Is Your Sales Team Ready? by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

The fourth quarter is fast approaching, and before you know it, year’s end will be here. It’s time to check up on the goals you set with your sales team at the beginning of the year and take note of your progress. If you’re behind on your goal, here are some things to consider in helping ensure you reach those sales goals by the end of the year.

Look at the trends. Is your busiest time of year yet to come, or has it already passed? Knowing your busiest months is critical to making accurate sales projections. Look at sales from last year to help predict your remaining sales for the year.

Make changes where needed. If you’re behind, and trends from the past show that your best months are not ahead of you, it’s time to make a game plan. Consider offering customer promotions to increase sales. At the same time, offering promotions and incentives to your team may help increase motivation. Team promotions don’t have to be terribly expensive. Recognition and prizes can be very motivating.

Talk about the plan. Getting your team on board is critical. Start by making certain that they understand where you stand compared to the year’s sales plan. Be positive when you talk about it. Gloom and doom will not motivate them to sell more.

Kickstart your promotion. The early days of any promotion, whether for the customer or the sales team, should be high energy and positive. This will help keep your team excited about what they can accomplish for the rest of the year.

Remember to train. Lack of knowledge in sales or in your product may be part of the reason you’re behind in sales for the year. Be certain to offer plenty of training to address any of these needs, especially for new people. Salespeople cannot be expected to effectively sell a product they don’t understand.

There’s still plenty of time left in the year, especially if you know where you stand and have a plan to get where you need to go. With the right plan in place, you can still blow those sales goals out of the water and have a record year.