It’s that time of year again: strategic planning season. This is when the executive leadership gets together to plan for 2018. The CFO typically distributes numbers to the other members of the team in these sessions. The COO gets his budget and operational numbers; Product Development gets their R&D budget and you, the Sales Leader gets your ‘Goal.’ The subsequent moans and groans come from the team. Your thought is simply: “How am I going to hit that number?”
Get it reduced. I don’t mean that you walk into your CEO’s office and ask for a reduction in the number. Instead show the Executive Team what it will take to make this 2018 number.
There are three ways to grow revenue in a company and show you can make the number. First is to raise rep productivity so they can sell more. Secondly, you can increase the number of sales reps so collectively they sell more. And third is to increase the price on all products (or in your case, have less discounting). It’s usually a combination of these three that work. Let’s look at each one independently:
1. Raise the Productivity of each Sales Rep.
Improving Win Rate and Sales Cycle Length will do wonders in your ability to hit the new 2018 number. But how do you actually improve them? Well, we are in the age of business intelligence. Mine for insight from your prior wins and losses. This will tell you why you won or lost. Then look for the clustering of factors under certain scenarios to develop a sales process. Most importantly, build specific sales plays for the most common scenarios. Remember, it’s not just an off-the-shelf sales methodology. The power comes from a completely custom process that focuses on extreme adoption. Any other model just won’t get the job done.
2. Increase the Number of Sales Reps.
Seems easy, right? Not necessarily. Who do you hire? Where do you put them? How do you onboard them quickly to ramp up productivity fast? Address these questions first before you decide to hire another 20 reps. If not, expect a sucking sound on productivity.
3. Decrease Sales Rep Price Discounting.
Increasing Average Sales Price is a combination of two things:
- Adding value to your solution early in the buying process
- Reducing discounting late in the buying process
You accomplish these through a sales methodology. A sales methodology isn’t just a sales process. It’s everything wrapped around it. Things such as Sales Plays, Competitive Strategies, Messaging, Prospecting Techniques. All these elements packaged into easy-to-use Job Aids and Tools. Robust enablement of the methodology is critical.
Implementing a quality methodology improves average sales price, period. Armed with the correct information on all three, you can successfully ask for more sales investment. Or in a CFO’s terms, have the cost of sales remain flat to the increased revenue.
If you want insight on how to move each one of these three key levers, contact us here. We’ll compare your organization against these trends and determine any gaps. It could be just what you need to hit the 2018 number.
About The Author
Daniel Perry is a partner at The Brevet Group. He leverages nearly 30 years of experience leading sales teams and helping complex sales organizations become elite performers.