Work backward from the goal, and then decide and record the activities and objectives that need to be accomplished on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in order to achieve sales targets.
Step 4 – Sales Coaching for Ongoing Success
It’s widely accepted by this point that sales coaching is the activity with the greatest impact on sales effectiveness. But according to the Sales Management Association, formal sales coaching strategies tend to be poorly executed or non-existent.
Establish a regular coaching cadence with your sales reps and make the meetings about development, not inspection. You can use this time together to ensure they’re on track with their sales action plans, reinforce new skills they’ve learned, and look for trends in what they’re doing well and where they can improve. You can find more information about how to hold effective one-to-one sales meetings in this blog post.
And if an aggressive sales target is causing them stress, make it seem more manageable by breaking the goal into smaller, easier to digest chunks.
Let’s work together to achieve your sales goals.
When it comes to maximizing sales and meeting your company’s revenue goals, creating a sales action plan should be your top priority.
If you need help defining your course of action or setting it into motion, The Brooks Group has a team of sales effectiveness experts who can help you define and achieve your sales goals. Get in touch today.