The beginning of the year in sales always starts with a number. Then it moves to getting to the number. Sales leadership spends a lot of time going through plans, setting quota, preparing for Q1, looking at the pipeline, etc. Everyone is looking forward and the management process on making the number begins.
What is often missed however, is a good solid understanding of what the team is going to need to make the number. I’m not sure why this is missed so often, but it is.
Sales leaders, pull out your 2012 sales strategy right now. Go through it and take note of how much of it is dedicated to sales support and enablement. How much of the budget is allocated to sales improvement or support tools? How much of the plan focuses on training? How much of the strategy focuses on value proposition development? How much of the strategy focuses on marketing and collateral support? How much of the plan DOESN’T focus on direct go to market and numbers making? If the plan as good coverage in all of these things, you have a good plan. But if your plan is like most, it’s lacking in almost all of these areas.
The best thing sales leadership can do in 2012 is support the sales team. In order to do this, you have to build team support and enablement into your overall sales strategy. Like a go to market strategy, critical analysis is paramount.
Take a look at your plan for 2012 then ask a very simple question. What does my team need today, that they don’t have to make the number? Ask the question over and over. Each answer should then become an initiative. If the answer is nothing, unless you’ve already asked the question, your not being honest with yourself.
Sales teams are not ready made, out of the box organizations. They require care and feeding. The best organizations understand this.
Ask the team what they feel is missing. Ask them what they think would make it easier to make their number. Ask them what you could provide to accelerate sales. Get familiar with the team’s weaknesses and strengths. Identify initiatives that will offset the weaknesses and leverage the strengths. Getting to your number, growing sales, and moving product is more than setting revenue targets and creating motivational rewards and recognition. Getting to your number means getting the most out of your team and that requires support.
Know what your team is lacking, know where it is weak, know where it is strong. Know what could make it stronger and then give it what it needs.
What is your sales support and enablement strategy? Do you have one? You should!