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Can you manage sales numbers

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Can you manage sales numbers

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A common mistake that sales managers always do is to imagine that they can manage “numbers”; be they revenue, profits, or any business results numbers.
Numbers are an outcome! Outcomes cannot be managed, actions that lead to outcomes are what can be managed.

A common mistake that sales managers always do is to imagine that they can manage “numbers”; be they revenue, profits, or any business results numbers.
Numbers are an outcome! Outcomes cannot be managed, actions that lead to outcomes are what can be managed.

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Can you manage sales numbers

  1. 1. Can you manage sales numbers? A common mistake that sales managers always do is to imagine that they can manage “numbers”; be they revenue, profits, or any business results numbers. Numbers are an outcome! Outcomes cannot be managed, actions that lead to outcomes are what can be managed. Imagine a case between a sales manager and one of his sales persons (Ahmed) who has a target of 10 MUSD: - Sales manager: Ahmed, where do we stand on your target. The 3rd quarter is around the corner and I am concerned. - Ahmed: Hi boss, I think I will be in good shape, I am short by 1 MUSD that I will make from XYZ deal. I was with Mr. AAA yesterday and he assured me of the business. - Sales manager: What if you miss this deal? - Ahmed: I guess I should add more leads and prospects to my pipeline. - Sales manager: You know that you should have 2-3 times the expected revenue to the pipeline? You should add 3 MUSD to your pipeline to be on the safe side - Ahmed: Sure thing boss! I will work on it right away - Sales manager: Make sure you perform as many sales calls as you can, I do not want to see you in the office anymore… Good luck and tell me if you need my support! This is a recipe for disaster that usually leads to last minute firefighting and results in burning the profit margins to sweeten the deals and revenue provisions that are no longer acceptable in any reputable organization. Now, let us see a different dialogue that represents best practices in sales coaching where the sales manager calls Nadia for a focused coaching session: - Sales manager: Nadia, how are you doing today? Hope all is well - Nadia: Thank boss, all is well. - Sales manager: Nadia, in our last coaching session we talked about the following objective to achieve your target, I want to confirm that you have been working on them and their related sales activities: o We agreed that you need to add 20 new name accounts to central region o At least 50% of new name should be in Healthcare (to grab new business related to new regulations regarding medical record standard no. 111-222-3) o Up-sell to 50% existing Healthcare customers o Increase sales of XXX product (high margin) o Sign more renewals to increase recurring revenue by 30%
  2. 2. - Nadia: All done boss ! in fact I have done the following sales activities that we agreed on after our last coaching meeting: o I started performing daily prospecting using social media and other means. o I managed to make 15 prospecting calls every week, as a result I usually get on the average 3 meetings/week with new prospects (half of them in Healthcare). o Make 3 calls every week to existing healthcare customers to sell our medical record compliance solution o Prepared a list of potential customers who are candidate for product XXX o Performed 3 calls per week on XXX candidates o Studied current recurring revenue position and built a value proposition to “critical usage” customers who did not sign maintenance. & support contracts. o Performed weekly calls and close X number every month As you see in the second dialogue, the sales manager set objectives to achieve the results, then helped Nadia convert these sales objectives to sales activities that she can perform. The natural outcome is achieving the target revenue of 10 MUSD. This is the difference between a traditional sales manager who thinks he can “manage numbers” as opposed to a sales coach who helps his people think as entrepreneurs and business people to achieve a business outcome. Ashraf Osman Cairo, 2018

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