“Bicyclists race faster against each other than against a clock.” Norman Triplett
Last week I published a request for help from a reader whose business growth has been acting like the stock market – flat! Here is one of the many comments in my e-mail box:
“Let me offer my ‘2 cents.’
“I don’t see the opportunity for this business in designing a customer questionnaire. They are readily available and from my perception of the Entrepreneur, she will have no difficulty in finding one.
“I think her challenge is with her organization. She needs to determine who is up for what is required to grow the business – and who is not. It appears to me that collecting more information and hiring more organizational development consultants will not be very productive.
“I strongly recommend that she get a commitment, including accountability, from her team members. In other words, who is up for the task and who is not!
“I must say that I am impressed with the owner and her knowledge. She appears very capable of leading her organization, but has to convert concepts to action!
“M. Torre, Former CEO -Fortune 500 Company.”
Thanks Mr. Torre. Here are suggestions she might follow. Sales growth comes from setting goals – realistic goals. Try this:
What happens when you establish a goal and believe in it? You work toward it. What happens when you achieve it? You feel good about yourself. It will fill you with a satisfying feeling of confidence and self worth. On the other hand, if you do not have any goals, you may get lazy, and not care. Realistic goals can be effective motivators, especially when there is competition. Goals can be like competitive sporting events. You believe it possible and go for it!
A sales quota is a goal; it is a target you expect your sales staff to meet. It must be a target they expect to meet as well. Each must understand the importance of their target and how it fits in as part of your total business plan. To succeed you must have a set of attainable objectives. When you wrote your business plan, it is to be hoped you established specific sales and profit targets. To meet these objectives, you do it the way you build a brick wall, one brick at a time; you reach your income goals one sale at a time. The sales quotas you assign to your sales staff are the building blocks of your business plan.
The development of a quota system in your business can be simple, guessing what each sales territory should do; or complex, such as constructing a detailed projection by customer and even by type of product. Whichever method you use (most well written texts on sales management contain descriptive detail on constructing quotas), follow these simple rules:
1. Don’t make the time period longer than a month, or it will invite procrastination and lose its effectiveness.
2. A quota, to be effective, must be achievable. Otherwise, don’t use them. Quotas that are impossible to meet are ignored. Unrealistic quotas will make you look foolish.
3. To stimulate all your sales staff, report everyone’s progress during the month (time period) in percentages for all to see. It is a strong motivator; no one wants to appear on the bottom of the list.
4. Don’t penalize success by pushing the top performer’s quota out of reach. They may retaliate by selling less.
5. Don’t use a quota system as a weapon to threaten poor performers. It will not solve the problem. Nothing is better than a goal as stimulation to success. Try it!
Article © Copyright 2001 Dr. Paul E. Adams Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.