Companies that have a defined sales process – and follow it faithfully – outperform those that do not.* January restarts the sales calendar for most companies and presents a great opportunity to (re)establish your own sales management calendar. The basic program we recommend for our clients follows. We hope it helps you fine-tune your own or provides a framework for getting started.
For our clients we typically separate sales management activities into the three categories representative of most B2B sales organizations:
- Sales Leader Chief Sales Officer / top level sales executive
- Sales Managers Responsible for sales divisions, units or teams
- Sales Executives Own an individual quota
Lastly, here is an equally important list of tactical activities critical to a high-performance sales operation. They matter as much as the schedule above and we recommend they become part of your on-going sales management discipline.
- Market and segment reviews
- Competitive assessments
- Target prioritization
- Proposal / pursuit strategies
- Win/Loss reviews
- Lead pipeline reviews (keep that critical eye on the targets above your funnel, not just those that have qualified there way to the pipeline)
Some clichés do have value: “Planning Your Work and Working Your Plan” is one that does. Following this kind of sales management calendar keeps everyone focused on the activities known to increase probabilities for success.
Now, open Outlook and start scheduling!
*CSO Insights in a study published in Harvard Business Review a couple years ago, clearly showed that formal process adoption has a direct impact on sales results. Yet still, 52.9% of companies they recently surveyed on level of sales methodology adoption reported random or informal processes. Jim Dickie of CSO Insights calls that challenge number one for sales leadership –“We need to bring more science to the art of sales.”