Do the right things well
The outcome most consultants want from business development mentoring is increased revenue and profit. So, when I start working with my clients we inevitably set sales targets and create a ‘rough cut’ plan for their achievement.
However, I always caution my clients that while sales targets are great as the ultimate measure of success, they’re not much good as yardstick for measuring progress along the way. Here’s an example of why that is.
The million pound quota
In my first sales job the target for the year was a nice round £1M revenue. I moved into that job 9-months into the year and negotiated a 3-month grace period to get my feet under the table. So the target was adjusted to just £500,000.
I didn’t sell much at all that year
In fact at year-end I was at 6% of target. Yes 6%. I was almost fired. Fortunately my boss spoke up for me (thanks Hugh) and I keep my job. But I was feeling despondent, I’d failed, my confidence had taken a knock.
Fortunately another, very successful, salesman (thanks Adrian) sat me down and told me a fact of sales performance nobody else had mentioned. This is what he said.
“Clive, forget about the numbers. You’re doing all the right things. Keep doing them. Get better at them. Do more of them. Success will follow.”
And that’s what I did. The following year I hit 120% of target, and the year after that too, the rest – as they say – is history.
Doing the right things well
Sales performance is all about doing the right things well. And to do that you need:
- To know what the right things are;
- A plan to do these right things consistently and
- The scorecard for measuring your progress.
What are the right things?
Well that depends. But for a consultant they might include activities like:
- Reaching out to 5 new prospects each week;
- Getting your name in the press at least once a quarter;
- Spending more time in meetings asking questions and listening;
- Meeting more decision makers, and less recommenders;
- Researching prospect’s unconsidered needs and presenting them;
These are just examples. Take time out to figure out which activities will set you up for success. Keep score and measure their progress on a weekly basis. I know you’ll be surprised by what you find. Drop me a note and let me know how you get on.
Once you’ve decided what the right things are for your sales success, seek to improve them, do them consistently, and do them more often.
If you need help with this, or to keep on track ask me about regular mentoring.