As companies pass the midpoint of 1Q17, sales leaders should have already distributed quotas to sellers. However, Alexander Group’s (AGI) recent sales quota survey indicates that 43 percent of respondents delivered quotas more than one month late. Twenty-five percent of respondents were more than two months late! Delivering quotas late demonstrates disorganization and breeds a lack of confidence in the quota process. Companies that fall into one of these categories should consider conducting a post-mortem on their processes and plan to do better next year. For companies that did distribute their quotas on time, below are five actions AGI recommends in 1Q:
- Check in With Front-Line Sales Managers (FLSMs): Confirm that the serious one-on-one sit-down quota meetings did occur. Ensure sales managers delivered the quotas as planned and in a consistent way to all. Understand any feedback and concerns from sales representatives about hitting numbers. Sellers should understand company goals, sales strategy and associated go-to-customer motions. This is a critical starting position for the sales team.
- Targeting: With new quotas in hand, verify that sellers have basic enablement components such as prioritized target lists and an understanding of the selling, service or marketing motions against those targets.
- Playbooks: Another basic enablement check is the use of sales playbooks. Make sure sellers understand activities, tools and processes that ensure optimal engagement with key decision makers. Make sure they have the right compelling messages for opportunities within their revenue segments.
- New Products or Services: Ensure that any new metric in the sales compensation plan and corresponding quota gets seller attention. Getting out of the blocks in 1Q is critical here. Sellers often ignore new product quotas in Q1 as they focus on selling the familiar first.
- To-Date Performance: Collect mid-term attainment data for 1Q17. Plot the attainment curves. If weakness exists, get ahead now with further enablement levers. For many clients, 1Q is often a weaker performance quarter. A sober look early, based on comprehensive quota diagnostics at the mid-point of 1Q, can be quite beneficial. Surprisingly, only about 40 percent of AGI’s clients actively track attainment distributions by quarter throughout the year.
Now is the time to follow up on your newly released quotas. Start asking questions around some basic enablement issues, and assess 1Q attainments now.
Visit the AGI Sales Quotas practice page to learn more about how AGI helps organizations build effective sales quotas.
Contact an Alexander Group sales quotas specialist.