December 20, 2011 at 7:00 AM
Only ten days of selling remain before 2011 will officially be in the history books. The end of the year brings many things with it – resolutions, reflections, promises, parties, etc. But it also brings a few inevitable questions for VP Sales across the world. For instance:
How well did you do against your original Sales Strategy? Did you stick to your sales structure, or get lost along the way? Was your sales plan adhered to, or were you forced to stray from it? And of course – did you make your number?
All sales leaders typically judge themselves (or get judged) on a consistent set of measurements. Take a look at the 20 sales performance questions below to see how you performed in 2011, and pinpoint the areas that you need to improve about your sales strategy for 2012. Score yourself on this Sales Performance Test - it will determine what your holiday gift list will look like:
- I achieved my goal for revenue.
- I achieved my individual product mix revenue goals.
- I achieved my goal as it relates to profit margin.
- I achieved my goal as it relates to Sales & Marketing expense.
- I achieved my goal of having the Sales & Marketing pipeline filled for a successful 2012.
- I increased my Sales & Marketing pipeline conversion rates.
- I achieved my goal for net new customers.
- I achieved my goal of reducing sales cycle time by adhering to my sales methodology.
- I achieved my goal of increasing sale size by adhering to my sales methodology.
- I achieved my goal on customer retention.
- I achieved my goal for increasing customer satisfaction.
- I achieved my goal on attracting “A” player talent.
- I achieved my goal of removing “C” player talent.
- I achieved my goal of moving the identified “B” players to “A” players.
- I achieved my goal of my field facing Sales Leaders coaching 70% of the time.
- I achieved my goal of getting the appropriate leadership talent promoted.
- I achieved my goal of increasing the overall effectiveness of my sales team.
- I achieved my goal of having a compensation plan that motivates my team to achieve.
- I achieved my goal of having our top performers qualify for President’s Club.
- I achieved my goal of optimizing my territories.
Your 2011 Sales Performance Score:
16-20 Congratulations! You had a great 2011. Celebrate on New Years Eve, and don’t feel guilty about it at all – you earned it! No doubt you’re anxious and excited to start the New Year. Sales Kick-Off will be energizing, celebratory and your team will be just as energized as you. Don’t worry, your team is pumped and ready to crush it again in 2012.
11-15: Nice job, but don’t forget that you’ve still got 10 days. Don’t start celebrating quite yet, but instead continue to drive hard to the finish line. Remember every deal, and every dollar count. Do you have a sales qualified opportunity hanging in the balance right now? Knock it out before the end of the year and boost that bottom line. Sales Kick-Off is still in flux. The last 10 days will determine if you celebrate the herculean efforts to pull the year off, or regret the “if only we had…” thoughts. Your sales team’s emotional and energy state in 2012 will be linked to 2011’s final number. They’re tired from the stress, last minute heroics, and painful shortcomings. You need to pump them up right away, and not take 60 days to recover, or else you’ll be at this exact same point next year.
6-10: Don’t panic yet, but you should know that you are at high risk. You can’t deny that 2011 fell short in many ways. Your longevity may be in question (Remember: 19 months is the average tenure for a VP Sales). Your ability to assess and learn from 2011 will determine your fate in 2012. Changes – and successful ones at that – are paramount, and must be put into place quickly. Sales Kick-Off will be about the New Year. Instead of focusing on your 2011 sales revenue targets, focus on the new 2012 sales strategy. Hammer home what is going to change, and how you will achieve your sales revenue targets in 2012. You need change and quick wins soon.
0-5: You’re in serious trouble and need to take drastic measures immediately. Schedule a face to face meeting with your CEO. Make sure that you come prepared with an analysis that objectively evaluates the situation and your sales performance. Review your learnings and what sales strategy changes you are going to make in 2012 to hit that number! There’s no point in sugar-coating though. Depending on how that meeting goes, you should still prepare your resume, update and build your LinkedIn profile, network, and be prepared.
How to Improve your Sales Performance in 2012
After taking the Sales Performance Test, did you find that certain elements of your Sales Strategy are in need of improvement? What about your lead generation? Employee talent management and training?
If you answered “No” to any of the questions above, click on the question for some helpful advice about how to improve in that area during 2012. In order to run a world-class (or even just a successful) business today all of these aspects need to be constantly monitored, measured, and improved upon. Take these sales consulting tips, use them, and prepare for a killer year in 2012.
If you’re in the situation I’ve described, please share what you’re doing to prevent 2012 from being a disaster before it starts.
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Topics: sales strategy
Posted by Tony Albachiara