Have you found yourself deep into budgeting season with your team and asking yourself a few questions. Why do we do this in this way? What information does it tell each individual Account Manager and what information does it give Senior Management? How can we turn this from a tough task into something that is a learning experience and maybe just a little bit eye opening.
I found myself asking these questions this year as we entered into the dreaded budgeting process. Our team knew it was coming and they had been preparing for a couple of weeks before it started. The challenge was met by different people on our team in different ways. We have self starters that jump out ahead on the task and begin to accumulate good solid forecasts. We have a few that procrastinate and need to have that deadline set so they know when they need to have it completed by. We have the plodders who begin the budgeting process , can handle it for so long and then put it down and move on to another task to break the pattern . These folks believe it helps them think clearer about the next year as it pertains to each of their customers.
The first learning I find with this budgeting process that there are the differences in the team members and giving them enough space to work effectively on the objective in their own way with their own methods. There are a number of ways to get to the same end result. Give people on your team the ability to find the answers in ways they are most comfortable with. Team members seek clarification from each other on completing the forecast and sales budget. Encourage this interaction. It helps individuals see things more clearly when they look through the lens on another.
Next thing I notice from this exercise is that it is the chance for Territory and Account Managers to truly take ownership in the planning in their areas. A budget needs to be dynamic. The team members in a high performance team should review their budget that is submitted at a minimum once per month when they are doing their monthly review.The monthly review is the the opportunity for individuals to look at their month in their rear view mirror. What worked well? What needs to be bumped forward? How could we do this better in the upcoming months? What didn’t go according to plan? How can we get this on track? High Performance Sales Teams take ownership in the numbers they generate during their budgeting process. Share the Team budget numbers with them. Show the individual team members how much their territory contributes to the Team Goals . Make sure they understand how important they are to the team’s Success. The sharing is yet another opportunity for the team to respond together working toward a common goal. In sales, we are ultimately judged by our numbers . We have a lot of soft metrics we can use to evaluate how we do but in the end, it is the hard numbers- Top Line Growth, Bottom Line Growth and Pipeline that we are all judged by.
Lastly, this process helps our team with our communication. The opportunity to communicate how important the individual people are to the team . This includes all the supporting team members. These are all the back of the house folks that make the high performance sales team that way. Without their support we are nothing and sharing how important the supporting team is to the accomplishment of the sales teams goals is an opportunity that happens at a minimum once a year but ideally should be every month. You can show progress to budget in a brief communication. It can be a score card or it can be one of those famous thermometer graphics. The more you communicate, the better the engagement.
High Performance Sales Teams should be focused on Relationships, Revenue and Results. Coaching your team to have this focus is your prime role of a Sales Leader.
Be Grateful during this Thanksgiving week . Be grateful for your team and for the results that your team has accomplished this year. Thank your families for giving you the space to work toward your business and personal goals. Thank your own coach and mentors for the wisdom and guidance they have provided to you during this year. Lastly, Thank your Higher Power, your Divine Guidance for all the blessings this year and your life has bestowed upon you.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. I am truly humbled and grateful for you.