By Steven A. Rosen
January sales are in, how are you doing? Are you on track for a successful year?
This is a difficult question to answer.
How can you assess if you are on track? It is far to early to look your at sales.
Go through the checklist below and see how many items you have completed to ensure that you are on track.
Here are the top 10 questions you should ask yourself and your sales managers to gauge if you/they have set the foundation for success.
The STAR 10 Point Checklist
1. Have You Identified Your 2-3 Key Success Factors?
As the leader of your team it is critical that you have identified 2-3 things that your team needs to do extremely well in order to be successful. Keep your plan simple. Many times managers tend to complicate things because they really don’t know what key success factors (KSFs) are going to make a difference so they come up with too many of them. If you want your sales team to perform and perform well you need to give them the gift of focus. Decide on your KSFs and measure them monthly.
Watch my video “Focus on What is Going to Make you Successful!”
Have you identified and communicated your key success factors to your team? If you have, then give yourself a √
Otherwise get it done NOW!
2. Do All Your Sales Reps Have Strong Business Plans?
In order to get a jump-start on the year, reps should have developed their annual business plans. Two key areas of focus are: what accounts represent the best opportunity to achieve their quota, and which accounts is new business going to come from. Strong business plans have clear steps and tactics on what the rep needs to do to move business forward with each account.
Watch the video Key Sales Management Actions To Prepare for 2015
If all your reps have strong well-articulated business plans, give yourself a √
3. Have You Built Your Coaching Plan?
Sales coaching is the #1 sales management activity that drives sales performance. The reality is your most precious resource as a sales manager is your time. You only have so much time. Many managers look at coaching as just another “to-do” item on their task list. In fact, coaching is the most important activity in which one must allocate time. Realistically, how many managers take the time to plan how many days they will spend in the field, how many days they will work with each rep and what the monthly breakdown is by month? If you want to better plan your coaching time then get your FREE STAR Coaching Planner and build your plan this week.
If you download the STAR Coaching Planner and build your coaching plan give yourself a √
4. Have You Established a Coaching Plan for Each Rep?
A big part of your role is to develop your sales people to become better. It is about moving your B’s to B+ etc. In order to do so, you will need to gain a commitment from each of your sales people to decide on what area(s) they will be open to working on and how they will do so. A focused coaching plan for each of your reps enables you to help them develop 1-2 specific skill sets or behaviors. Remember small changes in skills have large impact on sales.
If you have built specific development/coaching plans with each of your reps for 2015 then give yourself a √
If not, get a copy of my FREE Goal Planning Guide for each of your sales people to use as a tool to build their goals/sales development plan.
5. Do You Have the Right Team In Place?
Are there any sales people on your team that should not be there? If so, I recommend that you deal with them early in the year. In fact, if you believe that you have reps that don’t belong on your team, why are they still there? You need to move NOW. You can’t afford to have weak reps on your team.
Cut your losses if you haven’t already done so.
If you feel that you have the right sales people on your team give yourself a √
6. Have You Been Out In The Field This Year?
I know I am obsessed with the value of sales managers being out in the field coaching. Many of my clients have been so busy with sales meetings that they have not spent any time in the field so far this year. Shame. Yes this is a shame as it is bad business. If you haven’t been out in the field with each of your sales people then make sure you plan to do so by the end of this moth.
If you have been out in the field with each of your reps by the end of this month give yourself a √
If not, “don’t pass “Go” and don’t collect $200.”
7. Do Your Reps Know What Their Quotas Are?
I know that quota setting is a difficult process. However, sales people need/want to know what their goals are. If you want your sales people focused and producing, they must know how much sales they need to bring in.
If all your reps know how they are doing YTD vs. quota give yourself a √
8. Do Your Reps Know and Understand Their Compensation Plan?
I hope by now you or the head of sales has rolled out the compensation plan. If not, then what the hell are you waiting for? Sales people need to understand how they are being compensated. Companies that fail to communicate the compensation plan in the first month of the year tend to lag in comparison to their proactive competitors.
Given your company has already rolled out their plan it is up to you to address your reps questions or concerns.
If both of these factors have been met give yourself a √
9. Is Your Sales Team Engaged?
It has been proven in multiple studies that highly engaged sales reps create highly engaged customers. They deliver great sales and profit.
Have you had an opportunity to connect with each of your sales people and see how they are feeling? If you have, give yourself a √
10. Are You Feeling Energized?
As the leader of your team it is very important that you are feeling good and that your energy levels are high. Your team feeds off you. They can sense your mood and your level of energy. If you are not feeling energized then find a way to get yourself feeling great. Go to the gym, go for a run or do whatever it takes to get yourself in the right place to lead.
If you are feeling highly energized give yourself a √
After reviewing the list, feel free to comment on any important items I should add to my checklist. Also please let me know if there are any items that are on the list but not important.
Count the number of ticks or checkmarks you have given yourself. If you have 8 or more then you are going to have a great year in 2015. If you scored less than 8, the good news is that you still have time to get things in place. At the end of the month, review your list and see how much progress you have made. There is a relationship between my sales managers checklist and success in sales.
Success is a mindset, make up your mind and you will achieve success.
Now let’s just do it!