Last Sunday, I was walking out to the barn and noticed that the big red thermometer read 6. Just by it's naked self...6. Certainly a lot colder locations over the last couple of weeks. -31 in Fargo, -19 in Albany, and yesterday,-8 in Chicago, but here in the woods of Bondville-Winhall (pop. 725), it was just plain old 6 without the pluses or the minuses. Just so that I would keep my sanity as I shoveled yet another path for the propane delivery guy to get to the tank, I thought about the relevancy of the number 6.
- half a dozen
- 6 degrees of separation
- Route 66
- half a foot
- and, yes, the anticipation of June
6 months from now, the magic of June...
The snow will have long disappeared (other than in the back hills of VT, of course), gardens will have been reborn, and just around the corner, the pent up excitement of a long hot summer will be bubbling up in your and my plans for vacations, trips and just hangin' out over the barbecue in the back yard. I will be way ready by that time after hopefully surviving the frostbite of the upcoming fun months of February and March.
...and, of course, 6 months of the sales year will be over
Most of our customers' B2B sales cycles range between 70-120 days. We have a few "big project" commercial customers with year-long sales cycles, but the overall majority fit nicely into that range of 70-120 days. BTW, just a tactic, but if you want to gain added specificity among your sales team, stop talking ranges of "months" and adopt the language of "days"
So, if you think about the math and the TOFU marketing activities that you're doing right now at the beginning of February are going to settle into MQLs and SQLs and become solid MOFU Sales work in 30-100 days, you're deep into April and spilling over into the beginning of May with final BOFU negotiations and tracking down signatures to close orders.
None of Us Can Manage Sales Results...
Nothing new in any of this thinking about our Sales & Marketing Funnel Math. Our best-of-the- best-salespeople (Brainshark, Insight Squared, HubSpot just for three examples) have the specifics of exactly where they are at any given moments burned into their neurons and then constantly reinforce their accuracy with real time access to their SFDC or Microsoft CRM apps on their smartphone or tablets.
But even with accurate funnel data, none-zero-nada-zippo of us as salespeople or managers can manage results. We can forecast, and we can forecast more and more accurately, but not one of us can manage results.
All We Can Manage is Activities...
So, over this period of 6 months, with the month of January now tucked behind us, what are the specific ACTIVITIES that you are lining up to make sure that you're going to have a restful and enjoyable July vacation and not looking back at a cold, bleak winter of despair and 6 degree temps?
To get right down into the weeds, we like to see all of our salespeople creating a "30-60-90 Sales Plan", which is a tactical template broken into 30-60-90 days of specific activities that are going to lead to the Q2 & H1 BOFU results that we signed up for as our quotas in January
For a detailed, hands-on presentation of what's involved, click HERE, sign in, turn up your speakers and take notes. The presentation is somewhat long, but there's no way to summarize what we think is one of the most effective sales planning tools with the biggest bang for the buck in the shortest period of time. I've also attached to the presentation a copy of the slide deck itself for your files.
Let me know what you think, and also tell us about your own ideas, and we will incorporate those in our next update.
In the meantime...
No better way to learn about these new sales enablement tools than from speakers such as Greg Flynn, the President of Brainsharkand Mike Volpe, the SVP of Marketing from HubSpot who will be part of our upcoming Sales Management Boot Camp. To learn more...
- Click on the icon below for an outline of what takes place.
- You can also click HERE for a more detailed agenda
- Or just email me at email@example.com, for a 10 minute call