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Trustpointe, Inc. | Indianapolis, IN

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by Duane Weber

Tis the season!  Not the holidays… planning. It’s mid-November so I’m guessing that your 2016 sales plan is nearly complete. No? But you are putting together a plan? No? I am aware of companies who simply assign across the board sales increases to their sales team based upon some quasi-analyzed projected 2016 budget. The presentation to the sales team is typically met with a collective groan and then the name-that-excuse game about half-way through the year. 

Goal-setting need not be an overly complicated exercise. As a matter of fact, The Sandler Cookbook is downright simple, yet effective. It’s not necessary to spend hours and hours planning. Here are 3 quick tips to get you pointed in the right direction:

Get personal

Understanding your sales team’s goals and dreams is invaluable. There is something powerful in demonstrating to your team that you want to see them succeed, personally. Everyone works because they want to live a certain lifestyle. Income is simply the vehicle that allows us to live the lifestyle we want. A good, quick read on this subject is “The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly. My real-life experience supporting employee’s goals and dreams is testament to the success that can be achieved.

Collaboration is Key

No one likes to have numbers thrown at them and then be told “git ‘er done.” There is no buy-in on the salespersons part. Instead, give your salespeople the sales template and ask them to complete it. You’ll be surprised. The salesperson will likely enter numbers higher than you. If they’re high or lower understand why. Adjust as necessary. If you reach and impasse, tie goes to the manager. Make that perfectly clear, but in a nurturing manner.

Monitor Leading Indicators

Sales plans don’t begin and end with KPIs like sales and gross profit. That’s a start but it’s not enough. Leading indicators are those activities that lead to results. For example, if a salesperson makes cold calls, how many calls do they need to make each week to deliver the expected results? For example, I know that in my world 68 dials lead to 7 conversations, 4 appointments, and 1 new client. Tracking the leading indicators from your various prospecting activities will also help you understand which are the most effective. 

A sales team engaged in the planning process will be more engaged in its execution. 

At Sandler Training, Trustpointe, we help sales leaders and teams create game-winning plans. To learn more about cookbooks and recipes for success contact Duane Weber at or 317-605-0932.  

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