One degree makes a big difference. Water is hot at 211 degrees. But at 212 degrees it boils, and boiling water generates steam, and that steam can power a locomotive.
A few weeks ago, I sent a 3 1/2- minute movie that plays off of this theme to the sales managers we consult.You can view the clip at www.212movie.com. Many of these managers are making "212" their sales mantra for the year. One day after viewing this movie, big, bold "212" banners were strewn across the walls at stations where the fiscal budget started in September. Other stations, whose fiscal year starts in January, are now preparing to paste the walls with the "extra degree." The analogy is simple: One degree of extra effort can move a lot of steel down the railroad track. One sales manager has already started using the 212 theme inside the sales department:
Each rep who goes 12 percent over the monthly goal gets an extra percent of commission on all sales.
A different weekly activity goal is set for 12 consecutive weeks. For example, the sales manager set spec spots as an activity goal for the first week. The rep who sold the most spec spots that week was awarded $212. Each Friday, the sales manager calls a 212 meeting to tell the reps what activity will be measured.The following week the activity might be new prospect calls.
If the sales team surpasses its sales goals by 12 percent by year's end, each member of the team gets a $1,200 bonus.
I prefer annual goals, but the time span may depend on the tenure of your team. If you have a veteran staff, it's easier to maintain annual goals. If your staff comprises many new sales reps, consider quarterly goals with the flexibility to adjust the sales goals with each rep, each quarter of the year.What could one extra sales call, per sales rep, per day could do for your sales department?
As a sales manager, how will you rally your sales reps behind a common theme this year? A common theme can motivate your sales team. Sales forecasting is not an exact science, but it does require planning. If you have not already worked on your annual planners for 2007, chances are you will not work on them with your staff at all. Your sales reps' numbers should come from those planners, rather than from a top-down sales goal generated by Oz. At the end of the day, it's still your reps who have to burn the rubber on the soles of their shoes. In St. Louis, my sales department adopted the mantra: "Results ? not best effort." This theme helped the sales reps realize that pitching qualified prospects and making every minute count toward their sales goals is better than driving around all day popping in on business owners. At the end of the day, we are all judged by our results. Last year I used the movie Cinderella Man as my mantra. Its message: Believe in yourself even when nobody else does (and it doesn't hurt to have your manager in your corner).
Can your staff give the extra effort in 2007? In the Indy 500 during the past 10 years, the average margin of victory was a slim 1.54 seconds, but the payoff differential between first and second place was an average of $657,492. That's a lot of money for such a small margin of victory! Do you need to give your team a boost of motivation? Think about your mantra for next year. Gather your team together and brainstorm. What are you up against? Do you have a new format? Are you combining radio with Internet? Maybe your common goal is "Every sales call counts." Maybe it's "Enthusiasm explodes into passion." Every person on the team should carry that passion with them before they hit the field in the morning. Don't fire your sales reps, fire them up ? and fire yourself up as well!