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Focus on the Finish

After seven days of recovering from minor foot surgery, I was pondering what others were doing this weekend that I couldn't: golfing, boating, grilling, hiking and partying with friends. Well I did do some partying with friends but it was more like hobbling.

As I relaxed reading four books and watching movies, my mind would drift as to what I should be doing and what other sales managers must be thinking about --- facing the next four months.

Last week, I filmed two video webcasts, "Building Predictable Revenue" and "Hire, Train and Re-Train High Performers." With that experience fresh in my mind, I wanted to provide a quick "sprint to the finish" blog that all executives and sales leaders should keep in mind for the next few months:

Focus on the short-term sales results. We have spent numerous blogs and Acumen newsletters on what that means. Simply put, resources must be applied to strategize and tactically execute brilliantly on all aspects of the sales process. "Think creatively and acts accordingly." Do you have a copy of Acumen's sales strategy guidebook? Check out our store on the Acumen Web site.

Plan for 2010. Yes, recruiting top performers that can impact 2010 is also a priority. College football recruiting falls within a two-year window -- finding the players that will impact your team for next year is critical. Top salespeople are now evaluating their current business relationships and levels of satisfaction. Do they know you want them?

Focus on lead generation. Building pipeline levels now is critical, not only to have a good fourth quarter, but to ensure you start 2010 with a lot of potential sales activity. Our economy is not hot, but increasing your sales opportunities will result in sales results.

Have fun. Our sales teams might be tired -- mentally and physically -- as well as we might be. It is the job of the sales leader to be a catalyst for change and continuous improvement. You must realize that each day, each week and each month for the next four months is your opportunity to create optimism, encourage your team, build belief and increase the energy of your entire organization to achieve your company's objectives.

Lastly, if you have not set a yearly sales incentive trip for your team (entire company team or sales team), NOW is the time to announce a sales trip, set the goals, energize your entire team and focus on exceeding your goals.

Realistic optimism is critical now for increasing the speed you sell your way out of this economic situation. The winners are those capturing market share and overtaking their competitors.

Build predictable revenue for 2010. If you have not received our "Top 40 Actions Sales Managers Need to Execute for Predictive Revenue," send me an e-mail.

Ken Thoreson is managing director of the Acumen Management Group Ltd., a North American consulting organization focused on improving sales management functions within growing and transitional organizations internationally. Ken also motivates organizations with enlightening keynotes.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on September 08, 2009 at 11:59 AM


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