Top 2 Things Sales Organizations Can Do to Exceed Sales in 2018

If you are like most sales organizations, you are being tasked to grow sales in 2018. Here are two proven ways to make sure it happens:

#1 Invest in Your Sales Managers

Whether or not you achieve your sales goals in 2018 is going to be up to the quality of skills of your front-line sales managers. How well they execute their jobs determines whether you will achieve your revenue goals. It’s that simple. Why? Because they are responsible for:

  • Overseeing the performance of your team
  • Setting expectations
  • Developing sales plans
  • Crafting account strategies
  • Creating your sales culture
  • Reinforcing desired activities
  • Holding people to account
  • Reviewing the pipeline of opportunities
  • Motivating, coaching and developing each salesperson
  • Conducting dynamic sales meetings
  • Coordinating the training each person needs
  • Recruiting new talent

How well are your sales leaders executing these tasks? By investing in the development of your sales leaders – your ROI is immediate and tangible.

#2 Upgrade your Sales Team

Most sales teams need to replace a few low performers. Sales hires are expensive. You have to pay to find them [recruiter], pay staff to vet and hire them, train your products, process, systems and process, meet your customers, etc. It typically takes over a year for most salespeople to ‘hit their stride’ and start paying off. When you hire new sales personnel this year, will you upgrade the quality of your sales force? Or, will you merely replace ‘head count’ that will or won’t perform, will be gone within 2 years [the average tenure of a new sales hire], and fail to pay for themselves?

There are things you can put in place that will ensure you are upgrading your sales force with every hire:

  • Create a systematic hiring process that everyone across your organization uses.
  • Teach interviewers how to dig into a resume to determine actual past accomplishments.
  • Always talk to people who know their past work – preferably industry colleagues rather than former employers.
  • Use role playing and scenarios in addition to behavioral questions in the interview. Observe real time the candidate’s skills.
  • Invest in developing the interviewing skills of your sales managers.
  • Implement objective sales specific assessments to provide objective data [Objective Management Group’s family of sales assessments have been rated #1 for the past 6 years.]
  • Test your candidates early in the hiring process and don’t ignore the findings – especially the warning signs.
  • Use objective sales specific assessment data to give interviewers an advantage when considering candidates. Dig into areas that may potentially limit the candidate’s success. Make sure your sales managers know ahead of time what they will have to coach and develop.

One additional stellar performer can not only help you attain your revenue goals for next year, they can set a new higher standard for performance for your entire sales team while bringing best practices that elevate everyone’s results.

If you plan to invest in your sales effort next year – focus on these two areas. They provide the biggest return on your investment.

Here’s to meeting and exceeding your 2018 sales goals!