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1 posts from June 2008


Loss Of Sales Momentum Is The Single Biggest Drain On Growth

Jockeys never shift their weight to look over their shoulders; they don’t break the horse’s momentum (they look cautiously between their legs at the field behind them). Coaches teach runners to not look behind them, it breaks their stride. Race car drivers are aware of every momentum breaking driving habit that can slow the car. This brings us to your sales organization.

Never make substantial changes in your sales organization in mid-year. Make change if you must, but weigh it against the risk of the inevitable sales slowdown when you break the stride of the salespeople.

This includes changes in sales territories, sales compensation plan, or substantial management changes (including the presidency). The changes you make will appear as a sales slump in 3 to 4 months after the fatal decision—just enough time for everyone to forget what caused it and to encourage management to make yet more rhythm-breaking changes.

Of course some changes must be made, but at least make them with the knowledge that you could cause a collapse in the sales process. Ask yourself:

  • Is this change worth the risk at this time?
  • How can we offset the change with positive movement?
  • Can we hold-off on the change until adjustment is most expected, for instance, at the beginning of a new year?
  • Can we avoid substantial change that requires a dedication to hours or days of learning?

In your next management meeting, when someone has a bright idea, always test it against the idea that it could break the energy of your most important asset, sales momentum.

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