Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Smarter Sales Objectives for 2016 Selling to fix in twenty one six

As we embark of the beginning of Spring 2016 it's a good time to review our sales focus. 

Where are you heading in the next four months to your Selling Winter Wonderland?

Alice and the Cheshire Cat

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.   "I don’t much care where--" said Alice.    "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat. "--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.      "Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough." 

Alice and the Cheshire Cat - Chapter 6 of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland:

Selling by Objectives is a simple planning discipline that helps you to meet and exceed your annual targets.  It works at two levels:

 1.   Overall performance targets and  2.  Individual call objectives

The principle behind them both is the same - if you have a clear objective in mind you will work more efficiently than if you have no objective.

Be  SMARTER : Here are some guidelines for setting your targets / goals.

     specific and supported, stated in the positive
M    measurable (tangible) and monitored
A     achievable, actionable by you
    realistic in current context
    testing and  time framed, have a deadline!

E     evaluated + “ecologically” sound i.e. does it fit in with your values?
R     reviewed and recorded

You should have clear annual objectives (preferably agreed with your manager, but if not set them for yourself), which are expressed in terms such as:

·         Total sales
·         Sales within product groups
·         Sales to certain categories of client
·         Total profit from your client/customer base
·         New accounts opened
·         Average order value
or any combination of them.

Break these down into quarterly and/or monthly targets allowing for seasonal fluctuations, holiday periods, the number of selling days available allowing for Bank Holidays, etc.

You can then establish weekly targets such as:

·         Quotations/proposals submitted
·         Calls made
·         Number of telephone contacts

as well as pure "sales" targets.

Make sure that you know exactly what you want to achieve from every sales conversation.

The ultimate objective will be a decision:

·         to OBTAIN AN ORDER, or


So focus on

·         Decision based and Results orientated objectives
(e.g. to obtain a signed order; to get agreement for a trial or demonstration)

There are also

·         Information seeking objectives
(e.g. who has decision-making authority; which competitors are being used)

Both are valid objectives but unless you are doing a pre-approach call, do not be content with an information-seeking objective alone.

 Make these your secondary objectives

Identify a decision-based objective to go with information seeking objectives prior to making your calls.


To gain agreement to:

·         Another call at an agreed time
·         An appointment for self/sales/specialist
·         A further appointment to discuss …..
·         An appointment with another person
·         Specify product/service in future
·         Place initial order/trial order
·         Place repeat order
·         Try new line, product or service
·         Evaluate product/service by test/trial
·         Criteria for a successful trial
·         Pre commit if trial is successful
·         Date and / or time for decision
·         Recommend purchase to someone else
·         Arrange a demonstration in house & agree attendees
·         Raise requisition and send to someone else
·         Factory/showroom visit by customer/prospect
·         Arrange another customer/prospect to visit them
·         Decision maker to attend demonstration
·         Arrange in store promotion
·         Move/improve current display
·         Conduct survey/audit
·         Present survey report or audit recommendation
·         Open an account
·         Arrange/install new account procedures
·         Delivery schedules
·         Place regular order
·         Forward/bulk order
·         Have quotation submitted
·         Amend and resubmit quotation
·         Place on tender list
·         Visit exhibition/promotion
·         Continue to order following problem
·         Continue to order at different prices
·         Give a reference
·         Change specification
·         Switch to new product/service
·         Add new service/product to existing line
·         Train users/operators
·         Supply samples and arrange call back
·         Joint promotion/advertising


To establish or find out details on:

·         Needs/Potential needs
·         How need is currently being satisfied
·         Which competitors are being used/considered
·         Perceived advantages/disadvantages of     competitors
·         Budget levels or constraints
·         Budget timings and financial years
·         Credit-worthiness/ability to pay
·         Results of tests (on sample)
·         Individual reactions to test results
·         Why business has been lost
·         Who handles administration
·         Who has been given the business and why
·         Prices quoted by competitors
·         What other opportunities in same company/group
·         Key contacts
·         Secondary contacts in their absence
·         Other people who could be contacted
·         Changes since last call
·         Why orders at current levels
·         Why quotation has been rejected
·         Future volume requirements
·         Who is involved in decision-making
·         Who is involved in the decision influencing
·         What staff changes have taken place
·         What staff changes are likely and when
·         Terms/conditions on which orders are placed
·         Order placing procedures
·         Account settlement procedures
·         What is the organisation's present overall priority
·         What growth plans, future projects
·         Performance of past products/services supplied
·         Satisfaction after delivery of installation / delivery
·         Satisfaction levels in different parts of company

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