A VP of Sales recently recounted his dismay over his meeting with the principal of one of his rep firms. He asked the principal about how he manages his goal setting and planning with his reps. The principal’s reply, “I don’t micro-manage my reps. If orders are coming in I am happy. When the number falls we talk.” The VP was stunned at the reply.
This new VP’s mission was to support his reps and help guide their sale efforts. His objective was to explore his rep firms’ game plans for calling on and supporting existing customers, calling on new prospects, generating more quotes and closing more sales. This firm had no goals and no plans, and no system to track either. They simply took whatever orders came in over the transom. (Time to find a new rep firm, perhaps?)
Achieving success in sales as well as in life requires setting goals, making plans and successfully executing those plans. The old bromides are true: 1) “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” 2) Goals without plans are just wishes.” 3) Regarding goals and planning, “When you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.”
This VP was fortunate that he knew his market so well. He knew the number of customers and the definitive number of prospects in each territory. He wanted every rep to set realistic goals for the following and create plans for achieving them:
Number of calls on existing customers/week
Number of calls on new prospects/week
Number of new quotes from customers/week
Number of new quotes from prospects/week
Number of quote wins for each
In my previous sales life in industrial advertising, my publisher knew every ad run in our twelve leading competitors in every territory. We knew how much how much of that total we carried, so we knew our share of market. We knew revenue potential. Every rep was expected to set goals for the above numbers and create an annual business plan for achieving them and to grow sales and market share.
If you are a salesperson do you set personal performance and sales goals? Does your management provide you with the tools, expertise, training and support to achieve realistic goals?
If you are a sales manager do you work with your salespeople to set realistic sales goals and help them develop and execute their plans?
Professionals salespeople and management understand the value of creating, updating and successfully executing annual sales plans. I have seen the value of proper goal setting, planning and training over and over again with many clients. And they value having tools to measure achievement and success. What goals and plans for success do you have?