Now is the time to shape 2017.
Unless you have already made significant ongoing improvements to your sales talent, systems, and culture, there is little you can do to measurably move the sales revenue needle for 2016.
The sales "train" has already left the station. 2016 is largely baked in.
What is destined to happen in 2016 was put into motion 12 to 24 months ago.
It will take at least 12-24 months to meaningfully improve your sales revenue flywheel.Outside of improving the product / service and merging / acquiring another company, you must do several of the following to increase sales:
- Hire more salespeople.
- Hire better salespeople.
- Implement enhanced sales systems (CRM, sales approach, etc)
- Improve your sales culture (see "better salespeople").
All of the above takes a mindset of continuous improvement, collaboration, planning, and execution. This spells time.
Notice I said, "you must improve the following to increase sales." Yes, you could focus on just one of the above-mentioned areas to improve sales. However, in order to dramatically increase sales, you are going to need to improve at least three of the four areas.
Do you have the management team in place to dramatically increase sales in 2017?
All problems start at the head...
Do you have the kind of sales management required to dramatically grow your business model in 2017? Create a list of your sales management and ask yourself, "Would I hire this particular person again for this sales management role?" If you are not using a job benchmark coupled with a multi-science sales personality test, it is unlikely you do.
Wherever you say, "No," you must make a change. Do it right now.
Do you have enough of the right salespeople in place to dramatically increase sales in 2017?
All problems walk on two feet...
Do you have the kind of salespeople required to dramatically drive sales in 2017? If you are not using a job benchmark coupled with a multi-science sales personality test, it is unlikely you do.
Create a list of your salespeople and ask yourself, "Would I hire this salesperson again for this sales role?"
Wherever you say, "No," you must make a change.
Do you have the necessary sales systems in place to dramatically increase sales in 2017?
When is the last time your salespeople were trained?
Do you have a defined sales process? Do your salespeople follow it?
Do you have a CRM? Do your salespeople follow it?
Do you have the necessary sales culture to dramatically increase sales in 2017?
Does your sales culture make excuses?
Is your sales culture focused on continuous improvement?
Do you allow low performers to stay on the "bus" indefinitely?
Three additional barriers to dramatically increasing sales in 2017.
Deciding, getting buy-in, and creating new habits take time.
You must decide and doing nothing is a decision. To dramatically drive sales and make real change, you must be willing to get rid of some things to make room for new ideas and people.
Bad sales processes must be exchanged for good ones. Low performing salespeople must be exchanged for high job fit salespeople. It takes time to make this decision.
Assuming you could make the decision to do whatever it took to improve talent, systems, and culture right now, it takes time to get the buy-in of others. You will not get anywhere without buy-in.
It takes time to develop new habits. According to psychological research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it can take 18-254 days for a habit to form.
Do you play to win or not-to-lose?
Do you really want to dramatically increase sales in 2017?
Hope is not a strategy. The mindset of your sales team is a direct reflection of your perspective. Your sales managers and ultimately your salespeople do what you do.