3 Things to do in Sales about Market Volatility in '24 !

VolatilityThe end of a week during which what was to be a major Nor'easter here in Boston with 6"-12" of snow ended up as rain with a day of cancelled meetings and closed schools.  On the other hand, my normally quiet 3- hour Thursday night drive to Vermont following my Tufts Science of Sales course turned into an unexpected 5-hour white-knuckle crawl last night marked by wind-swept snow which at times just blanked out everything. 
Half way through Q1, there’s been no shortage of storms so far this year whether those disruptions have been the weather, the overhang from 2023 of economic uncertainties, the wars, the distractions of Washington politics, or even "the normal"  February concerns that we all encounter at this time of year as we think through how we can shock-proof our 2024 sales plans. 

 In any period of heightened volatility...  

  1. Focus only on what you can control.
  2. Require increased detailed sales planning.  
  3. Increase the commitment to sales training. 
During this critical quarter in an age of volatility, no one in sales management can afford to "watch and wait"!  
1. Focus only on what you can control!  "Results-Objectives-Activities"
As salespeople and sales leaders, none of us can control results!  In fact, none of us can control either our objectives or our KPIs.  The only thing that we can absolutely control is our Activities.  In our own work we define this as a "30-60-90", in which we want to see week-by-week planning for the next 30 days, an outline for the following 60 and just a general structure for the 90 day outlook.   

2. Create a Sales Playbook!
The 30-60-90 day activity plans, presented by the salespeople in half-day monthly QBRs, will take care of themselves as all you need for your activity plans.  Now add to that, a detailed sales playbook for the balance of the year.  No different than any playbook for sports, music, surgery or any disciplined activity plan where the stakes are extraordinarily high and the deciding factor for success is in the detailed following of a process, the use of the correct tools, the review of the resulting analytics and the requirement for certified training. 

Creating a solid first-time playbook should take you a weekend.  You could rough it out tomorrow.  We are all-in with our partners at HubSpot ("1 Single Source of Truth"), and here's a great place to start thinking about the basics of what goes into a playbook.  Connect with me for additional ideas, but this is a great place to start!   https://www.hubspot.com/products/sales/playbooks 

3. Commit to a different type of Sales Training!
No, this is not the deadly 8 hours of sales bootcamp training.  Maybe you've done this in the past, maybe you have something planned for the summer.  This is different.  It is focused monthly skills training accomplished in 120 minutes during the first one of two days of each month.  Hands-on skills training with an active in-class engagement exercise which is dissected and discussed with an outside highly skilled expert sales trainer.  

Have a great weekend! The sun is now up, and it's a balmy 24 here in Vermont, so I'm off to deal with the 6 inches from last night.  Great exercise and a good way to clear my head before more sales calls for the day!




Sales Planning 2024You can click here for this brand new  "Writing the Winning Sales Plan in 2024", for a few ideas on structure, sales models, process, a number of productivity tools and how to hire.  

BTW, I always have tens of the best associate-level juniors and seniors available for an internship this summer or a full-time job in June.  Through our 28 instructors at the Center, we can provide highly personal recommendations for jobs in Finance, Marketing, Sales, Product, and Computer Science.  Give me a call,  

Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts.