21 Sep 2016

Sales Tips: Race to December 31st – Marathon vs. Sprints

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21 Sep 2016

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<h1>Sales Tips: Marathon vs. Sprints</h1>
<em><span class=”post-meta-infos” style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><span class=”blog-author minor-meta”>By John Holland<span class=”entry-author-link”><span class=”vcard author”><span class=”fn”>, Chief Content Officer,&nbsp;<a href=”http://www.customercentric.com”>CustomerCentric Selling®</a> – The Sales Training Company</span></span></span></span></span></em>
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<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><strong>Sales can be viewed as a series of races that end December 31<sup>st</sup> and start the very next day.</strong> This is the time of the year that many salespeople assess whether they can make their number this year or should slow some opportunities down to get off to a fast start in 2017.</span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>As a sales manager, most of my sellers hit the accelerator hard as needed. In other words, they treated a year as a series of sprints that were needed when pipelines were thin. I was usually fortunate to have some steady performers that viewed the year like a marathon and set the pace that yielded more consistent results and <em>far</em> less drama.</span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>As there are 26 milestones in a marathon, these sellers broke the year into 12 parts. I wish I had the wisdom back then to encourage all of my staff to look a sales cycle ahead to evaluate whether their pipelines were sufficient to deliver the numbers needed for them to be YTD against quota or better. <strong>A steady approach is less stressful and reduces the peaks and valleys that otherwise occur.</strong>&nbsp;</span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>Let’s say you “sprint” the last few months of 2016. The best scenario is that you make your number this year but find 2017 is effectively a 10-month year because you had to close most everything that was in your pipeline. Sprinting and coming up short is the worst-case scenario.</span></p>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>I encourage sellers to make a New Years resolution <em>now</em>&nbsp;to <strong><em>build pipeline every month</em></strong>. Rather than rely upon inbound leads that are non-Key Players, do some proactive business development to targeted accounts and titles. I’d venture to say if sellers tried to contact two prospects a day, they would be on their way to more steady performance. Make 2017 a better year by making these changes NOW.</span></p>
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