We are now into the second quarter of the calendar year 2018. First quarter revenues should begin to give you a better picture of how your sales forecast and actual performance is aligning. Last year when putting your budgets together you used the best information at the time to plan and begin to deploy tactics and strategies to affect sales growth. By reviewing your performance to plan, you can take corrective action if needed or expand your tactics to capture a large portion of the sales objectives set forward in your plan.
I met with a client the other day and we joked about the saying – “Nothing happens till the sale happens.” There is no truer statement about running a business. You can have perfect processes and procedures. You can hire and develop the best employees. Your products and/or services can be top shelf quality. If you don’t sell, you don’t need any of those other things.
Those of you who have been running a business for 5 or more years most likely have this mantra ringing in your head naturally. You are always interested in the next sale opportunity. When is it going to close? What can you do to help move it along etc.? Even when your business has grown to the point where you have sales management handling the daily sales activities, you as the owner still want to know where “Sales” stand. It is not that you are not interested in all the other aspects of the business but without sales, none of the other pieces of the puzzle are needed. More importantly, without sales, it is almost impossible to keep the rest of the well-oiled machine moving.
When there are sales slumps, people get nervous. Top talent wants to work for and be on the best teams. When top talent begins to leave a business, then stopping the bleeding becomes a full-time job which distracts from selling. When top talent leaves, hiring, and re-training must take place which distracts from selling. When top talent leaves, existing processes and procedures get fouled up which again causes a distraction away from selling. These internal challenges then spill out into your customers which in turn potentially cause them to leave which not only distracts from selling but new sales are placed in jeopardy because they begin to question why such a change in personnel, processes, and products.
This week, once you have your first quester numbers, set some quality time aside to look them over. Don’t just acknowledge what the value of the numbers are but do some analysis as to how they compare to the plan and what caused the end result to happen. If better than plan, what can you learn from your actions and replicate them moving forward? If not up to plan objectives, what needs to be done to get them not just back on track but move them from average performance to accelerated performance.
Not actively engaged in your sales numbers? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 for an initial conversation on setting up a culture to support the preservation of your company.