I was often troubled that Stephen Covey was right! As the head of sales I was continuously investing my time on urgent activities and had almost no time left for important activities with no due dates! I ran from cross functional meetings to budget meetings, then to HR meetings. I even managed to approve expense reports and return a few phone calls. But at the end of every day I had no time left to focus on moving my organization to the next level.
Though my sales organization was expanding each year I knew that ultimately our effectiveness and performance would be driven by continuous improvement in all areas. There would never be a magical training program and even though I looked for the consultant to help me navigate I never found anyone with the breadth and depth of experience I needed.
So, being a graphical person, I began to draw out a development map. I wanted to create a guide consisting of all the variables that influenced sales results because I knew that once they were laid out we could honestly assess where the we resided and where the view the largest gaps. I wanted to take a balanced view of sales skills, culture, expectations, management, execution, leadership, training, rewards & recognition, metrics, CRM and everything else. At first the list was daunting until I realized that everything you could think of fit into one of four buckets:
- Sales Skills
- Sales Will
All thirty two of the variables I came up with fit neatly into the four buckets! (Well, I cheated a little to make it balance out correctly). But the point is, I have used this formula in several companies and used it to create incredible sales growth in a very few short years. In one year I was able to help a company grow sales by nearly 300%. I used this system to build a new sales organization within American Express that within four years was generating $1.3 Billion in incremental sales. I again used this system to improve sales at an established insurance company by 110% in less than 3 years.
Now as a consultant I use this system to help sales management executives pinpoint develop gaps in their organizations and to create field ready tools to begin the process of continuous improvement. The best attributes of these tools is that sales representatives get the attention and coaching they appreciate, field managers can easily spot and attend to those skill gaps that are block sales performance improvement and most of all everyone involved feels better about the organizational culture. Because my career started as a territory sales representative and ended as SVP of sales I have a unique understanding of how everything can work to everyone’s benefit.
Though I am new to the blogging world it is my intent to create a discussion around each of the 32 variables. My goal is to share a system that will bring all the knowledge that an experienced sales executive has from the subconscious to the conscious level.
Why would a sales performance consultant share their most valuable asset for free? A very good friend (DS) has convinced me that sharing things of value is the best possible way of building a sustainable business. After much deliberation (and reading) I believe her.
If you are an executive level sales leader interested in continually improving your organizations sales performance I will share everything with you and I only ask in return that you participate with your comments so that others will benefit from your ideas.
If you are currently in the process of reorganizing or right sizing your group I would be happy to forward a spreadsheet of the sales performance drivers and variables to you by email. This spreadsheet will help keep the discussions organized.
I am happy that this sales performance blog has gotten your attention. I am committed to providing you with the resource you need to help your sales teams face their challenges in 2009. CHEERS