Sales

Are you a Performer, Scrambler or Struggler?

Mon, 12 Feb 2024 Updated By: Brett Lyons

A new year, a new half year, a new quarter. Triggers that motivate people to set personal goals.

In your personal and professional live, the beginning of any new period is an opportune time to reflect on your professional performance and plans for the challenges ahead.

Reflection is the first, and often the toughest step. You may be a sales director, sales manager, account manager, sales executive, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you’re honest about your performance as you reflect on the period that has just ended

Imagine a new year, as you look back what are you?

  • Performer
    Last year was great,  you achieved your objectives, delivered outstanding sales results, developed your industry profile and won the respect of management, peers, colleagues and customers.
  • Scrambler
    It has been a tough year, but you called in favours, pulled business forward from next year and frantically closed sales cycles to make your objectives. You have made your objectives but you don’t want another year like the last one.
  • Struggler
    Last year was not what it could have been; for whatever reason, things haven’t quite gone to plan. Next year has to be better!

Two things are important, first, be honest enough to admit what you are and second identify what you want to be!

Performer, Scrambler or Struggler, you cannot change the past. You can change the future, but aspirational desires for positive outcomes will not get you anywhere, they will only happen if you put a plan in place. So, ask yourself:

‘What am I going to do differently?’

This is a difficult question that deserves careful consideration. Remember, desire is great, but action is reality. If you see yourself as a:

  • Performer: what are you going to do differently to stay a performer? Last year was great, but there’s always room for improvement. So what can you do differently in the new year?
  • A Scrambler: do you really want to be scrambling again this time next year?  What are the changes you will make in the way you do your job to make sure you deliver a better performance?
  • A Struggler: your approach last year didn’t work, so you need to change. It’s not about experience, it’s not about luck. It is about doing things differently.

New things to try this year

Here are five ideas you might like to try:

  1. Get a Mentor or a Coach
    Talk to someone you respect. Meet up with them regularly to run ideas past them. Listen to advice and guidance and put new ideas into action.
  2. Look in the Mirror
    What is the honest advice you would give someone in your position? No excuses, defensiveness or rationalisation. What would you tell yourself to do?
  3. New Business Development
    How many new accounts would make a substantial difference to your performance? Whatever your target, what do you need to do in order to achieve it?
  4. Your Personal Brand
    How do your colleagues, customers, and your line manager see you? Ask people you trust for an honest opinion and decide if you need to make changes. Top performers are usually viewed as ‘go to’ people who attract customers and have the respect of their peer group.
  5. Growth Accounts
    A growth account is one that does business with you but has the potential to do more. So, how can you grow sales with these accounts:
    • Develop you stakeholder network: Do you need to deal with different, perhaps more senior, stakeholders?
    • Understand Needs: When did you last complete a needs analysis with all the stakeholders? Do you know what is really important to the business?
    • The Decision Factors: What are the things you would have to change for the customer to place more business with you, e.g. terms, pricing, product, service and support?
    • The Competition: If a competitor is winning business you want, the competitor is doing something differently to you. What can you do to create a competitive advantage that would motivate the customer to place business with you?
    • Perception: Does the customer realise you would like to do more business?

So, Performer, Scrambler, Struggler, what are you going to be?

Brett Lyons

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