By Phil Harwood
Tags: Sales , Strategy , Projection ,
As we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S., I’d like to express our appreciation by giving you and your sales team some free consulting. Specifically, I’m going to help you being more strategic with sales in 2020.
Being strategic with sales begins with clarifying your projected sales increase (or decrease) for each service/product you offer. You will need to decide how granular to get with this process. For example, if you are a landscape contractor with multiple services, you may project sales by class (division), such as Landscape Maintenance, Lawn Care, Irrigation, Snow & Ice Management, etc. You may also project sales at a more detailed level, breaking out each class into specific services.
I often encounter people who avoid projections. They all have a reason for doing so. The problem is that it’s not very strategic to take a “let’s see what happens” approach. It’s much better to proactively create a plan and strive to achieve your plan than to get tossed around by whichever way the wind blows.
Next, take all of these sales projections and split them up by customer segment. For example, how much of Landscape Management sales is projected to be from retail properties, class A office, industrial, government, private residences, HOAs, apartments, etc.? You may need to clarify your customer segments to perform this step.
Once the first two steps are done, you will have the beginning of a solid sales strategy for 2020. Take a hard look at the work you’ve done so far. Plot the sales projections on a grid with customer segments on the x-axis (rows) and services on the y-axis (columns). Total up each row and column. Look at the numbers in terms of dollars and percent of total. Now is a good time to make any final changes.
The next step is to split up sales projections by each sales person. Each person with sales responsibility will receive their own grid, showing services and customer segments. This step provides great insight into each person’s strategy and the overall strategy for the company. It also nicely sets up the next step.
Each salesperson is to create a detailed plan to describe how they plan to hit their sales projections. This is where the rubber meets the road. What specific actions are going to be taken to be in a position to achieve the intended results?
The final step is to track and report actual sales compared to projections on a weekly basis to the rest of the team. This creates transparency and peer pressure to perform at a higher level. Tracking and reporting should be done within your company’s business management software, if it has the capability. If not, use Excel.
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Thank you for being part of our community and Happy Thanksgiving!
Now go forth.