You don’t need anyone to tell you the role of a sales leader comes with unique responsibilities and challenges, and the first day of every month is a pivotal moment to set your team on the path to success.
Sales teams are built day by day, week by week, conversation by conversation.
Being a leader who can foster accountability, responsibility and analytical self-reflection in their sales function is well on their way to building a high performance sales function.
The payback is high.
So isn’t it worth setting out with the intent to build a sales function that is highly empowered and engaged?
With this in mind I’d like for you to consider the 14 essential tasks you can undertake at the beginning of each month to ensure your sales team is equipped and motivated to reach their targets.
Sales Leader’s Checklist | 14 Monthly Rituals for Sales Leaders: Setting the Path to High Performance Sales
As a sales leader, the first day of every month is your opportunity to set the tone for a successful sales journey ahead.
The first day / week of the month is also much better to have these kind of conversations than mid / end month.
Simply put, the sales team are either glad to see the back of last month because it was a stinker or they’re riding high on having smashed it….either way, the beginning of the month is often seen as a fresh start.
So, it makes since to look at goals and and performance when tensions are low and appetites are high…
- To reset some focus.
- Align activities with outputs.
- And sometimes, simply reconnect with purpose.
In this Sales Leader’s Checklist, we’ll explore the 12 crucial actions you can take on the first day of each month to empower your sales team and drive consistent sales success.
From data analysis to team motivation, the whole focus is on optimising your monthly routine to achieve remarkable results….
Equally important is using this time to also foster accountability, responsibility and empowerment within your sales team
Great sales teams are built over time. Having a regular checklist of sales team review and engagement opportunities is one of the fastest way to ensure the sales team grow.
1. Review Last Month’s Performance
Begin your month by conducting a thorough review of the previous month’s sales performance.
Examine sales metrics, such as revenue generated, conversion rates, and individual performance.
Identify areas of improvement and successes. This analysis will provide valuable insights to guide your strategy for the upcoming month.
Normalise these sales metrics across and compare individual sales results.
The norm is to just compare this month with last month. To compliment this, also compare results across the team. This is one of the fastest ways to understand and roll-out sales best practice / modelling.
It’s also the best kind of gap analysis. It’s a really easy way to find out what’s missing in someone’s sales tool kit – be it skills, mindset or activity levels.
2. Set Clear Monthly Goals
Based on your performance review, establish clear and achievable sales goals for the month.
Mini goals work well in this scenario too…Helping the sales team understand what the sales journey through the month can look like.
Ensure that these goals are specific, measurable, and aligned with your overall sales objectives. Transparency is key – ensure the sales reps can see where these numbers come from, and they can buy-in to them.
Help the team understand how to spot amber scenarios before they get to red, you might want to work on worst, best, likely scenarios
Communicate these goals effectively to your sales team to create a shared sense of purpose. Help them be their very own performance management function
3. Motivate and Inspire Your Team
Kickstart the month by inspiring and motivating your sales team. Conduct a team meeting to communicate the monthly goals, recognise achievements from the previous month, and boost team morale.
Encourage a positive and motivated atmosphere to drive productivity.
Get the sales team to do their own recognition shout out’s…
- Who went above and beyond to help?
- Who smashed the sales activity board?
- Who netted the biggest deal, who dealt with the biggest rejection?
- Who was the biggest team inspiration?
- Who helped their colleagues the most?
There are loads of reasons to celebrate – and it’s a great way to empower the team, and keep them aligned.
4. Analyse Customer Feedback
Review customer feedback. this could be external customers. it could also be internal customers, like account management, customer service teams, logistics.
Ask yourself…did you make it easier for these teams to work with you?
In terms of external customers, look at feedback, comments, and reviews from the previous month.
Identify common themes and areas for improvement.
Use this feedback to refine your sales strategies / messaging and enhance the customer experience.
5. Update Sales Training and Resources
Invest in the professional growth of your sales team by updating training materials and resources.
Ensure that your team has access to the latest industry knowledge, product information, and sales techniques.
Continuous learning is key to staying competitive.
Identify common sticking points or sales blockers in your sales team. Break then down with either sales training, sales coaching, product training or addressing the mental blockers. You can check out our sales coaching offer here for additional support
Continuous learning is the best way of compounding strength in the sales function. Continuous learning cultures are closely alighted with sales growth and continuous sales improvement.
Plus, it’s the flip side of performance management – help your team to stop negative trends and repair them before they are beyond the realm of the easy fix
Share interesting things you see on social media and youtube.
Start discussions around different new ways of working, introduce competitor information, and generally new ways at looking / positioning the familiar. Putting their learning in their hands is a powerful driver to the ambitious rep
6. Check Your Sales Tech Stack / Sales Systems
Ensure that your sales technology stack is up to date and functioning optimally. Address any technical issues promptly to avoid disruptions in your team’s workflow. Leverage technology to streamline processes and improve efficiency.
This can be a big issue as tech can enhance productivity in once way and kill it in the next. Yep, click of a mouse reports is great for the sales leader BUT not if every record update takes the rep 10 mins!
So, ask your team – are you working hard to sell or keep the tech updated – deal with the answers in the ways that’s best for your primary function!
7. Review and Refine Sales Processes
Take a critical look at your sales processes and identify bottlenecks or areas that can be streamlined.
Make necessary adjustments to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales operations.
You might want to use the lens of
- Is this part of the sales process adding any value to the end result/prospect?
- Who would complain the most if we took this part of the process way?
Your sales process is your recipe for getting results. Sometimes to get better results you need to slightly modify the recipe.
Striving to have the best sales process, the highest sales efficiency and a systematic way of addressing sales process improvement is critical, so empower your team to start thinking in this way so they can suggest, buy into and be accountable for grass roots changes.
8. Assess and Update Sales Territories
Examine your sales territories and potential,
Do your sales team actually have enough potential and opportunities to get where they need to be?
If your sales cycle is 60 days but you only have enough in the pipeline to hit 25% of target this month then you know something needs to change and fast…
You can use the month start to sense check where the sales team are in terms of their mid to long term planning.
More critically, help them develop this skill and your life becomes immeasurably better over-night. If you need help check out Simple Forecasting
Part of this is ensuring you’re got enough leads coming in, enough outbound activity going out, and enough sales opportunities already being worked in the sales pipeline. Add on to this making sure your salespeople are aligned with the right customers and regions to maximise their potential.
Make adjustments as needed to optimise resource allocation.
9. Enhance Communication Channels
Effective communication is crucial in sales.
Evaluate your communication channels with both internal customers and external customer interfaces (finance, customer service, account management) and your sales team.
Make enhancements to ensure seamless communication and information sharing. Solve problems fast!
Poor communication leads to the demise than more sales functions than it should, and at speed.
Also, a good time to review who you need to spend more time with, who you need to invest in and who you need to support more.
10. Plan Marketing and Promotion Activities
Coordinate with your marketing team to plan marketing and promotional activities for the month.
Align your sales efforts with marketing campaigns to generate leads and increase brand visibility.
As part of any organisation supply chain, marketing will be a major feeder to the sales team.
Use the month start to keep your sales reps up to date with what’s coming down the line from marketing. Details around marketing activities, campaigns and leads, lists and sales opportunities.
It’s also worth having marketing in to speak with your sales function at least once per month. The closer the join between these two functions the easier it is to spread good ideas and mutual accountability…and creativity!
11. Evaluate Competitor Landscape
Stay updated on your competitors’ activities and strategies.
Understand their strengths and weaknesses to position your offerings effectively.
Use this knowledge to differentiate your products and services in the market.
This could be your super power! Gearing up your sales reps to be able to deal positively and powerfully with the changing competitor landscape
By far, one of the biggest challenges your sales reps will face is being in a competitive position…
Anything you can do to reduce the number of competitors pitching is a straight win. If you need help with this check out The Sales Improvement Workshop
12. Pipeline Analysis
A thorough analysis of your sales pipeline is essential to understanding where your team stands.
it’s also the task most keenly attached to how they get rewarded…and what they get paid. So sort this out with them and they might just love you forever!
Evaluate the progress of deals at each stage, identify potential bottlenecks, and strategise how to move them forward. Offer to jump in and help directly where needed – and without undermining them.
This analysis will help you anticipate revenue and identify areas for improvement. It also shows them how they can earn more…and so plays a big part in helping them take control of their position (which lowers stress and empowers ownership)
13. CRM Clean-Up
Maintaining clean and accurate data in your CRM system is essential for effective sales operations.
Working with your sales team help them set up ‘go and no-go’ gates for deciding who to keep in the CRM system and who to pension off.
Mental overload can be highly disabling! All those records – the same old records – and they all have their own mini-horror story – it can draw the life blood out of a sales function. So help the team easily and efficiently keep the CRM clean, relevant, flowing and profitable. Dedicate time on the first day of the month to review and clean up your CRM data. This ensures that your team has access to the most up-to-date information, which can enhance their productivity and efficiency.
14. Foster a Culture of Accountability
Lastly, promote a culture of accountability within your sales team.
This is a theme I use all through the last 11 points. Helping your sales reps think, operate and function at a high level under their own steam.
After all, the mark of a good leader is by looking at how many new leaders they create.
But, even more importantly in a sales team, accountability needs to be high.
Visibility is high.
When sales reps fully take responsibility for their sales performance and results then you have built an unstoppable unit.
In every month, if all you can do is to encourage each team member to take ownership of their goals and responsibilities, and promise that you will visibly and proactively support them in reaching their goals then, that’s a win!
Helping them foster the thinking and practice of being able to regularly track their progress and change course to re-align might be the very best thing you can do as a sales leader.
A sales culture is very distinct from other departmental set-ups. As the overseer of such a function, being a sounding board, a trouble shooter, a wise adviser, and being able to give provide constructive feedback to drive improvement are critical skills.
The sales leader’s’ checklist deals with each one of the critical aspects of running a high performance sales function.
Summary| Sales Leader’s Monthly Checklist
On the first day of every month, as a sales leaders, you have the opportunity to set the stage for a successful sales journey.
You have the opportunity to make your sales team stronger and more self sufficient than they were last month!
By implementing these 12 essential monthly rituals on the sales leader’s checklist, you can empower your sales team, boost productivity, and drive consistent sales success.
Remember that a well-structured and data-driven approach is the key to achieving remarkable results in the ever-evolving world of sales. If you’re struggling with strong sales management information, how to get it and how to use it – then check out our Sales Insight service
Great sales functions are built month by month, week by week, day by day…conversation by conversation – good sales leaders build every single day.
Now, go ahead with your Sales Leader’s Checklist and put these strategies into action to witness the transformation in your sales team’s performance.
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