Depending on where you are in the world, summer is likely crawling to an end, with autumn or fall just around the corner. It will certainly be upon us before the month is out and it may not only be the weather, but also the home or work dynamic that undergoes seasonal change. Kids have headed back to school and many of you have taken holidays in the optimum summer months, therefore, resuming work may feel bittersweet at this time of year…
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” - John Bishop
The idea of ‘falling’ is often synonymous with failing – a downhill spiral leading to an ending of some kind or even worse, rock bottom. We forget that many falls are cushioned with a soft landing and often launch us with more force in the right direction thereafter.
‘Falling into autumn’ suggests a heavy crash or negative slope into the autumnal season, rather than a steady winddown towards the end of the year. That’s because we’re not winding down – we’re feeling refreshed and invigorated after a relaxing summer break or downtime (hopefully!) The falling of a tree’s leaves does not signify the end of the line or infinite failure, yet an opportunity to shed any deadweight and make room for the new and improved. With that in mind, acknowledging problem areas in order to later achieve the collective mission of a company may require taking a step back (or slight fall) before skyrocketing ahead as planned.
How can I ensure a prosperous final quarter?
At this point of the year, sales managers have had plenty opportunity to analyse performance and productivity, along with drawing insightful comparisons to past results and future forecasts. Where positive evaluations ensue, then year end goals could well be in sight, notwithstanding the need for continued hard work and avoidance of complacency. As illustrated above, those who are already achieving well may be reluctant to make changes when the going is so good – it’s the job of leaders to expose the greater value of proposed change.
However, those who are yet to make this year a successful one may be desperate for a change of direction and increased support from leadership channels. No matter how far from reaching targets they may be, the pressure is most definitely on.
Heading into the final quarter, with other obvious seasonal obstacles on the horizon, September could define the prime time to make your year a profitable and thriving one. We advise you to grab this last chance by the horns and not to miss a single trick – it’s time to catch anyone who may be 'falling' and ensure they spring back into action. Similarly, identifying any failing or stagnant strategies now, allows for time to climb back up and rectify mistakes.
The ability to track, manage and enable performance is a clear reflection of whether your sales methodology is currently working – the best suited policy and practice allows for smooth running and potential positive outcomes. If you are leading sales reps on an intricate journey of setting goals, with actionable steps to achieve them, then the best interests of the company are wholesomely covered – management facilitates progress and sales staff work towards attainable, yet challenging objectives (see past blog).
In terms of the compatibility of sales methodology with change, then let’s focus on changing for the better and arming ourselves with the capacity to take action and pre-empt problems before they trip us up and make us fall (see past blog). Whatever your methods, KPI’s must be set and tracked, data must be analysed and actionable insights must be easily accessible. Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, migrating to a data hub in the form of a one-stop-shop, could be the perfect platform from which to work going forwards.
Applications which aggregate data from any type of system enable leaders to track KPI’s on all levels of sales and service organisations. Teams, channels and countries spanning vast geolocations can easily be monitored and assisted at the touch of a button. Real-time data is continuously uploaded and managers benefit from a whole host of advantageous modifications to former procedure. What’s more, saying goodbye to monotonous emails, sluggish spreadsheets and uninspiring leaderboards makes way for a digital boom in sought-after performance management technology, offering endless productivity-enhancing tools, adaptable to your business, regardless of methodology.
Summary – OUT with the OLD, IN with the NEW!
A forest floor covered in old, dried-up fragments of leaves represents a changing season and natural evolution, allowing for new life to follow and prosper. A sales floor or network may periodically seek a similar opportunity to leave tired methods or old-fashioned tools behind, sweeping away any debris from failure or disappointment.
Heading into the last few months of the year, or indeed the build-up to the grand finale of a company’s annual success is an exciting time. It’s also the ideal occasion to makes changes and invest in innovative software which not only simplifies the day-to-day, but allows each and every individual in an organisation to communicate and make this year their best yet.
Don't be afraid to fall - it's the bouncing back that counts!