As a follow up to our recent post “Is Your Sales Forecast Giving You a False Sense of Security” I think it’s pretty safe to assume that your company has at least a few of the signs we listed that may indicate your CRM installation is failing (or is “sub-optimal” as CRM integrators like to say). Please don’t feel bad, many companies we work with struggle when it comes to getting their sales people and sales leaders to using the CRM properly and fully leveraging its power. This isn’t a new issue; however in this post we’d like to suggest a new approach that can help you do something about it.
Basically you have two options:
1. You can continue the beatings until morale improves (“Ok team, get your CRM updates in by Friday or else!). I’m joking, but this is actually quite common.
2..Or you can try something different. An option we’re helping our clients focus on as they drive remarkable sales growth is to simplify things by using a goals-based coaching methodology.
We’ve built an entire system around this and if you want the details you can send us anemail. For purposes of this post let’s keep it simple. Have everyone on your sales team identify a small number of goals to focus on for the upcoming quarter. These should be meaningful, achievable, easy-to-measure goals that align with their territory plan and their annual sales goals. How many goals? A good target in our opinion is three (3) business goals and one (1) personal goal.
For example, quarterly goals may include:
Sales People – acquiring a new account in an under-served vertical market or in an under-served geographical market, selling new/additional products or services to existing clients, achieving certain revenue goals (new revenue, profit margin, etc.), or holding a top-of-funnel event to attract new prospects to the sales funnel (e.g. lunch and learns, breakfast events, networking mixers, etc.)
Sales Manager – making a key hire, increasing profit margin across the team, improving forecast accuracy, shortening the sales cycle, improving proposal win ratios, creating more consistent LinkedIn profiles across their team, etc.
Personal Goals – these goals can be anything from fitness-related goals (losing weight, working out more consistently, eating better), to family-related goals (home by 6, family vacation, coaching your child’s team, etc.), to personal development goals (reading three books, taking a class, learning a language, and so on).
When sales people create a handful of meaningful goals (both business and personal) and begin to see the company as the means through which to achieve their goals, it is easier to motivate them and hold them accountable. And when a sales manager supports their team by understanding both the business and personal goals of every team member and discussing these goals during a formal weekly coaching session, it becomes easier to stay focused on the right activities and behaviors that drive success. And this focus and clarity will absolutely help you cut through the data fog we see too many failed CRM installations create. You might be surprised how powerful an impact this coaching methodology can have on your organization and sales growth. If you’d like some help getting started, please contact us.