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5 Ways to Adjust Your Sales Playbook to Hit Annual Targets

4 min readAugust 10, 2018

It’s the second month of the third quarter. Some sales teams are scrambling at this point, increasingly worried they won’t make annual quotas. Regardless if your team is on pace to hit their targets, or not, it’s a great time to review the first half. How do you stay on track or make adjustments to get there? Hiring more people to increase headcount won’t help in Q3. They’ll be on-boarding until sometime in Q4. Running promotions, cross-sell initiatives, and increasing rep efficiency might help. But first, you need to determine what’s working and what’s not. Then take steps to set up a successful second half.

Revenue.io Second Half Sales YearReview Metrics

Start by reviewing some metrics. This will aid in the preparation of an updated plan of action. Review the following metrics for the team as well as individual reps:

Quota attainment (year-to-date and monthly): Look for trends as well as fluctuations. Are they consistent across the team? Identify or confirm top performers and those showing steady improvement in overall result, and determine who’s in a slump.

Dials to connection percentage: Reveals dialing efficiency and effectiveness. Is the team calling at the right time of day, leaving effective voicemails, and using available tools to accelerate sales?

Dials to appointment ratio: It doesn’t matter how many conversations reps have daily if they aren’t booking meetings. If this number is low, dig deeper by reviewing call recordings. This will reveal how to improve their pitch.

Dials to opportunity: This percentage shows you how much activity is required for reps to hit their numbers. Then it’s easier to know who needs to step up their activity or why certain reps may be struggling in meeting other targets.

Dials to deal ratio: Shows how many dials it takes to create the desired revenue target. This metric also helps plan the hiring of additional team members.

Inbound lead response time: It is critically important to respond to these hot leads quickly. If reps aren’t responding to inbound leads within 5 minutes or less, it’s hurting overall sales results. Otherwise, these valuable marketing-generated leads may be going to waste.

Average deal size: This metric helps determine how many deals must be won to hit a specific revenue target.

Win rate: Knowing the percent of opportunities won reveals how many opportunities are needed to hit revenue targets.

Age in current opportunity stage: With this information it’s easy to determine where opportunities are getting stuck. This identifies what part of the sales cycle needs to be adjusted so deals move through stages faster.

Sales cycle length: Effective coaching combined with technology help reduce cycle length, increase revenue and reduce time to quota.

Pipeline inflow vs outflow: If there aren’t enough new opportunities created each month to replace closed opportunities it becomes more difficult to meet quota. Try to keep this ratio at or above 1:1.

What are top performers doing differently? Was there a month when performances were better than others? If so, what made the difference? Reviewing these metrics will aid in the creation of your winning strategy for the second half. It helps determine what types and quantities of activities to include. Check out this resource for more inside sales metrics details.  

Clean up the pipeline

Removing the dead wood from the pipeline allows you to see where you presently stand. Evaluate stalled deals and revive or remove them. Once you have a clean pipeline you’ll be able to prioritize actions within your updated strategy.

Update your coaching plan

Consistent coaching leads to higher rep productivity. Not coaching your team? Here’s where to start. Mid-year is an excellent time to revise coaching plans. You’ve already reviewed key metrics to adjust your strategy. Take it a step further by digging deeper to identify new coaching requirements. Listening to call recordings will provide valuable insights and excellent examples to share. Implement these changes to coach your team as a group and individually to improve second half results.

Prep for holidays

Don’t wait until the fourth quarter to prepare for the holidays. Get with sales leadership in the third quarter to discuss upcoming processes and programs that will change or launch over the holiday season. Proactively plan how you’ll compensate for any time lost during Q4 to minimize impact on team sales efforts. Remember to have reps identify when clients and prospects will be away or busy over the holidays. This will reduce scheduling issues and delays to keep opportunities on track through the end of the year.

Realign with Marketing

Success is elevated when Sales and Marketing are well aligned. Take time during Q3 to make sure you’re both on the same page. Discuss any resources you need. Learn about upcoming incentives or deals. Confirm availability of marketing personnel for assistance with fast-paced Q4 requirements.

Take these steps to regroup for a strong second half. It’s not too late to make it happen!