Small Business Sales Leadership System

January 23rd, 2018

Setting sales goals

Most small business CEOs will set a sales plan for the year by looking at past history, industry trends and other factors. That’s normal. Unfortunately, in many situations that’s where the sales planning process stops.

The sales planning process should go further, analyzing the components of the sales plan as a means to establish more specific goals.

Let’s take XYZ company whose CEO has decided their 2017 sales plan is $2 million, representing a 20% increase over 2016 actual performance. The average sale for XYZ company is $2,500. That means the sales team has to close 800 deals during 2017.

  • 3,200 valid prospects need to be surfaced through sales prospecting and marketing activities
  • 1,600 proposals need to be developed and presented to qualified prospects
  • Sales team needs to hit a 50% close rate
  • Average sale needs to be $2,500

Quarterly improvement goals

A good CEO is always looking to develop the operational effectiveness of his/her organization, and the sales department is one of the most important. As such, in addition to the goals set above, quarterly improvement plans for 2017 might look something like this:

  • 1st Quarter – improve prospecting and qualifying to uncover better prospects, as a means to increase the prospect-to-proposal ratio by 10% by the end of the first quarter. Improving the proposal ratio from 50% to 55% will result in 1,760 proposals getting delivered. If the close rate stays at 50% and the average sale remains at $2,500, results for the remainder of the year will exceed the $2m goal
  • 2nd Quarter – improve close ratio by 10% by the end of the 2nd quarter, which will increase close rate from 50% to 55%. Delivering 10% more proposals combined with increasing your close rate to 55%, will set you up to further exceed the $2 million sales goal for 2017.
  • 3rd Quarter – increase average sale from $2,500 to $2,600 by the end of the 3rd If this can be accomplished, the 4th quarter sales components will include more qualified prospects, getting a higher percent of proposals. Additionally, XYZ will be closing at a higher close rate with a higher average sale.
  • 4th Quarter – refine your systems and reap the rewards of the operational improvements achieved in the three previous quarters.

Sales Leadership System

  • Weekly sales meeting with the sales team – in this meeting you are discussing performance of the department, recognizing good performance, educating the team, and sharing best practices.
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings with individuals on the sales team – in these meetings you are reviewing individual results, discussing the pipeline, reviewing activity levels, coaching for improvement.
  • Weekly improvement meeting – this meeting occurs at the same time and same day every week for 30 minutes, and includes the people who have the most impact at achieving your quarterly improvement goal described above. This doesn’t require every member of the sales team, only the 3-5 people in the organization who can create the operational improvements to achieve the quarterly improvement goal.
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