1. Truly define a clear focus of the 2020 Big Picture of your business.
The Economy and the Media cannot be the determining source of information for Sales Forecasting. Sales leaders must gain custom perspective for their company by conducting Customer account reviews to advise internal projections in 2020. Involve Sales personnel for input on sales targets by existing account and new accounts to be gained in 2020 for an inside look. Also use a 1-3 year KPI analysis for Revenue that reflect baseline, trends and seasonality. Often you can gain industry partner input from your network and interpret feedback based on cumulative factors.
2. Forecast 3 Scenarios for Revenue in 2020.
The first of course is the BEST-Best case scenario if everything goes beyond well with projections of new and existing account growth. The second is the WORST case scenario where you expect your existing customer base to decline and net new business to be marginal. The third scenario is your BUDGET line or expected case line to be used for operational and budgeting purposes. This exercise is a great way to gain perspective across your senior management team.
3. Opportunities & Blindspots.
Every company should have new opportunities in the year ahead. Whether it is new markets, specific new customer targets, new product roll outs, etc. Spend some time reflecting, planning and communicating with your sales team to create a Positive Outlook to motivate the year. Blindspots must also be examined – How do you see them if they are Blindspots? Ask your salespeople, customers and key management team for what they would change if they were the boss and see what answers follow.
4. Assess the Sales Organization.
What are our top performers expecting for 2020? What tools and assistance do they need to raise their already high bar? Do not fall into the trap of ignoring them because they are already top performers and put all of your resources and management effort into the middle and bottom of the sales team. Identify the Movable Middle of your sales team, who has peaked in mediocrity and who can climb? Let’s face the brutal truth with the bottom 20% of your sales team. Do they solve other roles and provide value? Should they move to account management or sales support or could their accounts and leads be handled by other sales team members?
5. Acknowledge 2019 Successes and Communicate the 2020 Plan to the Sales Organization.
People need and desire positive recognition, communication and action plans. How many leaders and managers spend a majority of their time, effort and communication fixing problems, addressing problems and working separately from the sales team on products, policies etc. Use the Q4 and Q1 windows to communicate highly positive messages focusing on Successes of 2019 and Opportunities for 2020. Maintain this monthly and see what a change will develop in your Sales Culture.
Thank you for reading the Sales Leadership post from John Polumbo and Winning Edge Selling, Inc. Please feel free to contact us to discuss or learn more.