What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase A, Recovery?
- Phase out marginal opportunities; repair margins
- Hire key sales reps and implement cross-training programs
- Give sales reps the ability to extend credit if needed
- Allocate additional resources to your sales staff
What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase B, Accelerating Growth?
- Avoid straight-line forecasting; identify your next cyclical peak to set realistic sales goals
- Invest in your sales team’s training and retention
- Ensure you have the right price escalator; space out price increases
- Expand credit to customers
- Ensure your sales reps know the company’s competitive advantages and are adequately using them in their sales processes
What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase C, Slowing Growth?
- Don’t blame your sales team; make sure they have the proper tools and mindset to adapt to the cyclical changes ahead
- Know if your markets are headed for a soft landing or a hard landing and set appropriate sales goals that are not unrealistic but also not easy to attain
- Be vigilant regarding customer credit amounts
- Identify which of your products are not profitable and stop incentivizing your team to sell them so as to focus their attention to the most profitable products you sell
- Don’t hire more sales reps; you can’t just simply “sell yourself” out of the situation; “you can’t make a rock bleed”
What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase D, Recession?
- Have your sales reps focus on selling alternative products with a lower cost basis; you’re looking for volume
- Be sure your sales reps are being very price conscious during their discovery and vetting processes
- Instruct your sales reps that it’s time to tighten up on your credit policies
- Start working with your sales leadership on training plans you can implement once the business has moved back into Phase A, Recovery