With now just 16 selling days (and that's stretching the reality of real sales time) until the end of the year, the pressure’s on, everyone is heads down, and totally focused on that one simple thing-QUOTA-before the end of the year. Statistics tell me that in a B2B world, only 67% of salespeople make their quota every year, which I always find curious…and shocking…since in my companies, on average, that number is up in the mid 80’s. With only 67% as the average, that means that there must be a lot of salespeople really struggling down in the 30 and 40 percentiles. No wonder the turnover rate is so high among salespeople taken as a total.
Given the focus on end-of-the-year quota, there are always two sides of every equation as it relates to the Seekers-the salespeople looking for job-and the Finders-the sales managers searching for new talent.
To the Seekers...
To those salespeople who are either at the top of their game and want to move on to something with bigger opportunities and more responsibility, or the people who are down below the 67% who are going to be forced to move on come January 2nd, I would recommend three things to focus on:
- Focus on maximizing your metrics for the next 16 days. Anything that you can achieve now is not only going to help your company, but also your performance...and your financial stability.
- Create a "Personal Marketing Campaign" complete with your resume (not a big deal and more and more not very important in the eyes of the Talent Finders), your personal value proposition, a robust Linked In and a detailed marketing plan including your timelines and objectives.
- Start defining and connecting with your "The 30 Minute Circle". These are those individuals who know you best, are very well connected that and would take 30 minutes of their time a couple of times a month to help you, give you objective and hard-hitting advice and be able to connect you to their most important and useful contacts.
To the Talent Finders...
To the Talent Finders, just following up to last week's blog on the fact that the most successful coaches of professional sports are always looking for their future draft choices and building out their bench, I would also make three recommendations:
- Cut your losses. Totally focus right now on pushing through the next 16 days since the company needs your grit and your leadership. Come January 2nd, cut your losses and move out your underperformers. I know that there's a rule of thumb that says "some revenue is better than no revenue", but that does not apply at the beginning of the year, when you have a new quarter and an entire new year in front of you. Plus continuing to wish that The Strategy of Hope will work any longer is merely going to drag you and the rest of the team down.
- Applaud your Winners. Sure the top sales winners of 2012 are going to be well-compensated and the best of the best will have made President's Club. But, what I'm suggesting here is doing something low key, but gracious and engaging for all of your employees that demonstrates the company's appreciation for everyone pulling together through the year. There's an endless variety of opportunities here depending on your budget, and my experience says that "it" (whatever that is) does not have to be over the top...just sincere.
- Please re-read my last week's Blog. What I tried to do last week is to provide a few basic building blocks that should be useful in accelerating your search for the best salespeople.
As always, I'm open to your questions to any of these or other ideas. Just email me at email@example.com
In the meantime, Good Selling !!!
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Check out our latest addition to our Sales Toolbox on the subject of Listening Skills by clicking HERE. Too often as sales people, simply because we are sales people, we want to tell & sell rather than listen. What we know from our experience is that Listening is one of the most important skills practiced at the initial steps of Qualifying and Discovery in your sales process, which is why we put together this short Brainshark on listening.