Need to increase sales? Afraid of missing sales goals, but not really sure how to get consistent traction on them?
Last year I had this problem. Every month, or quarter, or even year, I would write down a sales goal. It would end up scribbled in a notebook, and even sometimes entered into the CRM. I would even commit it to memory, with all my heart. I would accordingly beat myself up or give myself a pat on the back when it came time to compare reality to the goal, but when push came to shove, knowing my goal wasn’t really impacting my sales performance. Yet isn’t that what goals are supposed to do?
Sort of. The human brain is amazing at meeting goals, but only when they are set the right way. When you really focus on getting something done, or solving a difficult problem, the gears just turn on. If you have ever met a seemingly impossible deadline, met a weight loss goal, saved up for a dream car, or so on, you know that feeling is like.
What was missing in this sales scenario is clear and measurable progress. If you want to get traction on your goals and achieve them, you need to know where you are at. Sure, you can run a report in your CRM that compares your sales funnel to your sales goals. But you’ll do that sporadically at best, and more likely, only once. Then you’ll forget about it as more pressing issues come up, like actually getting sales.
I finally recognized that this was the real problem. I didn’t know if I was “over” or “under” until it was time to evaluate. What I needed was to have that data in front of me, day after day, in plain sight. Yes that’s where the whiteboard comes in! I spent my $30, bought a whiteboard, and hung it right beside my desk.
On the top I wrote my sales goal for the year, in big letters. Then I used the rest of the space to draw a bar graph with three bars: “Booked”, “In-Progress”, “Total” representing projects that were completed fully, projects sold but in progress, and the total of the two (since we build websites we get part of the payment upfront, the rest on completion).
The board gets updated every time a sale gets made, or a project launches (the two things that get me closer to my sales goal). I now know exactly how far I am from the goal, and whether I am on track or not to meet it. It can’t be ignored, it can’t be forgotten. My whole brain is dedicated to keeping those little bars inching closer and closer to the finish line. And I must say, it’s made a huge difference in how I approach my sales and the effort I put in.
The whiteboard forces accountability. It forces my brain to think about sales a lot more often. It’s been the best return I have ever received on my money.