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How to plan for a new sales quarter?

5 minutes read

Sales planning is usually done annually and it’s a pretty exhausting exercise. So why would anyone want to do it more than once a year right? But what sales leaders need to understand is that sales planning is an ongoing process and not a one-time event

Every quarter, sales leaders must evaluate performance against the annual sales plan, identify variances and evaluate corrective actions or adjustments

In this blog, we are going to explore exactly this. We are going to take a look at how sales leaders can evaluate their business performance and plan for each quarter.

Steps to take while planning for an upcoming quarter

1. Review your Targets

Surely you must have established certain objectives that need to be achieved in a fiscal year. But after each quarter, you will definitely be able to see the extent to which those objectives seem to be getting achieved. For example, some of your objectives might be closer to hitting the target while others might still be far away from reaching the target.

So review your sales team’s previous quarters’ performance and identify

  • Those objectives which can be achieved easily in the next 90 days
  • And those which require a bit of push in this quarter so that the ultimate target gets achieved by the end of the year

Make these objectives the focus areas for the upcoming quarter

2. Pick three focus areas for the quarter

As discussed in the point above, you need to pick out certain focus areas which are going to be the spotlight for your business in the upcoming quarter.

This doesn’t mean that you do not focus on other sales goals of your company which are set for the fiscal year. But you need to prioritize those sales goals which have a greater scope of getting accomplished easily in the next three months.

For example, your potential focus areas could be to:

In order to make sure that your team is not overwhelmed with too many goals, limit the focus areas to not more than 3.

Note: Ninety days go fast. If you have too many focus areas for this short period of time, you and your team will be able to partially accomplish things. Instead, it would be beneficial if you focus on a few key chunks that actually produce value for your company. So pick your focus areas carefully and invest your resources to get something special done on these fewer, better areas.

3. Encourage your reps to focus on High-Value Prospects

It is always important to target prospects who could,

  • Bring in the highest value deals
  • And add value to your portfolio of work (like reputed clients)

This is especially important in the fourth quarter as you look to close out the year on a high note.

Make use of your data to build specific profiles of prospects that match your solutions. Review prospects currently in your pipeline and prioritize calls with those people with whom you have the greatest likelihood of converting high-value deals.

Pro-Tip: Make sure that you regularly reinforce training for your team on product knowledge, demonstrations, market information, competitor information, selling skills, etc. This helps them to do value selling.

4. Mark important events’ dates

Take a month-by-month look at the activities and events that will affect your sales team’s functioning. For instance, you might have special conferences or new initiatives to take into account during the upcoming quarter.

Once you identify such events, establish a schedule of communication so that you alert your reps in advance about what to expect in the upcoming days. Send calendar invites so that their dates are reserved and they can easily remember.

By having prior knowledge of these out-of-the-ordinary events, your sales reps can plan their activities accordingly so as to optimize their selling results.

5. Get off to a great start with gamification

In order to set a solid momentum and tone for the new quarter, gamify the sales activities or goals for your sales team. Organize and run team vs team or individual vs individual sales contests around various sales objectives and activities. Establish a live leaderboard where the sales reps can keep a track of their performance from time to time.

This helps in,

  • Creating a healthy competition at the workplace
  • Improving productivity of the sales reps
  • Keeping them on track with respect to achieving their goals
  • Keeping them motivated to achieve their quotas and higher

This also helps the sales managers to identify if any of their team members are lagging behind and provide coaching to them immediately to bring them up to speed.

6. Reward the top performers

Encourage your sales managers to keep a track of the performance of each and every rep in their team. They should recognize every small and big achievements of their people and reward them with exciting,

Want to learn all about creating a perfect sales plan?Read these below articles:

Sales Plan Part-1: How to Create a Sales Plan?
Sales Plan Part-2: Different Types of Sales Plans (Templates + Examples)
Sales Plan Part-3: How to optimize your Sales Planning for Rep Success in 2021

Learn how the strategic and tactical planning strategies when put together make for a perfect sales plan

Strategic vs Tactical planning in Sales

Published on Mon Aug 30 2021

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