Today's post is by LaVon Koerner chief revenue officer of Revenue Storm, which he cofounded in 2000 to offer companies worldwide a suite of comprehensive, proven tools and techniques for profitable revenue growth. Download Revenue Storm’s latest white paper, “Increase Revenue with a Winning Sales Culture.”
Whether it’s the start of a month, quarter, or fiscal year, all sales leaders have the same question: “What can I do now to ensure I hit my numbers?” After three decades of consulting and coaching top sales leaders around the globe, I’ve found that the most successful sales leaders do the following two things to ensure they hit their target:
1. They identify relationship vulnerabilities.
Let’s be honest. Your salespeople are regularly committing relational mistakes in accounts you cannot afford to lose entirely or from which you cannot afford to earn subpar revenue. Here are the three most common and damaging mistakes made in account relationships:
A. Underinvesting in the right people
There are certain people who can make a difference in how decisions are made; not everyone with the same title has the same clout. While it is often hard to detect and build relationships with these individuals, they are some of the most important and powerful people in the account. You can’t afford not to have them on your side.
B. Overinvesting in the wrong people
These people may be wonderful human beings who love your salesperson, offerings, and company. But so what? If they have no decision-making authority, budget, or influence, they can’t help you. Don’t bet your future in an account on the wrong people.
C. Missing certain key people altogether
These people may or may not be employees in the account; they may be consultants or advisors. Regardless, if they have the authority to say yes or no to your proposals, you must have them on your radar screen. Could your competitors know key people your salespeople don’t?
While you can’t eliminate these mistakes entirely, successful sales leaders make certain these mistakes are not occurring in their must-protect accounts. Start performing regular relationship audits to uncover any relational vulnerability that could put your revenue in harm’s way. Don’t start another day in the dark in this vital area!
2. They identify competitively vulnerable pursuits.
Can you honestly look at your pipeline and feel good about your year ahead? As you scroll down through the list of opportunity names, do you know which ones you’re at risk of losing? Are you able to identify which opportunities are real and which are just your salesperson’s wishful thinking? From a coaching perspective, do you know where your involvement could make a difference and where it would be a total waste of time?
As you look intently into your future revenue, these are the questions you must be able to answer in time to take corrective action. These answers won’t come easily from your salespeople, who probably don’t want to discuss negative possibilities; however, as a sales leader, you need to realize that it’s best to get bad news as soon as possible. You want the bad news about your revenue when you can still do something about it. You need to know – really know – the good, the bad, and the ugly, and you need to know it now!
Start scrubbing your pipeline by answering the questions I’ve outlined in this post. You should be able to get the answers you need and want without guessing about your revenue potential or probability of winning.
At the end of the year, don’t look back and find that the reason for your revenue short-fall was in either of these two areas over which you can have control:
- a loss of must-protect strategic accounts, due to relationship vulnerabilities;
- a loss of must-win pursuits, due to competitive vulnerabilities.
See how Revenue Storm clients use science-based tools to address these two areas in this 3-minute video.
Download Revenue Storm’s latest white paper, “Increase Revenue with a Winning Sales Culture” to learn how a science-based approach to coaching creates a framework for positivity, greater collaboration, and increased revenue.