Gotta Get Into the Rhythm of Sales & the Summa'

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Jun 21, 2017

The Rhythms of Life...and Sales

This time of year, that phrase of "What's up for the summa'?"  jumps into our vocabulary whether we want it to or not.  It's the natural rhythm of the seasons, and, right now, with the catalyst of hotter weather and the kids being out of school, that rhythm pushes us into figuring out exactly what we're going to be doing over the next 10 weeks. 

Summer plans for Me? 

winhall market-1.jpgI can't forget my seven generations of Vermont roots, so I will certainly spend some time in Bondvillet (pop. 647) working in the woodlot on my belief that a clean forest is a happy forest.  The work with the chainsaw is good for the heart, the quiet of the forest is good for the soul, and observing  the rhythm of these ten acres of forest over 40 years somehow puts everything else into perspective of what's important, and what one leaves behind.

Plus, I really do need to do a refresh with "The Boys on the Bench" down at the Winhall General Store. (Look closely, and you can see one of them in the swing outside the front door) Then, I need to go over and visit Scott, the Town Moderator, who most importantly runs the recycling center with a strong culture, an iron fist, and, like most true Vermonters, a unique personality.

I always want to be on the right side of the town leaders like Lorraine at the general store and Scott up at the recylcing they're just solid, down-to-earth real people who have a very direct perspective on life...and, of course, politics.

Beach Reading

But, for most of my down time this summa', I'll be walking across the street to the NH beach and starting the summa' reading discovery. Tufts Summer 20169.jpg

  • The digital books are already stacked up on my iPad.  
  • The beach bag is packed heavy with printed downloads from the winter and spring, along with a tome of an interesting new marketing textbook which is ready to be torn apart, sliced, filleted and digested into reusable bites for both my consulting work and for this fall's classes at Tufts and MIT.   

The beach is not only a great place for me to read, think, relax, and contemplate my navel, but it also has a built in rhythm to the waves and the tides that fits perfectly with the way that I think about business in general and the rhythm of sales specifcially. 

Only 8 Days Left in the Quarter


Rhythm of business-1-1.jpgHere we are eight days away from the end of the quarter, and, once again, I'm experiencing that there's always a natural...and an unnatural...
rhythm to the velocity of bookings I'm observing in the majority of our customers over these past 90 days.  Bottom line of that observation is that bookings always bunch up at the end of any quota period.


  • There's the natural rhythm of the calendar, with the end of the quarter neatly aligning with the end of next week on Friday, the 30th.  At the end of that day, the quarter's locked and tucked away and, once again, we've made our number.  Then, we simply turn the page, dive headlong into the deep end of July and start the bookings rhythm all over again.  Depending on the company's sales culture and its processes, salespeople chop and dice their calendars into weeks, months and quarters, and then the natural rhythm of booking to quota takes over. 
  • Then, for some unknown reason, there's the unnatural rhythm of everything invariably getting squashed and squeezed into the last few days of the month or the last couple of weeks of the quarter.  I've observed this rhythm for my entire career. I've analyzed it.  I've lectured and incentivized against it, and yet it continues to happen in almost every industry.   Over the years, I have now finally just given up trying to change it and simply recognize the math in my regression algorithm that the numbers will occur over a five and ten day period at the end of a month or quarter at a velocity based on past statistics.    

Which Brings us to the Rhythm of sales Planning

With the first half of the year behind us in eight days, next month is a great time of year to take your sales team on a one day retreat (or, as one of our unique clients better terms it.. "An Advance") in July.

  • All it takes in time is one well-prepared some prep
  • You take a look back at what worked...and most importantly and what didn't
  • You lay out the metrics, the tactics and the battle plans for H2 and specifically for Q3
  • You focus on "Tactics", "Best Practices" & "Activities". This is not a business strategy session. 
  • Everyone is focused on coaching and training to win Q3 games, nothing else.
  • The session ends with a requirement to produce a draft of a Q3 Sales Plan in one week.
  • End with a fun barbecue at the end of the day and celebrate your success in being a team.

There's simply no better time of year to do this. 

The real value for you and your sales team, (or you also can do this with your senior leadership team taking a look at the entire business) is in the actual planning process and less in the plan that's produced !  Our experience is that this process of peer-to-peer-coaching-and-engagement works very, very well most of the time!  And, of course, if you want, we're always available to facilitate you successfully through this. 

To help you through this process, here's a guide that we just created that outlines the components of what we would recommend that you think about in the construction of your own Q3 or H2 plan.  Your plan may be more or less complex than this just by adding to or subtracting from a few of these components.  Whatever your plan actually becomes, we guarantee you that it will be far better than having no plan.

Business Plan Writing Ebook Free

1.  Any plan is better than "The Plan of Hope" !

2.  You would never play any sport without a game plan, so why would you consider playing the most important game...your career as a professional salesperson...without a detailed Q3 game plan? 

3. Have "pretty good" Strategies, have "very good" Tactics, have "excellent" Activities & Metrics. 

Want to learn more about sales planning?

be part of a very unique experience

Attend our Sales management Boot Camp:  October 1st-3rd


Good Selling, Good Marketing...and Good Planning !
The time is now, not tomorrow !

 Jack Derby

Head Coach  

 Derby Management...for 25 years
 -Sales & Marketing Productivity experts
 -Business & Strategy Planning specialists
 -Senior Management Coaches for CEOs & VPs

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Boston, MA 02117
Jack's Cell: 617-504-4222









Tags: Sales Management Best Practices