Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Prepping for the Home Stretch

An excellent article from

Get an A on Your Next Sales Report Card
by Skip Miller
You made it!

You have the first half of the year done, and things are not too bad. Some of you are a bit ahead of plan, some a bit behind, but you have the rest of the year to make it. The ramp is steep, but time is on your to speak.

Just like in college, this is the mid-term, and if you remember your days back in school, here are some basic rules regarding mid-terms.

1. Prepare for the final
You do not want to be in November looking up at a huge hill. It's the 3rd quarter that will make or break you, so get that pipeline full. Pipeline management is the number one reason people made or missed the 2nd quarter. Get the maybe's out and prospect broad and deep to fill

2. Drop the courses you are not doing well at
This would apply to C prospects and C salespeople. If you keep the C prospects, your pipeline accuracy is shot. Up to 40% of your current pipeline are maybe's. Get them out. Managers, keep the C players, and you may as well kiss off 2011. Ask great qualification questions to the management of your prospects. Start interviewing; you may be surprised what talent is out there.

3. Get your B's to A's
This again goes to prospects and salespeople. Have Solution Box conversations with the management of your top prospects. No Cause, no I-Date, no deal. Ask your A players what they need for the balance of the year to overachieve, and really listen. You may be surprised what they need to make a big year-end splash for their quota, and yours, is within your reach.

4. Add resources
Time to allocate all the resources you have into getting good prospects into the funnel. Your team has 6 months to close these deals, but come September, good luck trying to fill the funnel, when everyone else, including your buyers, are making decisions. All hands on deck...fill the funnel and go see your top 2010 prospects.

5. Ask questions
Best way to qualify is to disqualify.

"Why would you go ahead this year and fund this solution?"
"What return are you getting on this investment?"
"How is this helping you lower your business risk?"
"Where does this solution save you time?"

If your prospect can not answer business value questions...are they really going to spend money?? They like you??

There seem to be more mines in the minefield in the second half of the year than the first, if that's possible. How you navigate with the right tools, the right prospects and the right resources will heavily influence the final score. Your final score. Your year is over by the end of September. Get moving, and have a great summer.

A recognized authority on the psychology of sales performance, Skip Miller has helped countless companies, already at the height of success in their respective fields, achieve an even greater level of sales productivity and success. Learn more at

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