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eBOOK: The Perfect Quarterly Sales Review Agenda


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Add accountability to your sales plans and sales processes. The Perfect Quarterly Sales Review Agenda is a game-changing approach to holding your team accountable AND predicting whether or not you and your team are on track.

Building a productive quarterly sales review agenda could be the difference between making and not making your number.

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Published in: Sales
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eBOOK: The Perfect Quarterly Sales Review Agenda

  2. 2. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: L iz is sitting in the corner, she keeps looking down at her iPhone as if she is checking for an important client email. Heather, she’s doodling on the hotel pad, thinking about what she is going to do that weekend. Jeff, he’s having a conversation on Twitter with some random he just met. Everyone is doing their best to pay attention to Brian, as it’s his turn to do his quarterly sales presentation. It’s just not working. You are paying attention, but thinking to yourself why do you do these? It’s the same old shit. You’re sales reps are going through slide after slide or boring irrelevant information. You ask yourself, how many times can an account executive tell you what their client’s revenue is, how many employees they have, who their competition is, who your competing with in the account, what the customers growth goals are, what deals they are working, what they are going to do that month, what their hurdles are, what the critical success factors are and more. You sit there, thinking to yourself, am I a frickin’idiot? Why do I put myself through this excruciating pain? QUARTERLY SALES REVIEWS SUCK!
  3. 3. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: I’m going to let you in on a little secret; your sales team is asking the same thing. They hate doing them too. They feel they are the biggest waste of their time. They don’t see how taking a day or two out of their quarter to update you on what they are doing is helping them get any closer to their number. To your team, it’s a hollow exercise to appease leadership. They leave their presentations to the last minute. They fill them up with superfluous information designed to demonstrate they understand their account. “The secret is that your sales team HATE doing quarterly sales meetings just as much you do!“ It’s like a sales fashion show, everyone parading their knowledge out to the audience saying, check me out! Look what I pulled out of the 10k, look how much business I have in my pipeline with this account, look at all the contacts I have in the account, look at me. I’m the shit, I know more about my accounts than you! LET’S BE HONEST! Let’s put all the bullshit aside. Your sales meetings suck and you know it. That’s why you’ve downloaded this ebook.
  4. 4. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: T here is some good news however. You’re doing quarterly sales meetings and that’s brilliant. It’s not that quarterly meetings suck. It’s how we do quarterly meetings that suck and this ebook is going to change how you do them. Let’s start with WHY we do quarterly meetings? What’s the purpose of them? For most sales organizations, it’s safe to say their purpose is to update or provide overviews. They are a way for leadership to evaluate how well a sales person is managing their business. They give sales leadership insight into the account or territories the sales people are managing, how close they are to quota, the approaches they are taking to achieve their goals and more. In most cases, quarterly sales meetings are updates or statuses designed to inform leadership. They offer little executional value to sales leadership and almost NO executional value to the sales person. The objective of quarterly sales meetings should NOT be to update, status or review. Quarterly sales meetings should be about understanding the probability of making the number and holding the sales team accountable for how they are going deliver on the number. “Quarterly sales meetings should be about understanding the PROBABILITY and holding the sales team ACCOUNTABLE.”
  7. 7. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: H ow do you increase the probability of making your number and improving; accountability, accuracy, probability, execution and delivery? By getting your sales people to think about their thinking. It is to get them to evaluation their own thinking about the problems they are facing. It’s to improve their own awareness of how they are solving the problems that are effecting their ability to make quota. It’s to have them self-reflect on how they determined their go to market strategy and how they plan on executing on it. It’s about getting them to think about how they think. There is a term for thinking about thinking it is called metacognition. Metacognition is the process of working through a person’s problem solving technics by focusing on how they are thinking about the problem. Metacognition is critical to making good decisions. When a sales person is deciding on whether to agree to a price concession, what the best strategy for attacking a territory is or what to do when customer says they want to evaluate the competition, metacognition is at play?
  8. 8. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: G etting to the right answers in these decisions and all of the critical decision sales people face every day are critical. The introspection from metacognition enables people to evaluate HOW they make the choices they are making and whether or not the choices are the best for what they are trying to accomplish. The stronger the metacognitive skills of the sales person, they better decisions and choices they will make. Unfortunately, selecting for metacognitive skills is difficult as there are no outward indicators of introspective thought. Therefore trying to manage or select one sales person over another for the metacognitive skills is a struggle, but you can develop metacognitive skills. It can be done through what I call collaborative metacognition. It’s when managers and the sales persons peers assist in the introspection process. By creating an environment where managers and peers can challenge the thinking of sales people, sales leaders can provide additional or outside metacognitive input. Managers and peers can help sales people think about what they are thinking and therefore improve the probability of making their number. The best way to improve a salespersons metacognition How can you incorporate metacognition into your sales organization? and improve their awareness is by asking thought provoking questions that help them create better strategies, and monitor the success of those strategies. The best path to introducing metacognition to your sale organization is through the quarterly sales/business review.
  9. 9. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: The Best Quarterly Sales Meeting Agenda Ever How do you create a quarterly sales meeting that: that makes people think about their thinking creates accountability improves the probability of success assists with execution ensures goals are met (delivery) AND doesn’t bore the shit out of you . . . or your sales team are powerful, engaging and valuable benefits everyone in attendance actually plays a role in the teams overall success By using an agenda that enhances metacognitive thinking: Metacognitive Agenda - What did you say you would do? - What did you do? - What worked? - What didn’t work? - What did you learn? - What are you going to do moving forward?
  10. 10. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: T his agenda creates a metacognitive environment. It allows sales managers and the sales person’s peers to see how the sales person is thinking about achieving their goals. It assists in creating awareness for the sales person in how they are thinking about their strategies and how they are using them. The best sales people are the most aware of how they think and make the best strategy and execution decisions. By operating from an agenda that enables metacognition or collaborative thinking about thinking sales organizations provide more cognitive fire-power for goal attainment. “What did you say you would do?” grounds the sales person in their commitments to the organization and keeps the meeting focused. “What did you do?”creates the gap (positive or negative) and represents the monitoring part of metacognition “What worked and what didn’t work?”asks the sales person to think. It forces the sales person to think about what THEY DID and the associated outcomes. It creates an environment where sales people must leverage their metacognitive skills to understand the outcomes of their efforts. How did their clients, prospects, the market and more respond to what they did? This is part is critical. “What are you going to do moving forward?” this asks the sales person to think even more. It asks them to think about what they learned, what worked and didn’t work and then come up with a strategy or plan to ensure they achieve their goals. This is where a sales persons metacognitive skills really come into play. It’s where the team and your sales leadership make the difference. How is the sales person using the data they’ve collected over the past quarter? How is it influencing their go forward strategy? Is what they learned, what worked and what didn’t work being thoroughly assessed and leveraged to drive the next steps? Has the rep considered all the possible factors, variables, and options? Does their thinking“add up?” The key part of“What are you going to do moving forward?”is to challenge the sales reps move forward approach based on the information they shared in the first two parts of the meeting. As the sales leader it’s your job to get the sales person to think about what they are thinking. Metacognitive Agenda
  11. 11. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: What did you say you would do? T his is the ONLY way to start any business review meeting. It’s the best way in the world to create accountability, get things on the table right away. There should be no dancing around why we are here. We are here to meet our goals and get shit done. We have targets, goals, objectives, commitments, etc to accomplish. The account exec needs to start their presentation with what they said they would do that quarter. What commitments did they make? How much THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS ACCOUNTABILITY PROBABILITY EXECUTION DELIVERY = SUCCESS revenue did they say they were going to deliver? How many new clients? Who did they say they were going to meet? What did they say their average deal size was going to be? Get it all on the table. Get it all out there. No hiding. Starting every presentation with what the sales rep said they were going to do, set’s the tone for the entire presentation . It creates the context. It keeps the presentation focused on what’s important to success; accountability, probability, execution, and delivery. When a meeting doesn’t start with what we committed to do, it lacks discipline. When sales business reviews don’t start with what we said we would do, voodoo magic creeps in. It allows everyone to talk a lot about nothing and use slight of hand. When we don’t anchor meetings in identifying and reporting on what we said we would do, any and every tactical action we performed that quarter becomes an amazing feat and key to our success. All of your team members should start their quarterly sales review or business review meetings with a recap of what they said the would do. The first meeting can be difficult, as most organizations haven’t held their people to a set of quarterly goals or commitments. Regardless, have them at the very least share their quota, pipeline, number of closed deals and any other standard goals sales people have. What ever you do, make sure each person starts their presentation answering this very simple question . . . What did you say you would do?
  12. 12. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: It’s getting hot in here now. Once the sales person outlines what they said they would do, they now get to share with everyone how they faired. Did they make their number? Did they get in front of the CEO? Did they keep to their cold call plan? Did they close that deal? Did they write those blog posts? Did they do what they said they would do? This part of the meeting isn’t too difficult. It’s black and white. It’s that way on purpose. There is no room for maybes,“kindas,”it’s hard to explains or any other non- descript accountability avoiding double speak. Remember, our goal is to get to the number. We can’t do that if we aren’t grounded in where we are. Once the sales person shares,“What they said the would do”they then must simply answer it with,“What they did.” N ow that we’ve placed the reality of the sales persons world in plain site, we have something to work with. We know what’s been accomplished and what hasn’t. We know where they fell short and we’re they’ve exceeded expectations. We know where the holes are and where things seem to be on cruise control. It’s now time to determine why we’re having the success we’re having. It’s time to dig a little deeper and figure out what’s working. What did the sales person do that quarter that worked, that helped them achieve what they set out to accomplish? This part of the agenda is critical. It’s where the cause for success is identified so it can be repeated and leveraged. The purpose of this part of the agenda is to go deep. Don’t accept high-level answers. If someone successfully got to the CEO, what worked isn’t“getting to the CEO,”but what they actually did that allowed them to get access. What was behind the successful execution. Push your sales people to evaluate their efforts. Push them to be consciously successful. Push them to “think.” An additional benefit of this part of the agenda is the knowledge sharing. By openly sharing the specific tactics that worked, the rest of the team can learn from their peers success. It allows others on the sales team to evaluate if what is working for their peers could work for them. This part of the agenda breaks down the work silo’s and spreads best practices. Don’t gloss over this section. Spend some time here. Ask the sales person why they think it was successful. Ask why they don’t think it’s a fluke. Ask why they chose that path. Find out if it’s repeatable. Ask if there are risks associated with continuing the approach. Go as deep as possible. The goal is to understand why the sales person is being successful so they can keep doing what’s working and so the rest of the organization can benefit.
  13. 13. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: A s well as things work out, there are always things that didn’t work out. There are failures, missteps, mistakes, and plain old screw ups. Just as it’s important to understand what worked so it can be repeated, it‘s just as important to understand what didn’t work so you DON’T repeat it. Avoiding behaviors that aren’t working is key. Too often we live the definition of insanity and continue to do the same things over and over again expecting different results. B ased on what the presenter said they would do vs. what they actually did, in conjunction with their assessment of what worked and what didn’t, the sales rep or presenter should be able to articulate, in substantial detail, what they’ve learned that quarter. What did they learn about the accuracy of their strategy and the effectiveness of their initiatives? What does the rep need to stop doing? What do they need to start doing and what do they need to keep doing? This section is critical. With out a discussion on learnings, nothing changes. This section is meant to ferret out the“whys”of the first four questions; why something didn’t work, why that“thing”did work, and what did they say they would do and why were they able to do what they did. Look for the rep to have a solid grasp of where they are and what’s transpired the past quarter. Expect a detailed evaluation of “Just as it’s important to understand what worked so it can be repeated, it‘s just as important to understand what didn’t work so you DON’T repeat it.“ Like the “What did work?”section, dig deep into what didn’t work. Ask the rep why they chose the path they chose. Ask them why they believed it would work. Ask them when they determined it wasn’t working. Ask when they stopped and tried something else. Spend time getting a solid understanding of the effort the sales person put in that DIDN’T yield the results they were looking for. This section should stop any unproductive initiatives or effort before too much time is wasted. Be very diligent here. Use extreme inspection. What Did You Learn? the reps learnings. The rep should be able to share in substantial detail what they’ve learned over the quarter. This includes poor assumptions, accurate assumptions, additional information, unforeseen behaviors, new market trends, shifts in customer directions, new players, and more. This section should take the most time. It’s where all of the effort comes together. Spend adequate time here. Refer back to “what they said they would do and what they did.” Allow the failures and successes to drive this section. If done correctly, this should be a natural transition from“What didn’t work and what worked.”
  14. 14. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: T his is the money question. By now the sales rep, you and the entire audience should know how well they are positioned to make their goal(s) for they year. You know if they are behind or ahead of plan based on the firs two questions. Everyone should have a great understanding of how well the sales person understands their situation and the challenges they face. This should have been perfectly clear in the what worked, what didn’t work and what did I learn sections. IN THIS SECTION THE SALES REP SETS THEIR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES AND MAKES THEIR COMMITMENTS FOR THE NEXT QUARTER. A full understanding of the sales reps world should be completely clear by this time in the presentation. There should be few questions about were the rep is and what their challenges are. It’s now time to make decisions and plan next steps. A s the sales leader pay very close attention to this section. In essence, it’s the next quarters sales plan. The rep should be very clear in what tactics they will be executing in order to; get on track, stay on track or get ahead. As the sales leader it’s your job to evaluate this plan for reality and probability of success. The key is to look for alignment. Does the sales reps commitment align with the first part of the sales review? Do the things they are committing to for the next quarter make sense based on what they’ve outlined in the first part of their review? Is their thinking solid? Are they thinking about their thinking effectively? D avid missed his Q2 revenue number by 15%. He also missed his margin number, by 6%. He has a good pipeline, but is concerned about the ability to catch up. What was working was providing discounts to clients at the end of the quarter. When he did this they were more inclined to move more quickly. What wasn’t working for David was providing other incentives early in the quarter to encourage closing. What David learned is, he believes he has trained his clients to wait till the end of the quarter for the discounts. Therefore moving forward David has decided he is not going to provide end of quarter discounts any longer and he is going to work on getting clients to purchase earlier.
  15. 15. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: D avid has done a good job at understanding what is bogging him down and could potentially keep him from hitting his revenue and margin goals. His assessment is good and what you’d like to see. Unfortunately his“move forward” approach is weak and doesn’t contain enough substance. It doesn’t take into consideration“how.”How is David going to get the clients in his pipeline to buy earlier? It’s highly probable they’re already trained. How is he going to re- train them? This approach is fraught with risk? What happens if his close rate declines precipitously because they won’t buy without the discounts. How is David going to handle the potential back-lash? What is his approach to getting folks to buy earlier? As the sales leader it is your job to help David think through his move forward plan. If it doesn’t make sense to you, if you don’t think it’s plausible, it’s your responsibility to call it out. This is where sales leadership skills are most critical. This is where the sales leader provides the greatest value and coaching. Get this wrong and the sales person spends another long quarter doing the wrong things, headed down the wrong path. Get it right and the ship makes the necessary course change, continues to head in the right direction or better yet goes full steam ahead towards exceeding plan. Key’s to a SUCCESSFUL “What Are You Gonna Do Moving Forward?” THE TASKS MUST BE LINKED TO: Where you are What worked and what didn’t What you learned Do they get you closer to the goal Do they address“how?” They must follow a logical problem solving pattern They must be clear and specific SMART when possible, (in some cases, this won’t be possible) Build to a logical end game What are you going to do moving forward? HOW WHAT ?
  16. 16. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: SUMMARY METACOGNITION (THINKING ABOUT THINKING) Sales leadership is about getting sales people to think, not to do the thinking for them. Building an environment that promotes and enhances the thinking process is critical. The planning component of metacognition is responsible for“identifying or ACCOUNTABILITY (MAKE THE REPS OWN IT) Everyone on the sales team has to be accountability to own their objectives and goals. Every meeting needs to start with a recap of what the sales rep said they were going to do. The goals need to be SMART. Don’t start a meeting without grounding it in what was to be accomplished before everyone showed up that morning. MONITOR Evaluate where the sales rep is. Did they accomplish what they said they would do? Did they exceed their goals? Where do they stand in relationship to where they said they would be? What is the gap? Take the time to monitor and measure the sales person progress. Sales people MUST share their progress, successes, failures, and more. PROBABILITY What’s the probability of success? You know the data is good if the data is rich enough to tell you how close or far away you are from your goals. Make sure the data is compete enough to give you the appropriate visibility into where you are, what the gap is, and the probability of being successful. Always be aware of your probability of success and the success of each of the members of your team. activating the specific skills, tactics, and processes that will be used in accomplishing the goal”(Marzano, 1998, p. 60) This is exactly what a successful sales organization creates in it’s team. Don’t run a quarterly sales/business review process that doesn’t help the sales people think about how they are thinking about accomplishing the goals. WRAP UP!
  17. 17. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: DELIVERY Are you getting where you want to be? Are you making your goals? Is the team delivering on their commitments? Despite strategy or tactical changes, does the probability of making your number remain high through out the year? In the end, we are all measured on our ability to deliver. Manage your quarterly business reviews in a way that will ensure delivery happens. Don’t waste time with reviews. Build the metacognitive strengths of your sales people and your sales organization. It’s your job to help your team think, not do the thinking for them. SUMMARY Pay as much attention to“how”a sales person says they are going to do something as to what they“say” they are going to do. A strong review process should spend as much time reviewing how your team is going to implement and execute their plan and ideas. Sales people are notorious for saying what they are going to do. Their optimistic and creative nature allows them to identify a myriad of solutions to their problems. Unfortunately, little thought is given to execution and the team falls down. EXECUTION AHHH... THAT’S THE SOUND OF A QUARTERLY SALES REVIEW MEETING EVERYONE ENJOYS!
  18. 18. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: A s a special bonus gift, we’re giving you, absolutely free, just for downloading this ebook, 27 super, duper, questions to promote metacognition in your organization. Use these questions, when you get stuck, aren’t sure what is next, or when your sales person or sales leaders are completely screwing up. These questions will help you create a powerful metacognitive environment in just hours. No scrubbing, no heavy lifting, and no mess. Just great plans and quota attainment every time. You don’t even have to pay shipping and handling. They are yours free. So get reading now and get on your way to a world of quota attainment, revenue productivity and successful sales meetings. AWARENESS: How am I approaching this task? What am I doing as I work on this project? What do I do when I don’t understand what I’m reading? When I encounter a problem, what do I do? What do I think about while I’m reading? PLANNING What kind of a task is this? What is my goal? What information do I need? What problems might come up while I’m working and how might I handle them? What strategies will help me? What resources do I have? How long will the task take? What are the smaller tasks within the big project? What do I have to do in a particular order and what can I do any time? What people and events do I have to coordinate with? Who can help me? What do I want to learn from this project? ACT NOW! MONITORING Is what I’m doing working? What don’t I understand about the task? How could I do this differently? Do I have to start over? Can I change how I’m working a little to be more effective? What can I control about my working environment? How can I respond to unexpected challenges? What am I learning? What can I do to learn more and better? Is this the best way to do this?
  19. 19. WWW.ASALESGUYCONSULTING.COM SHARE THIS EBOOK: SOURCES: Marzano, R. J. (1998). A theory-based meta-analysis of research on instruction. Tishman, J, E. Jay & D. N. Perkins. (1992). Teaching thinking dispositions: From transmission to enculturation.