At this point you now know if you made your revenue plan or not for 2018. It’s onwards and upwards into summer and now time to take a look at how well your customer facing team is equipped to meet the challenges ahead.

We have looked at the quantitative components that Management assesses to identify the producers from the laggards; how you answer the following questions will help determine what skills your sales professionals need to master and execute on a regular basis to meet and exceed plans.

See if you can match the question posed with the corresponding sales skill (answers at the bottom of the article):

  1. How many of the qualified opportunities in your current sales pipeline were initiated by the seller?
  2. What title(s) most commonly appears in the field for primary point of contact? Is that a decision maker’s title?
  3. How well matched are your company’s product (service) capabilities with the prospect’s business objectives?
  4. What value (outside of product/price) will the prospect’s organization be able to identify while working with your company?
  5. How far into the prospect’s evaluation period of a sale will they engage with a seller?
  6. Who in your sales team held the margin line in the negotiations, and who caved to the buyer’s pressure?

How well can the individuals on your teams execute each skill? And if they need additional coaching to be proficient (most do), can their Sales Manager provide tools and techniques to improve? Our customers benefit from a customized sales process that is embedded into a reporting tool that allows for real time review and updates.

By using the questions above, and analyzing the answers, managers identify who has the skills and who doesn’t, and reflects what skills need to be worked on. This is how your qualitative analysis of skills can be analyzed in relation to the quantitative assessment.

We work with a company that calculated the cost of every sales call at $400.00. They discovered that many of the calls were to prospects that would never produce enough revenue to cover the cost of the calls made required from start to finish (1 through 6 above). The managers were then tasked to analyze how well the reps could execute each step, and identify where the coaching was required. As a result, the reps’ overall skills improved, the amount of time spent on the wrong prospects was reduced and revenue results increased with fewer overall calls being made. In essence, the focus is on the quality of the calls versus the quantity of calls conducted.

And as promised, here are the skills that match each question above: 1) New Business Development 2) Accessing Key Players 3) Qualification and Positioning 4) Establishing Value 5) Opportunity Management/Forecasting 6) Negotiation.

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