A Battle Plan To Boost Sales9 Oct, 2009 By: Jim Kahrs imageSource
A Battle Plan To Boost Sales
The bottom line in a
tough economy is, everyone can use more sales. However, simply wishing for more
sales or brow beating the sales force will not bring in more business. To truly
grow your business in tough times it requires getting back to basics, and truly
executing on your plans. I believe it was the great Vince Lombardi that once
pulled the Green Bay Packers together and held up a ball to simply remind his
team that, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Talk about getting back to basics!
Yet how do we really get our sales reps and managers to re-think the basic
foundation of sales.
One basic principle of the Hubbard Management Systems states, “Look Don’t
Listen.” Too often dealer owners and sales managers don’t take the time to
meet with sales reps to really “see” what they are doing. They simply listen to
what the reps “say” they are doing. As a result, the reps don’t get the
coaching they need to improve or the direction they need to make the most of
their time. The best strategy for truly looking at what your sales reps are
doing is to have a weekly one-on-one meeting with each rep, first starting with
an outlined plan. The purpose is to get an understanding of what sales reps are
doing, to allow for coaching and direction, to review their pending business, to
build strategies for closing deals and to plan out the coming week. The sales
rep should come to the meeting prepared to discuss their activities from the
past week, their full pipeline of business and their plans for the coming week.
Review of Last Week’s Activity
The first purpose for tracking and reviewing activity is to make sure
that the rep is doing a viable amount of sales activity. Too often sales reps
don’t have enough activity to survive. If they aren’t getting in front of
enough prospects and customers then they will never succeed, no matter how good
they are. There is a make or break point here. The second purpose for tracking
and reviewing activity is to use the results to redirect the sales rep’s
attention and activities to produce more success. For example, if a sales rep
gets poor results from telephone cold calls but tremendous results from in
person cold calls you should be able to document and illustrate this from their
You need to:
Review Weekly Activity Report. The rep should bring with him/her a
report showing their activities for the past week. This report should show the
quantity types of activity. The initial goal is to have each rep meeting or
exceeding their activity quotas and documenting activities.
Review the Report for Accuracy. The sales manager should go through
the activity report and verify its accuracy by spot checking it against the
rep’s calendar. If the report & calendar don’t match you need to figure out
why. Is the rep forgetting to put all activities on the calendar? Even
falsifying the report? Any database sync problems?
Analyze Activity and Coach the Rep. The sales manager should analize
the activity to see if the rep’s getting a good balance of activity & if their
ratios are acceptable. If the team averages one appointment for every 20
telemarketing calls & one rep needs 40 calls to get an appointment, the ratio is
out of whack. The sales manager needs to find out why the rep is so far behind
and provide coaching and more training to improve.
Look for Undone Items on Calendar. Reps struggle to keep up with
calls, and once a backlog has begun it’s difficult to catch up. Some great
prospects remain buried in the backlog! Managers should help reps stay organized
or you’ve lost the true benefit of CRM software.
Review Sales Recap & Battle Plan
Review Rep’s Written Business to Date. The first step is to have the
rep review the business he’s written & turned in for the month. This sets the
stage for the meeting & month.
The Rep’s “Take it to the Bank” Forecast. The sales manager is looking
for the sales rep to give a forecast that can be banked upon for coming in
before the end of the month. This forces the rep to focus on the key deals that
are closeable now. The sales manager goes through each deal & strategizes with
Review Each of the Key Deals Pending. This asks the rep to list out
each of their key deals that are pending. The “take it to the bank” forecast
should be here & other key deals. The purpose is to gauge where the rep is,
offering coaching to close the deals or schedule other resources like having the
manager or owner visit with these accounts.
Review and Add to the
manager and sales rep should outline the major actions that need to take place
in the coming week. The manager should go back to last week’s recap and make
sure that the battle plan items were all completed.
Review the Rep’s Full Forecast. After reviewing the key deals and
setting up the basic battle plan for the week, the sales manager should briefly
review the rep’s full forecast, finding deals that can be brought up to the
forefront and closed more quickly.
Lastly, review the rep’s Appointments for the Coming Week; Prospecting
Plans for the Coming Week, and if the rep actually needs Help with Anything.
This allows for a discussion & plan for each and helps the manager determine if
other people are needed for the appointments. A good Battle Plan to boost sales
is now set.
Jim Kahrs is the Founder & President of Prosperity Plus Management
Consulting, Inc. and works in the office systems industry building revenue and
profitability, improving organizations structure using the Hubbard Management
System®. Contacts: 631 382-7762 or