Exclusive Short Term Revenue Focus, Long Term Business Issues by gregvanderlindeslia


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									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

                     • 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

                  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

   © 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

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© 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com                                                                  Page 5

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