The Times are a Changing, Are You?

December 13th, 2011

The Times are a Changing or Are You?

At the end of each year I write down my personal and business goals for the new year in seven different categories. The challenging part of that exercise is I have to review the goals that I had set from the past year and grade my performance. I have saved these sheets from the previous 20+ years and it’s a telling experience, I have found there are always good goals, just sometimes unrealistic timeframes.

 I would suggest you review your past 12 month’s performance; ask yourself: “have I changed or improved my organization?”  If you are a new reader make sure you review all of the previous blogs for idea’s and tips to improve your personal or professional performance.

 As I look forward into 2012 and think about current topics and potential new blogs, it occurred to me that asking you to evaluate your current status on a few basic sales management topics might be a great spot to get ready to leap into the New Year.


Please score these 1-5, 5=highest


Rate how comfortable are you that you know what percentage of the pipeline in the current category is required to ensure the current sales budget is exceeded? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Rate how comfortable are you that you have enough pipeline potential in the 30, 60, and 90 categories to exceed future monthly quotas? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Can you visually see all of your top 10 dollar potential forecasted accounts, from your desk? (out of sight-out of mind) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
How well are all key accounts targeted?  Rate your plan to attack them? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Rate the quality of your interviewing process that ensures the best candidate is selected not the best available candidate is selected?  1, 2, 3, 4, 5



Rate the quality of your 3-month sales-training program, is it defined and implemented? Do you have a salesperson Development Plan implemented to improve the professionalism of your team? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Rate the quality of your CRM/SFA system, is it being used effectively?  Is it up to date?  Is it backed-up? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Rate how your compensation plan works? Are your company’s goals aligned with the compensation/quota programs?           1, 2, 3, 4, 5
How well are your sales leading indictors defined, are they measured, posted-Graphed-Analyzed? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Do you have regular scheduled and unscheduled “Coaching” sessions with each of your salespeople? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
How would you rate the effectiveness of your sales contests and business games? Are they planned to promote revenue and build teamwork? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


  Total Score                                      _________

45-55                                                    Minor Tuning Maybe Required

35-44                                                    Consider Several Projects Are Required

25-34                                                    Will Need Multiple Actions Taken Quickly

0-24                                                      Major Assistance Required NOW

 Confidential Property of Acumen Management Group, Ltd All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Authorization

 Many of these topics are critical for building a high performance sales team as well as increasing the predictability of your revenue.  I believe it’s critical that a sales manager or owner know a few basic ratios of their business, as in the ratio of potential revenues in the pipeline to the defined  sales quota vs actual attainment. Over a 6-9 month basis of tracking these information you will find your closing ratio’s, the value of how much potential revenue must be generated each month to enter your pipeline and what you need at the beginning of each month to attain your sales quota.

 I also like the idea of “out of sight-out of mind”. If you have major accounts-you must have a written plan of action, for each account, for at least three months. If you have major sales opportunities to sell each month-you must have their name and action plans visibly defined on your wall or desk. This will ensure you are consistently aware of your important prospects.

 Since recruiting and interviewing are the number one most important aspects, making sure you do it right becomes critical! View my free video on

Depending upon where you scored or in what area you didn’t score as well as you thought, stay tuned to this blog as we move into 2012. I will be touching on many of these topics and others in greater detail as the year moves along.  If you would like to suggest specific topics for me to cover in one or over several columns please send me your ideas too!

 Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!

 Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. 




This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 8:27 am and is filed under Leadership Management, sales leadership, Sales Leadership Training, Sales Management Planning, Sales Management Systems, Sales Management Training. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “The Times are a Changing, Are You?”

  1. Best of B2B Marketing Zone for December 13, 2011 « Sales and Marketing Jobs Says:

    […] The Times are a Changing, Are You? YOUR SALES MANAGEMENT GURU | TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2011 […]

  2. Why take your foot off the gas? | The blog Says:

    […] friend Ken Thoreson recently did a blog in which he laid out some great questions to help you plan your 2012 sales efforts.  I would […]