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07/07/2008

Sales Stagnant? Eleven Steps to Increase Sales Activity at Mid-Year!

As a follow-up to the last Blog entry about companies that break the momentum of its salespeople, you can make some changes that won’t break their stride (momentum).

 

Eleven Mid-year steps you can take:

 

1.      Sales Meetings.  If you have monthly sales meetings go to weekly sales meetings.  If you have weekly sales meetings shorten the meeting to just accountability items and have an end of the week report on a defined set of sales activities.

2.      Accountability.  Increase accountability at sales meetings. Demand to know how many appointments, cold calls, dials per day, number of hours on the phone, proposals, etc.   Keep a score card for each rep.  In this manner you will create accountability as well as competition.

3.      Increase Sales Calls.  Increase the required number of sales calls (outbound calls or cold call visits).

4.      Daily Public Sales Report.  Create a daily sales report, or at least weekly to spot light laggards. 

5.      Closing Day.  Make Friday your “Closing Day.”   New sales have to be in by noon on Friday.

6.      Chunk the Quota.  Break quotas down from quarterly to monthly, from monthly to weekly and weekly to daily.

7.      New Coaches.  Change up the local sales coaches (district or regional sales managers).    While this could cause momentum interruptions, if the manager is useless there is only gain by doing it.

8.      New Lead Salesperson.  For an inside sales department, change the lead salespeople.

9.      New Offers.  Launch new promotional programs and offers to take you into the last half.

10.  Weed the Garden.  Get rid of the “C and D Players” to make room for “A Players.”   If the current people aren’t producing you won’t lose much.   Some managers contend it is better to have bad breath than no breath but I look at the issue differently: it is better to have no breath than bad breath.  Sales reps that are not producing drag down resources.  They produce little, take up management time, etc. Weed the garden.

11.  Stretch the Day.  For inside departments, increase the number of hours on the phone (make sure your telephone system can measure it).  If they do three hours a day on the phone, push it up to four hours this week and five hours next week. 

 

Selling Change to Salespeople

 

Sales coaches get paid for: coaching and motivating in a crunch.  Remind salespeople that increased sales activity equals increased sales which to them means increased commissions.   Eric Lofholm the well known international sales trainer says, “Salespeople always get paid.  Whether they get paid today or tomorrow they always get paid for their work.”   When sales are stagnant the golden rule of sales is:  To increase sales, increase sales activity, but don’t interrupt the momentum.

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