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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

83% of Sales People make these 5 Mistakes...

Hope is not a Strategy...

For anyone that has been to University - or as my Dad called it "College" -there is a recognised pattern of dealing with Reports, Dissertations and all sorts of Project work..

It goes something like this...

At the start of Term we are given a project - 15,000 words to be written on;

"The Concept of Risk in Business..."

We have around three months to get the paper written, and submitted in a format acceptable to our educational establishment.

Now, here is where it gets interesting...


As intelligent, bright and enthusiastic students we know that we should plan the Project and arrange time for Planning, Research, Interviews, writing 1st Draft, Review and Editing with final Submission being achieved a week before the published due date...

In reality, however, we do nothing for approximately 10 weeks and then start to make scribbled notes on a Post It note - and then over the weekend that precedes the Monday submission deadline - we drink gallons of Coffee and Red Bull, stay awake for 48 hours straight and somehow pull together a Report for submission...

Sound familiar...?

This situation happened to me during my Post Grad Diploma studies. In the end, as a group, we ran out of time and simply bound together 50 pages of blank paper, with a simple title page on the front that read;

"This is a Risk..."

When the report came back, the Examiner had written;

"Yes it was - also explores the concept of Failure."

Scrolling forward...

Last week I was sat in the offices of a Global Corporation - they trade in 175 Countries and are the market leader in their sector. The Sales Director asked me what I thought I could do to help them improve their Sales - he had been given a target of 20% increase for the coming financial year...

So I asked him how the team had performed this year. He replied that there were one or two deals in the pipeline that should drop before Christmas, and if they did they would just about hit budget.

The team were stressed and working long hours in the hope that the deals would be confirmed within the next few days.

All this during the middle of the last month of the year - I knew what they had done, so I drew him a picture...


On the chart you can see a RED line which represents the Sales Target for the business - the area underneath describes the total value of predicted sales.

The GREEN line represents the activity and attention paid to the achievement of the target during the year - there are FIVE key stages that serve to sabotage achievement, and in my experience 83% of Sales People go through them...

1. Confidence - the year starts with enthusiasm, ambition and renewed energy. Time is on your side so the pace of activity can be reasonably low.

2. Valley of Death - in every business there tends to be a time of year when "clients don't buy" it could be August, May or December; it doesn't matter but if you collude with this belief your activity will drop and your result becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

3. Wake up Call - at some point you realise that things are not as they should be and that you need to get busy. Calls are made, meetings and lunches arranged and discounts agreed with the Management in order that you can close the deals. 

4. Hope Mode - with all the activity, surely something will drop. You watch your in box, check the mail and gently follow up and every quote done in the last 5 years. However, hope is not a strategy, or at least not one that works...

5. Panic Mode - it's half way through the final month of the year and there is nothing else that can be done; so you panic and worry that you won't hit target, get fired or at least be given a roasting over results.

Of course during stages 4 & 5 you start to make statements like "it's tough out there" or "we need to be more competitive" or "the buyer doesn't like me" - none of which are true but they serve as reasonable excuses why targets haven't been hit...

Any business that gets 95% of the way through the year and has not hit target is in either Hope or Panic Mode - the target should be achieved by the end of month 10 allowing for anything unforeseen - mid December is too late...

How to fix it...?

Simple - our minds cannot cope with Long Term Plans, they need Short Term Goals to maintain momentum. To ensure that a 12 month target is achieved here's what can help...
  • 90 Day Plans - what does each Quarter look like...
  • Monthly Objectives - what must be achieved each month...
  • Weekly Activities - how is your diary looking...?
  • Daily To Do List - schedule time for the Important not just Urgent...
If you want Consistent Predictable Sales then you must have Consistent Predictable activity to achieve it - and be held accountable to the plans and commitment you have made. Not just at year end - but every week...

It's called working with a Coach - we have a range of Programs for Individuals and Teams that will ensure you hit your Targets...


There are full range of FREE Templates and Documents available on our Website to help you Plan your Results - simply click on the LINK, register your details and you can download them all...

AND....

To get 2014 off to a flying start - there are two Planning Days in January 2014...

Birmingham 24th January 2014 - LINK - Early Bird Deal ends 31st December.

Luxembourg 17th January 2014 - LINK - Early Bird Deal ends 31st December.

Come along, meet the team and have an Inspiring Day with other like minded Professionals - we look forward to seeing you there...

"David is a fantastic business coach. He is very popular among the Roadio community of business owners for his illuminating insights on how to tackle day-to-day matters as well as more strategic questions. One of David's great gifts is being able to break complex business issues down into practical, actionable solutions delivered with clarity (and good humour!). He is both an excellent writer and presenter too. I recommend David highly..."  
M Ladzepko

"Dave has given our management team fabulous support over the last 18 months or so as we’ve worked together to successfully transition The Audio Suite from a large, commercial work-for-hire facility, to a bespoke Sound Design Practice. Dave’s ability to create focus and understanding, allied to his huge commercial experience and knowledge, makes him our ‘secret weapon’ as we go in to battle to win the hearts and minds of both our existing and prospective clients..!"
N Hillman

3 comments:

  1. David I love your notes they seem to arraived allways at the perfect moment ...and giving excellent points to work to...

    ReplyDelete
  2. A great post. On the money, in my experience. Nice job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Owen - I see this happening a lot...
      Easily avoided too with good management, leadership and coaching..
      Pleased you like it...

      Delete