As an "older" salesguy, I've seen it all:
- Multiple deep recessions
- The collapse of the mortgage industry
- The burst of "The Bubble"
- Wars and multiple pandemics
All of these influences were totally out of my control, but certainly impacted the environment I worked in, but my attitude was then, and still is today, "so what?". I'm not an economist, and I'm not a media jockey preaching (for money and social media followers btw) about the technicalities of recession and inflation.
More importantly, I really don't care since at the end of any week, any month and any quarter, I, and my team still need to make our quota. So, what can I do?
Thanks for asking that question since I do have total control over three things:
1. Next week, I can create 30-60-90 day plans much more tightly for August through October. I can use my January 2022 sales plan as a foundation of course, but what worked back in Q1 is not going to be what will work for the balance of this year. I will need to be much more specific, most probably I will need to travel more, attend more F2F events and work through exactly how to readjust my pricing without it looking like I'm discounting.
2. I need to do a very objective mid-year review of my team. Who needs critical attention and immediate skills training? Then I need to deliver that training either through easy-to-do videos, or a half-day offsite in August focused on whatever those skills are. All of us can improve our skills in discovery, negotiation, closing, and in presenting better business use cases.
I also need to make decisions on who is not going to continue with the team for the second half of the year, and I need to make that transition immediately this month. Nothing is worse for any sales team than to have a B- player continue to hang around for the inevitable. The adage of "some sales is better than no sales" is simply marks a weak manager who has not planned ahead. Just as in major league sports...since that's where we are playing...I absolutely need to always be recruiting!
3. I need to analytically assess the use of the hours of my sales team. I'm happy to take you through the details of the math at another time, but in essence, I pay a salesperson for 3,000 hours a year. When I take out holidays, vacations, sick time, I come down to around 2,200 hours. Then when I subtract meetings, unnecessary and inefficient travel plus "normal" unproductive time, the actual available prep and selling time results in 1,100 to 1,200 hours. The critical questions then to scrub for these next six months are items such as:
- Would it be better to bring in a marketing person for improved lead gen?
- Should we add another BDR?
- What sales or marketing technology could I add to the mix?
- How can we tighten up and formalize our sales process even more?
The very good news this morning is that we know what's ahead in a world of uncertainty, and no surprise to anyone, we all realize that there will be more economic uncertainty for the balance of the year! Simple as that! What we can do and make decisions on today is to control only what we can actually control, and those components of sales success are captured in;
- more detailed planning for shorter time periods,
- dynamic real-world, hands-on skills training and...
- more formal sales processes and tech tools!
HAVE A GREAT DAY SELLING TODAY!
Enjoy the weekend! Looks like superb weatha' here in Boston today, and I'm looking forward to driving to VT this afternoon!
At any time, if you want to discuss your own sales and marketing planning for July and the rest of this year, just connect for some quick ideas and feedback. There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about this new rapidly changing world of sales and marketing.
In the meantime, take a look at our 2022 edition of "Writing the 2022 Winning Sales Plan"