Sales sprints

# 35 – October 2013

We, at Sahlgren & Skog, often get the following customer question going into the last quarter.
“We are behind expectations going into the final quarter; what should we do to make sure we reach our sales goal?”

We recommend the following procedure:

1. Exploring additional opportunities
A meeting of all players to identify potential extra revenue opportunities could prove very beneficial. The meeting itself will serve to refocus and reinforce management’s interest in meeting the established goals, and the sales force is probably the best source for these untapped money earners. Examples of additional opportunities could be add – on sales of peripherals, selling or prolonging maintenance agreements, signing up customers for user training, etc.

2. Setting targets
Set targets for what to achieve during the sprint period. If you have identified any extra revenue sources, include these in the target setting.
Break down the targets to each selling person (remember – sometimes other roles than “sales reps” could be the ones generating the revenue).
Furthermore, break down the targets into short time intervals so you can track the sales sprint. If you work in an industry where the results can’t be measured in the short run, you can break down the results into milestones and activities.

3. Following up
This is the most critical step. Follow up is the interaction between an employee and their manager. Sending out status reports or checking CRM systems does not meet this requirement. The follow up procedure and its format is vitally important to create a sense of management interest and urgency during the sales sprint.
Follow up should be done throughout the entire sprint period, preferably on a weekly basis (in some industries on a daily basis. The difficulties associated with the follow up procedure should not prevent you from doing them regularly and well.

4. Keeping scores
Use the power of the competitive nature in sales people by presenting the results in a compelling scoreboard, ranking the performance of the individuals.
The scoreboard could also be tied to a sales competition where good performances will have extra incentives. Based on our experience, the sizes of these rewards are not the key thing – the competition in itself is the main motivator.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to find ways to finish the year in a strong way. To formulate a specific sprint strategy adapted to your particular business – contact us and we can discuss further.