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Silicon Valley Sales Group, Inc. | Santa Clara, CA

Dave Mattson

The last quarter of the calendar is both relieving because the end is in sight, but also foreboding for many sales teams if sales targets have not yet been met. An incredible amount of revenue exchanges hands in the last quarter, and many companies know that it can make the difference between a good fiscal year or a bad one, especially in product sales. Managers are regularly tested to find ways to push teams over that last mile. 

Strategic leaders don’t settle for minimum achievement today. They are regularly looking forward, anticipating needs, and preparing for new goals tomorrow. That outlook always places these leaders one step ahead of others, and it supports why they are seen as leaders and the go-to people for an organization.

Most people who spend a little time searching on the Internet or in a bookstore can quickly find a guide on how to write a business plan. However, just following these templates doesn’t guarantee that the business plan produce will be successful or even good. A successful business plan needs quite a bit more to actually be useful and even more to be functional and successful. As the elements come together, if done correctly, the most important component of success will come from the business owner and leadership versus the company itself.

A successful sales year relies on good planning and smart strategy. Any plan for success requires that you create goals for yourself and your sales team. But no amount of planning or strategy sessions are effective if the goals are unrealistic and can't be met. Setting and achieving realistic goals are critical to meeting sales quotas or any other benchmarks of success.

As organizations grow, they realize that there are numerous different ways to define success. A new business, for example, will be immensely satisfied the first year the operation returns a profit. On the other hand, a more established company may expect to see a specified rate of growth year over year. Defining what success means to you and establishing goals based upon these criteria can be an important step in monitoring your business’s development and making productive decisions based on the criteria that matter the most to you.

Like any new generation, there are differences in how Millennials interact with those around them, and what their expectations are in the workplace. What intuitive business leaders are noticing, however, is that there are tremendous benefits that members of this generation bring to the workforce. Their unique generational experiences and the skills they have gained can help them, and the organizations that hire them, excel.

Imagine that there are four sales professionals standing in front of you, all of them with records of success. On paper, they all look outstanding. One of them is going to end up closing a six-figure sale with your company today. After watching their body language for a few minutes before presentations start, you can already tell that you're not likely to work with salespersons #1 and #3. These two people won't make eye contact; in fact, they seem to work hard to avoid it.

It can be tempting for companies and salespeople to coast through the slower-paced summer months. The seasonal slowdown will cause many organizations to just give up on the season, and save their goals for the months ahead when the pace picks up. Taking the time to lay the groundwork and planning now, however, can help you set up to have a fantastic fall, and lead to strong year-end results.

Giving sales-related tasks their due diligence is part of growing your business. As business growth occurs, you have to divide your time amongst more tasks, more clients, more sales team members...you can see where this is going. The busier you get, the easier it is to fall into the trap of ‘busy work,’ or tasks that make you feel like you're accomplishing things but actually detract from business success.

Too often, sales professionals make one fundamental mistake that could be costing them thousands in commissions. They believe that their job is to sell products or services to clients by explaining why their product is superior. Success in sales (and the size of your commission check), is determined not by the information you give, but rather, by the information you collect.