Revenue is king. It is the primary focus for most sales leaders, and the measuring stick for sales success. While revenue is an important indicator of sales success, sales leaders also need to broaden their focus to consider the sustainability of revenue over a long period of time. Sales leaders who focus on achieving repeatable results through an effective sales process will consistently realize the revenue they desire.
SLiA Group Sales Leadership in Action Group Exclusive Short Term Revenue Focus, Long Term Business Issues Executive Summary: Revenue is king. It is the primary focus for most sales leaders, and the measuring stick for sales success. While revenue is an important indicator of sales success, sales leaders also need to broaden their focus to consider the sustainability of revenue over a long period of time. Sales leaders who focus on achieving repeatable results through an effective sales process will consistently realize the revenue they desire. Bottom Line & Business Impact: Sale leaders who are aware of their actions and decisions, and constantly work with reps to create a process and culture, will not only achieve the desired sales revenue, but will do so consistently in both the short and long term. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 1 Sales Leaders are Revenue Focused Revenue is the name of the game. While the ﬁnancial reward is key; it is important to focus on the process that leads sales reps to that end. Even though an exclusive focus on revenue will result in sales, these results are rarely sustained over a long period of time. Sales leaders cannot focus on monetary returns today at the expense of losing future Lay of the Land revenue and abandoning their process. Too often sales leaders do not consider the repercussions of their short term decisions. If sales leaders want to have repeated success, they must be able to identify how they got to the result. Understanding the process by which revenue is generated will make it repeatable. Repeatable results equal success now, and in the future. Success is created through: • A Quality Process • Motivating the Sales Team • Deﬁning Sales Success A Quality Process When sales leaders constantly focus on revenue, there is too much emphasis placed on the end result without concern for implications. While results do have an important place within the sales industry, there has to be more emphasis placed on how results are achieved. Mastering an effective process is the key to achieving repeatable results. Sales teams that have continuously honed their skills and follow an effective process increase their performance. Sales leaders must be aware that a short term revenue push can be at the expense of following a sales process. Research indicates that following a sales process increases revenue by up to 20%. Top reps do not achieve their status based on skill or talent alone. They have also realized the value in following an effective process (Please see “Buyer Engagement Process”). Mastering their craft is what has allowed them to repeatedly achieve desired end results. Sales leaders must be aware of the consequence of short term revenue gain versus the long term effects: • Current deals can be lost • It will impact annual sales • It may damage their relationship with reps and buyers • When the process is frequently discarded to get short term revenue, the credibility and impact of the sales process is lost • Short term decisions hurt sales culture • Distorts the accuracy of the sales funnel and forecasting • The long term viability of the company is compromised There must be conﬁdence in funnel accuracy and the sales process. The more diligent the organization is at following the sales process, the better position they will be in to have a more accurate funnel. A quality process can be broken down into smaller, more manageable parts. A sales rep’s ability to master the day to day tasks involved in an effective sales process will ensure long term revenue success. Any rep can achieve great © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 2 sales results once. It is the repeated results that make a good sales rep great. Sales leaders who emphasize process over results will have more successful sales reps and a more sustained stream of revenue to anticipate. Motivating the Sales Team Revenue is not the means of motivation. There are many other methods that can motivate sales reps to improve their performance. Sales leaders need to be congruent with their actions, and manage their reps the right way. Since sales leaders are in an inﬂuential position, they need to model the behavior they expect from their reps. If sales leaders solely focus on revenue, so will their sales reps. Therefore, sales leaders must use best practices and create a quality sales culture if they want their reps to do the same. The right motivational culture is built when sales leaders invest in their reps, and treat them right on a day in and day out basis. Strong sales leaders motivate their sales staff. Motivated and engaged sales reps generate higher revenue and close more often. Too often sales leaders use results as a means to inspire. While this can be an effective motivational tool for some, for others it can also be a detractor and have little or no impact. Focusing on sales performance as a motivational tool creates hierarchy within a sales team. For example, • Steve has achieved 110% of target to date • Dawn has achieved 90% of target to date • Robert has achieved 75% of target to date A list similar to this may not create motivation, especially for sales reps that are near the bottom. It could even cause them to be discouraged, rather than motivated to achieve more revenue. Ranking is also just a number. Therefore, sales reps may still be missing an important piece of information: that is, how to achieve the number. It is tough to be motivated without knowing how to repeat a result. Sales leaders have to focus on other areas for motivation. To keep sales reps motivated, sales organizations must make growth and learning part of their organizational culture. Most sales reps want access to personal and professional opportunities. They want to work their way up through the organization. Sales leaders should use this desire as a way to challenge and motivate their sales reps. Many forward thinking sales organizations feed their employees’ desires to learn and grow by creating advancement programs. It is now very common for organizations to have corporate libraries equipped with a plethora of learning tools that promote advancement. Readily available training and learning seminars have also become common practice to keep motivation levels high. Deﬁning Sales Success Sales leaders need to manage with the right process. They need to be congruent with their staff and follow through with activities in the same manner they expect from their reps. Sales leaders should avoid changing their process or expectations in the middle of an initiative. Reps are creatures of habit and are most comfortable when consistent practices are followed. Sales leaders must have a management process that is directly correlated to the sales process their reps follow. This creates a consistent and rep centered motivational culture. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 3 Sales success is deﬁned in terms of consistency. Top performing sales departments repeatedly achieve revenue targets. This is accomplished by a motivated staff following a sales process that is repeated time and time again. The focus is not solely on the end result; rather, the focus is on sales leaders who can ﬁnd a balance between the need for current revenue and following an effective process. A successful sales process must include: • Routine: Sales reps must be a creature of habit. They have to make calls, prospect, follow up, and create proposals on a regular basis. Consistency is the key to a successful sales process. • Capability: Sales reps must have the capability to effectively follow through with the sales process. Sales leaders have to work with sales reps through coaching and training to help them develop their sales skills in all areas. • Timing: Timing is always a factor. Sales leaders have to ensure their sales process is neither too long nor too short in duration. They have to create timing that is right for all concerned and which takes the buyer’s purchasing process into consideration. • Consistency: Sales leader must set expectations and follow through with them. They must stick to the process they have created for their reps. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 4 Putting into Practice Creating a Prospecting Tracking Process Finding Real Prospects Sales Leaders Must Enforce Prospecting Coach on an Individual Basis Effective One-on-One Coaching How to Identify when Something is Wrong with the Sales Process Ways to Recognize Sales Reps You Cannot Motivate Anyone Sale Leadership in Action Group products are for the exclusive use of SLiA Group’s clients, and for internal purposes only. Members can use the document in whole or in part. The products are to be used for internal purposes only, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the paid memberships. Members may customize the tools and templates by editing titles, headers and footers with their company information. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 5
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