Urgent! Action Required to Close the Gap

For most businesses, the first half of 2020 is a write-off! COVID-19 has hurt the economy, and many companies have suffered. If you want to close the gap you need to act now!

Sales leaders I speak with have done a fabulous job keeping their sales teams motivated, helping them transition to virtual selling and whatever else they needed to do to adapt to the new normal.

They have survived phase 1 of this pandemic. No one has a crystal ball as to what to expect in the next 6 months. Are things going to get better, or are they going to get worse? We have learned what we can do in terms of virtual selling and using technology to interact with our customers.

If you want to close the gap, you and your team need a sense of urgency, a plan, and you need to execute the hell out of that plan. Forget about brilliant strategy or new tactics.

The next 6 months are purely about excellent execution.

Execution is the discipline of doing the most important things really well.  This is a call to action for all sales leaders!

3 Steps to Close the Gap

  1. Focused Territory Plans

Most sales teams try to do too much. Getting your team hyper-focused is critical to success. As the leader, you need to help your team identify and align on the 3 things that are going to have the most significant impact on sales.

I can guarantee that if your salespeople embrace doing fewer things well, they will always crush their competitors who are doing a mediocre job on many things.

Have each of your reps build a territory plan that addresses how they are going to achieve each of the critical success factors exceptionally well.

Here are some questions they must address in their business plans:

  • What are the actions they are committed to doing?
  • What customers are going to help them crush their sales numbers?
  • What resources do they need to grow their business?
  • How are they going to know if they have done them well?
  1. Focused Leadership

Your role is to ensure that the reps’ plans are aligned and reflect the 3 critical success factors. The plans are well thought through, and the rep can support their thinking.

Great leaders understand that it is easy for their people to lose focus and chase the shiny fish.

Not this year! Not now!

Every time you speak with them refer back to their territory plan and ask them open-ended questions like:

  • How are things progressing against one of the CSFs?
  • What successes have they had?
  • What challenges are they encountering in executing their plans? How are they addressing them?
  • You get the idea

Ask the same questions each time you speak with them. This ritual will not only remind them of what is critical. It will keep them sharp, accountable and hyper-focused on what is vital.

To execute with excellence, you need to be firing on all cylinders.  

  1. Cadence & Accountability

Schedule monthly execution review meetings with each of your salespeople. Have your sales reps come prepared to update you on how they are progressing on each of the critical success factors and the activities they have planned to achieve each one. Holding your salespeople accountable to what they committed to is where the discipline comes into play. It is not about being a micromanager but rather about executing with excellence.

Close the Gap:

This year will go down as a crazy one. There are so many things we can’t control. To close the gap, sales leaders must focus on what they can control, figure out the drivers for success, set a plan and execute it with a sense of urgency.

strategy execution ebook

For more information on executing with excellence, download a copy of my  Strategy Execution eBook.