Just about 40 days!
Here we are already at the end of September!
"The A-Team" shows up at 7:00 AM tomorrow for the first of the fall "Big Cleans" in Vermont. A team of four to six men and women now in their late 20's who began this tradition with me when they were students at Green Mountain College up the road a piece in Poultney.
Very coincidentally, Green Mountain has come up numbers of times in my Vermont life. Decades ago, it was my first college teaching gig long before MIT and Tufts.
Poultney is a classic example of a picture-perfect small Vermont town, and it's where my father, grandfather and GGF and GGGF lived for generations of being entrepreneurs. It's in the blood!
With the leaf peeping season well underway, Saturday's A-Team will be back again at the end of October to do the final clean-up in the woodlot and stack the three cords that will get me through the winta'. In Vermont, the winta' comes early, and as my grandfather used to say, "there's 9 months of winta', 1 of mosquitos, and two of just bad sleddin'."
In Sales, the end of the year comes earlier, since we don't really have three more months; we really have a total of about 40 actual selling days. Let's do the math:
- Take out a calendar right now, count the workdays until the end of the year.
- Then subtract the 3 days before and after Thanksgiving.
- Subtract the entire last week of December; just too many distractions.
- Subtract the 3 half days of monthly sales meetings.
- Take out one personal day for the doc visit, the kids or whatever.
- What do you have left? "about 40 days".
Everyone has a Sales Process!
Hopefully, you have a formal process for everyone on the team whether the team is 3, 30 or 300. It makes no difference as to size. It's all about the formality of the process. You simply must have a process...in fact, every successful salesperson already has a process in their head..."This is the way I sell".
What you now want to do if you have not already done already is to create "The Way" for your own company. Brand it, surround it with your culture and inject it with both technology and math.
- It is "The Way", not "kind of a process". It becomes the process!
- It's formal, it's religion, it's analytical with measuring points in both time and steps.
- It has steps, and in each step, there are tools (think of that toolbox in your garage)
- The tool use is measured through a tech platform...Hubspot is our single source of truth!
- Key to your 40-day success:" The #1 MOST CRITICAL STEP is Discovery!
Go here, then page down and click on the video "Executing Great Discovery"
When you execute Discovery correctly, right near the top of your sales process, every step in the sales cycle that follows the Discovery Step, then happens quickly and most importantly very "naturally" since everything reverts back to the clarity of that Discovery Step that you did. For us, we always use Hubspot's formula of CGPT-CI-BA....with or without the Hubspot platform.
Having done thousands of interviews with sales professionals, we find that in 90% of the time where forecasts are missed, the Discovery Step was not done thoroughly, and the really critical questions were not asked. And the #1 reason is always that the salesperson had "Happy Ears" expressed in: "I heard enough, and I didn't want to be seen as too pushy". Our thousands of buyer interviews show exactly the opposite. Buyers who want to buy will tell you everything...once. What they expect is that the salesperson will ask them detailed questions, take copious notes, fully understand their challenges and needs and respond quickly with the value solution they need.
Let's go back to Funnel Math
- Over 40 days, counting what you currently have in your own sales funnel plus what you need to add, what's the number of deals (not revenue) you need to achieve in the next 40 days. For clarity, break that 40-day period into two 20-day blocks measuring the actual leads (SQLs, not MQLs) you have in the funnel today and the new SQLs you need.
- To get to your deal number, how many Discovery Meetings do you need to do each day/each week for October? What's practical? Unlikely you can do 4 quality Discoveries a day plus the required Validations, but you should be able to do 3. October is the most critical month in terms of the math.
- From that number of necessary Discoveries, what are the math conversions that you need from Discovery to whatever you have as your next steps (demos, trials, business use cases, ROIs, proposals...whatever) that you need between Discovery/Validation to get to your Close Step?
- Multiply that deal number by your ASP and figure out how close your forecast comes to your year-end quota plan. Go back and run the process and the math a couple of more times on your whiteboard just thinking this through, and then run the numbers through your CRM and see what you have. Then plug in what it will take to get to 15% over your quota plan. 100% of your 40-day action planning needs to be done against this framework.
We've all heard the tired adage that "Hope is not a Sales Strategy", but in an AI world of the Science of Sales neither is "Relationship Selling", "Spin Selling" and the 20+ other antiquated systems created in most cases by writers of books, not sales professionals like Dan Tyre, Ed Marsh and Mike Schumann -3 of my personal favorites. This Friday, with only 40 days left, we all need to be very focused on selling value in a productive process which follows the buyer's journey while making it efficient for our own time.
HAVE A GREAT DAY SELLING TODAY!!!
2023 SALES PLANNING
Check out our updated sales productivity site page. Just page down to get our new edition of Writing the Winning Sales Plan for 2023.
Or you can just email me, and I'll send you a free copy. Connect with me at any time for some quick ideas and feedback. There's never a cost for a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about Sales & Marketing.