How to Survive a Mid-Year Quota Increase

June 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM

You have been on the receiving end of this phone call.  ‘I need more from you and your team this year.  Forecast says we are down 15% and the CEO wants to reissue quotas.  Splitting the increase amongst your peers, your number just went up by 5%.  Figure out how you are going to adjust and make it happen now. I know you can do it.’

flip funnel quota increaseOur ‘Flip the Funnel’ Guide will help you. It’s an assessment and guidance that:

  • Helps you assess if you are going to make it.
  • Gives you actions on how to actually do it.
  • Prepares you for next year when it happens again.  It will happen again.

Get the Guide here.

The harsh reality of being a VP of Sales is getting a quota increase mid- year.  It is sometimes masked as a ‘Recovery Plan.’  Don’t be fooled.   There are many ways to try and hit this extra revenue. Several easy ways have already come to mind:

  • Hit a Home Run in the bottom of the 9th  (a.k.a. Sell the Big Deal)
  • “Get out and cold call” (a.k.a. Increase leads by focusing on generating demand)
  • Discount desperation during the last month (a.k.a.  Shorten the sales cycle by reducing the price)

Don’t fall for ways that will leave you short.  Change your methods.

There are 3 proven ways to really ensure you make the new number:

  • Flip the Funnel:  Crunch time leads to turning things upside.  Turn your funnel on its head.  Early stage opportunities are critical to long term success.  But put your focus on the bottom of the funnel.  Those opportunities in your 3, 4 or 5 stages of your Sales Process.  Download the ‘Flip the Funnel’ Guide.
  • Big Deal Reviews for any deal 2x larger than your average sales price:  Focusing on the Big Deal gets results.  Use the Big Deal Review tool   to get the organization behind these opportunities.  Too often big deals take long because of lack of focus from the organization. Using everyone to land the opportunity shortens the sales cycle.
  • Extra emphasis on Major Interactions with the Buyer:  These are critical meetings with the Buyer.  They can advance the sale quickly.  Or slow it down if they go poorly.  Every major interaction during crunch time requires extra preparation.  Completed call plans and huddle meetings before the major interaction is a non-negotiable.  Sales manager or VP attendance helps force decisions quicker.  Strict adherence to this point will shorten the sales cycle.
Let’s examine the best way: Flip the Funnel.  The ‘Flip the Funnel’ Guide shows the method for digging into late stage opportunities.   There are several steps to get this accomplished:

 

  1. Focus on each sales reps top deals.  These are their ‘Big’ deals in the late stages.  These will help make their number.  And if they make their number, you make yours.
  2. Answer the questions in the Guide. The answers will guide you on the actions needed to get deals moving quicker.
  3. Examine the implications of your results.  Can you use these tactical actions and drive toward the new number?
  4. Listen for trigger events.  Opportunities don’t pace themselves through the funnel.  They rush in and stall.  Or drip into the funnel and pick up speed. Trigger events cause the buyer to pick up this speed.  Some common trigger events:   board meeting, quarter sales review, new budget period etc.  Identify those and be ready to move quickly.
  5. Get with your SM and SR immediately.  Implement the actions from the Flip the Funnel Guide into a plan.  Involve these in the major interactions.  This opportunity specific plan must have actions that get the buyer to do something. Preferably something quick.  (This ties into the other two proven ways above.  The all results in buyer actions.)
  6. Follow up weekly.  The guide gives you direction.  But you need to make it actionable.  Following up on the tasks is imperative.  You will miss the new number if you don’t.
Regional Sales VPs and Directors of Sales get all the ‘guts’ and none of the ‘glory’. 

Ultimately, the buck stops with you.  Don’t be surprised when the new number comes down from corporate.  Knowing how to make the new number is critical to you getting promoted.  The organization is watching if you can overcome the adversity and deliver.  Leave a comment about other ways to make the new number.  Your peers (and I) could use all the help we can get.

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Topics: Sales Leader, Director of Sales Resources, Quotas

Posted by Dan Perry

Dan Perry
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