rss

Stephen Wise Blog

Integration Professionals. We dramatically improve traction.

Stephen Wise Sales Funnel

How to Improve Sales Revenue in Your Company

A typical business goal is to execute the sales strategy and increase revenue by X% over the period. The sales process is an ongoing operational activity and is usually not suited to being treated like a formal project. However, the sales process needs to be managed and there are similarities between managing a sales process and managing a project.

A sales process needs:

  • Management of key milestones and timing
  • Identification and assignment of people to assist
  • Encouragement of teamwork at client site and internally
  • Risk identification and mitigation planning
  • Tracking and reporting of selected metrics
  • Feedback/improvement loop

Management of key milestones and timing in the sales process

I recommend every sales team to work with an expert project manager to develop a template of tasks and estimated timing which gets stored in a central library. At the earliest reasonable time, the template should be fired-up and customised to suit the opportunity. That is, tailor it to needs by modifying the tasks that need to be accomplished, the estimated durations, and dependencies.

This plan, will guide all stakeholders to manage expectations and keep everyone on track for what needs to happen next.

Identification and assignment of resources within the organization to assist with the presentation

Once an opportunity has been identified, team members need to be called on for assistance in various parts of the proposal. It is important that the sales person ensure that everyone has time to take on the work, understands how to do the work, and understands when and how to report that the work is completed or that some sort of issue has caused work to slow down or stop.

The sales person may not have the authority to prioritise everyone’s time and therefore it is important to keep the lines of communication open.

Risk identification and mitigation planning

Sales people are able to identify unique risks because they are the closest to understanding the client’s expressed needs. These insights are extremely relevant. Combined with their own experience dealing with other customers, sales people can see risks that no one else can. Positive risks, those that have upside potential lead to new items in the sales funnel. Negative risks, those that can push a deal off the rails should not be pushed under the carpet.

The (negative) risks, should be identified and reviewed. Each risk has a likelihood/ probability of occurring and severity/impact on the sale should it occur. The sales person’s team and management should periodically develop and review tactics to reduce the probability and lesson the severity of impact, should it occur.

Tracking and reporting of selected metrics back to the team and management

Peter Drucker, has been paraphrased, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. The selection of appropriate measures and metrics is a cornerstone of sales management. Most sales people are keenly aware at all times of the status of their metrics and how much they are exceeded or failing short of their objectives.

In addition to short-term results, frequently communicating a sales dashboard may be more beneficial then you thought. The benefit is to improve organizational alignment with the sales strategy. Having visibility to the sales dashboard could be the trigger to makes those changes

Feedback/improvement loop

Deals get won. Deals get lost. The salesperson will obtain lots of knowledge about the client or at least they should. Knowledge represents a significant asset for most businesses. Left unmanaged knowledge tends to quickly fade. When deals are lost, it is important to learn from the process. Are there changes that can be made to the sales process? A lessons learned process and central repository for the post-mortem will help the next sales rep and also help when it comes time to review the process for a complete over hall or investment in technology to automate parts of the process.

Stephen D Wise

Stephen Wise Integration Professionals

Dramatically Improve Traction

Aruba

Race to Resilience

Traction Tips

A weekly action idea to improve traction on your important initiatives by Stephen Wise.

  Has it ever happened that your adequate plan takes a wrong turn and just keeps getting worse with every move you make? It is critical to under stand the concept of Resilience so that you have built up your resilience muscles in advance. 

Heading to the Airport

We left for Pearson airport right on schedule. It was about 5am, cold and clear. The trip would take about 20 minutes. The international flight was in 3 hours - I was heading for a long planned vacation in Aruba. My daughter was my driver and she would drop me off and return home with the car.

Change of Plan

On the way she mentioned she was worried the car was low on gas.

Waze

We took the nearest exit on the 401 where I knew a gas station would be nearby. While filling up I turned to the navigation app Waze for help to help get back to the airport. I wasn’t familiar with the area but Pearson is pretty big place; an airport should be hard to miss. Waze instantly computed a route and declared 31 minutes to destination. The detour was going to be a lot longer than anticipated, and I was suddenly annoyed with myself, “Bad decision to get unnecessary gas when the most important thing was to get to the airport on time”, I was thinking.

Wrong Turn

We turned left, left again and then another right and so on. Eventually Waze declared Mission Accomplished right on scheduled time. I peered out in the dark and nothing was familiar. There were no strings of lights from other arriving and departing cars, no familiar airport way-finding signage nothing. Waze had delivered us to the service entrance at the back of the airport. At that point, speed limits became speed suggestions, and I raced to re-trace our path, get back on the 401, and re-enter the proper Pearson departure queue. Once back at arrivals, I lept out of the car.

Arrivals

A very friendly Air Canada rep radioed the gate and ensured my bag was accepted after the cutoff. The sprint through security and customs was heart pounding but successful. Eventually, I took off for Aruba and it was everything people say about it.

Recovery

When you enter stressful events how do you react? Do you cope as best you can and then collapse? There is a better way. I learned from Richard Citrin, an expert in Resilience, that the right approach is to expect stressful situations to occur and prepare in advance to navigate through them and recover.

Resilience

When you are planning your next task, remember to build in enough time for reality. Also, prioritize so that you do the most important things first.   Thanks for reading. Subscribe to my newsletter for more traction tips at www.IntegrationProfessionals.com Stephen D Wise

The most powerful leadership skill an expert Project Manager needs for success

No one can be an expert in all fields. A Project Manager is a skilled expert on leading teams to initiate, plan, execute and close projects. These are among the most important skills, but not the most powerful. If you aren’t feeling well you go to see your General Practitioner (GP). Your GP understands the big picture and upon identifying a specific issue or risk with your health may refer you to a specialist. In this analogy the GP is like a Project Manager – they do not need to be an expert in every field and one difference between okay GP’s and excellent GP’s is the speed and quality and follow-up related to the referral. All Project Managers will tell you that the most commonly used skill on a project is communication. However, neither communication nor planning are the most powerful skills in the arsenal. The true multiplier, the most powerful skill, is the ability to learn from others. The ability to learn from others enables the PM to absorb the nuances of the culture, mitigate the hidden risks of the processes, and allow for the complexity of the technology. When a diverse project team gets together it doesn’t matter who is the smartest or most senior in the room. What matters is learning from everyone’s skills and experience and channeling that back to the team so the whole is greater than the sum. The most powerful leadership skill is the ability to apply the greater whole in order to reach the objectives of the project quicker and with less risk of failure.

Stephen Wise

https://www.IntegrationProfessionals.com 

Tags

tag agile excellence itil pmi prince2 project management baseline change request earned value issues methodology project manager schedule tools value wbs issue status leadership productivity project managment recovery scope turnaround ac ev pv benefits collaboration communicate communication culture data integrity drivers failures fast faster ideas investments mehtodology portfolio prioritizing project selecting speed sponsor success closure cost duration effort estimating execution forecast initiation lifecycle pert planning project 2010 risk three-point estimating work effort business challenge development disadvantage elite global growth hiring loyalty market perks race solutions staffing standards talent tb1 team unemployment brazil change china diversity employee environment factors fit hire mobile personnel skype tb4 turnover twitter virtual 90 days hires metric new on-boarding watkins challenges firms looking plan shifting tb9 work aging developed developing ethiopia germany japan population qualified skilled workers workforce certification economy experience gaps industries innovation intelligent knowledge modern quality sales soft skills tb2 education lack tb3 training business case implementation outcome strategy customer dashboard executive long-term management results time closing executing flowers photography spring banking block chain cryptocurrency ledger middleman satoshi toronto apology sorry stephen wise trudeau resilience Merger Artificial Intelligence IoT healtcare cybersecurity