Managing Your Company’s Sales Performance and Expectations

If your Sales Team performance is not up to par then what else matters! The 1st thing to do is look back over the last couple of quarters (or more) to see if your sales team broadly achieved the goals set for these periods. Take time to reflect if these set targets were realistic or achievable in hindsight? If you are concerned, it is imperative that you to carry out now (don’t delay) a ‘top-down’ ‘bottom up’ analysis of your sales performance to date to see if the numbers set for the next quarter(s) are realistic and attainable. If your investigations reveal that the sales expectations are way off the mark take this information to the highest authorities within your organisation. It is your obligation to do this.

Chances are this ‘news’ will not be well received and expect high levels of push-back and resistance. If you cannot get the sales goals re-adjusted you must consider other options. The most important 1st action is to organise and implement a new sales prospecting campaign ASAP. Target those customer sectors with the quickest and highest conversion rates. This should provide a quick boost to your sales numbers and team moral.

At the same time, reach out to any channel partners you may have and to existing customers that will refer you. Referred leads have a better success rate in my experience. Analyse your sales team pipeline and specifically target those opportunities with larger revenue and margin numbers. The emphasis must be on making things happen now!

You must get a handle on the key set of variables below if you are to change things round. I believe that these are a sales manager’s true set of sales numbers and should always be in easy reach of them;

1. What is your current sales conversion rate (last Month and Quarter)?
2. How does this conversion rate compare with other Quarters?
3. Are you experiencing an upward or downward trend when comparing set periods?
4. How did your sales pipeline compare overall for the periods in review?
5. Are there blockages in your sales pipeline? Is this a trend for all your salespeople or just for some? If there is a blockage, find out why and for whom. Unblock it, it is your job!

Know your all conversion rates and numbers. I mean not just your overall win rates;

1. How many prospecting calls or actions are needed to create a qualified opportunity?
2. How many opportunities do you need in your sales pipeline to convert to one sale on average?
3. Your win rates by small deals versus big deals?
4. Is this ratio the same for big deals as for smaller deals?
5. A higher rate (ratio) of wins on larger deals over smaller deals is a very positive sign. The reverse should be a source of worry and corrective action is very necessary.
6. How long is the average sales cycle? Is this increasing or decreasing over time? Find out the reasons for this regardless.

Sales is all about the numbers! They will tell you most things you need to know. It is also about activity, creativity and action.

Does this make sense to you? Would you like to find out more? Call me on 01 556 3049 or 087 987 1311 for a more in-depth discussion.

Gerard Whelan