Kick Your Sales Into Gear: 5 Foolproof Steps [ #1 What’s Your Plan]
Michael Gear, GoodData’s Vice President of Sales & Field Ops, brings to you a five part blog series entitled, Kick Your Sales Into Gear: 5 Foolproof Steps. Over the next two weeks Michael will share with his wisdom and experience for improving both the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales organization.
#1 What’s Your Plan?
Planning is certainly not the first love of sales managers. Besides, “The best laid plans of mice and men……” well, you know how that goes. But, if you want to meet and even exceed your sales goals, you better have a plan. And, with business moving at breakneck speeds, real-time information must form the plan’s foundation. Because how can you plan, and know where you’re going, without a complete and detailed picture of where you are right now?
With real-time data in hand, you’ll be able to minimize risks, highlight changes in opportunities and focus on high-value activities. The right (and current) data gives you great flexibility, allowing your organization to continually adapt to meet immediate needs. You want to run a successful sales organization? Then you have to use the data to plan and manage for success. No accurate data, no success.
No plan based on that data, bye-bye to meeting sales goals.
Avoid those no-no’s by using real-time data analysis to manage sales going forward. You’ll get a tactical view of the current sales situation, which will absolutely help ensure the success of your sales team. How much business is locked up? What progress are you making toward goals? Are you doing OK when you compare the current situation to historical estimates?
Make sure you’re able to answer critical questions about the sales pipeline. Don’t slough off these queries with a “devil-may-care” attitude. Where am I now in the sales cycle? What deals are changing, and why? How can I react positively to what data is telling me? Where do I need to focus my efforts? Are there blind spots in my forecast? Drill into these questions. Unearth information that clearly shows best case/worst case scenarios.
Don’t be left behind by competitors with no way to pull yourself forward. Have answers. Have a plan. Make sure you are on track to meet goals. Use the sales data at your disposal to sell. Put historical data in its place- in the past. Make your work life “data driven” to get answers to the most pressing concerns in real time.
The critical data tells you if there is risk in the pipeline. If there is, and you planned ahead, you’ll have a way to alter the current path. Territory planning, coming up with quotas, managing forecasts and sales reps and reviewing everything will give you an unparalleled view into your organization. Planning effectively will eliminate end-of-quarter surprises.
Get the Picture? Tell me if this aligns with your sales plan?