HARDISON’S TIPS – NOVEMBER 29, 2021 – Want Better Sales Results? -1

HARDISON’S TIPS – NOVEMBER 29, 2021 – Want Better Sales Results? -1

It seems obvious: a better sales plan yields better sales results. And yet, I’ve seen it in one small- to medium-sized business after another – they really don’t have a documented sales plan at all! Sure, they might have a general idea of wanting to sell more in the new year than they did in the last, but they have no concrete goals, no strategy for how to sell more, and no tactical level of planning to improve sales results. The good news is that sales planning doesn’t have to be difficult; you just need a – well, a plan! Here is a general blueprint for crafting an effective sales plan:

Start with a Realistic “Bottom Up” Goal

There is nothing so inspiring as reaching a tough-but-realistic goal or as dispiriting as failing to reach one that was always out of reach. One way to ensure that salespeople do not give up at the start due to unrealistic sales goals is to involve them in the process. From the beginning. Too often, Sales Managers look at last year’s numbers, tack on a percentage increase and expect their sales team to do what it takes to meet the quotas that roll up into that goal. Unfortunately, sometimes those arbitrary numbers are too high. The previous year’s sales may have been difficult to attain, they might have been inflated due to a big new client that is unlikely to be replicated in a declining market, and on and on. The reverse is also true, a goal might be set too low due to a lack of insight into what is possible.  Either way, your goal should be to set goals appropriately, where they are not too high or too low.  Frontline salespeople are closest to the pulse of their territories in the marketplace and should have the best ideas about what sales levels can be attained, so start from the bottom up.

By inviting your salespeople to help structure the bigger-picture goal, you’ll likely end up with enhanced buy-in, accountability, and pride in achieving a goal they believed in from the outset. Start by asking each salesperson, “What do you think you can do this year in terms of sales dollars?” If the salesperson downplays what you think is possible, find out why. It could be the salesperson knows something about market forces that could legitimately affect company sales performance. If you feel the salesperson is simply setting his sights too low, you can coach as necessary to bolster expectations and the ability to meet them. Sales goals should be realistic, but they should also be aspirational.

Get Strategic

Raising prices as a means to increase revenue doesn’t increase your market share. In fact, it could erode market share if current and prospective customers seek more economical solutions elsewhere. So raising prices is not really a strategy for more sales. Still, you need to have a strategic view of how to increase sales if you are to make it actually happen at the tactical level. What are some possible strategies? You could devise plans to:

  • Increase dollars spent in current products or services by current customers via increased volume. Has your customer’s business changed, making it more appropriate for them to purchase more from you?
  • Make available (and then sell) new products or services to existing customers. Are your current customers aware of all of your offerings? They already buy from you, so this is often the easiest option.
  • Add new customers. It takes more work to acquire new customers, but you are spreading out your risk by relying less on a few large customers.
  • Allocate your sales resources more strategically to match your best resources with your best existing or prospective customers. Consider classifying your customers as A, B, or C targets. Naturally, the “A” prospects will be the primary targets. This could be because the sales volume or revenue potential is significant, because the likelihood of making the sale is greater, or both. While you shouldn’t necessarily ignore all “C” prospects, it might be strategic to target them with marketing materials and periodic phone follow-ups versus in-person selling or account management.

None of these ideas is revolutionary, perhaps, but they are strategic and will set the foundation for successful tactical sales planning and deployment.

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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