Chasing the Sales Growth Bulls-Eye

How Sales Teams Fall Short of the Target

The amatuer marksman shoots at the bulls-eye and then adjusts the reticles on the scope, shoots again, then adjust again. Shoots again, adjust again. Shoots again, then adjust. But he never gets the bulls-eye.  This is called chasing the bulls-eye.  A professional marksman shoots, shoots, then shoots again with no adjustments until after the third shot.  Once there are three holes in the bulls-eye, the professional triangulates the center of the three holes. Then with some quick math adjust the reticles to the center of the triangulation to the bulls-eye.  The fourth shot hits the bulls-eye, ammo is rationed and the shooter is ready to for competition or for the field.


In speaking with a frustrated CEO a few weeks back, he told me they changed compensation plans about 18 months ago and didn’t see any changes or upticks in sales. As we continued our conversation, he told me next they worked really hard on tightening the pipeline and installing a CRM and still no changes. Next, they worked on product training and differentiating their services based on expensive market studies.  Additionally, he told me the Sales Managers had been through a two-day leadership intensive and there was still no growth in sales. Finally, he told me he was most recently working on hiring the best people away from his competition but again nothing has changed in his sales growth pattern.  He had tried everything he could think of, everything his VP’s could think of, everything his Talent Management and internal Training Department could think of and everything his HR team could think of.  Nothing worked to force growth.

After more discussion we decided he needed the answers to all of the following questions.

  • How Does Sales Leadership Impact Our Sales Force?
  • What Are Our Current Sales Capabilities?
  • How Motivated Are Our Salespeople and How Are They Motivated?
  • Can We Generate More New Business?
  • Can We Be Better at Reaching Actual Decision Makers?
  • Can We Shorten Our Sales Cycle?
  • Can We Sell More Consultatively?
  • Can We More Effectively Sell Value?
  • Is Our Value Proposition Consistent?
  • Can We Close More Sales?
  • Do Our Systems and Processes Support a High Performance Sales Organization?
  • Can We Be More Consistent with Our Sales Process?
  • How Well Are Our Sales Leadership Strategies Aligned?
  • Do We Need to Change Our Selection Criteria?
  • Can We Improve Ramp-Up?
  • Can We Improve Our Pipeline and Forecasting Accuracy?
  • Can We Improve Our Sales Culture?
  • Who Can Become More Effective in Their Roles?
  • What Are the Short-term Priorities for Accelerated Growth?

After answering the questions by utilizing Objective Management Groups Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis we learned:

  • His team was not motivated extrinsically so his recently implemented compensation plan focused on the wrong motivation and had no impact.
  • The CRM and Pipeline was helpful but did not fix the growth problem because the stages of the pipeline were out of order and the qualification of proposals did not change. The CRM was also not married to a sales process.
  • While the product training was helpful it did not resonate with a consistent message to attract the prospects, and displace the competition by gaining a competitive edge.
  • The Leadership training was good too. There is no such thing as bad training. However the training did not focus on coaching execution and real accountability.
  • Hiring the best of the class room the competitors only brought in more of the same illusion of reality. Without the managers knowing how to raise the bar, coach, hold sales people accountable and keep them motivated nothing changed but the faces.

All the previous changes had the best intentions but did not orchestrate a sales growth plan based on Sales Intelligence. The frustrated CEO was frustrated because he was chasing the bulls-eye.  Now he has the right intelligence to make decisions that forces growth with a triangulated approach.

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Author: Rocky LaGrone

Rocky LaGrone is a seasoned sales development expert with over 25 years in sales development and training working with well over 1,000 companies of all sizes in various industries.

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