Manage toward the possible not the probable. How much untapped potential lies within each of your sales reps and your team as a whole? Have you ever struggled with the challenge of making realistic sales forecasts for production management purposes as well as with coaching to the fuller potential of your sales reps?
It was 1990 and one of my clients named Kevin and I were discussing the challenges around managing all the numbers around the sales team. We decided that there were really three numbers every rep should have in regard to their sales goals.
• The first target was the minimum production number that was what we secretly gave to the CFO. In the past this was shared with the sales reps, Kevin stopped that nonsense.
• The second target was the quota number that we told the rep was their minimal target for receiving their expected bonuses etc.
• The third target, was what we called the Stretch Target, and it was always set in collaboration with each individual sales rep. It was the highest potential outcome that they realistically believed that they could achieve.
We would always manage toward the “Possible and not the Probable” and as a result of the above changes Kevin was always able to achieve monster results. I began a sales strategy and sales innovation process called the Stretch 100. Thousands have been through my Stretch 100 program in the last 30 years. Hundreds of participants have doubled their six figure incomes in less than 100 days. They achieve this because of two actions they take, one, choosing to implement one or more of the dozens of sales and marketing innovations we discuss, and two, setting new strategy that includes stretch targets as well as divergent approaches to the customer.
My colleague Marty Jacknis likes the acronym MPV for approaching goals with the same mindset of aiming for the possible not just the probable. Before every meeting and for almost every goal throughout a company we ask “What is your MPV?”
So whether it is in regards to a meeting about to begin, an individual sales reps sales production, the company numbers, or the hoped for amount to be sold in an individual sales meeting:
• What is the Minimum you would like to achieve?
• What is the Primary outcome you would like to achieve?
• What is the Visionary, most ideal outcome you would like to achieve?
Next meeting you have, open up with “What is the MPV for our meeting today, what is the Minimum we hope to achieve, the Primary outcome we want and the Visionary outcome that we could hope for?” You can imagine the focus that this can bring to the attendees in your next meeting.
With sales reps setting annual, quarterly and monthly targets, MPV rivets focus on the potential and yet doesn’t box them in behind just one target that can be either too high or too low. With any team, discussing MPVs gets the team to hear what others think is possible, and thus the MPV conversation expands the vision of possibility and gets people to raise the bar.
Likewise in your annual implementation planning and clarification of objectives, most of them would benefit from being MPV’d. Anytime you can get people thinking about raising the bar, you are likely to accelerate innovation. This is why your actual corporate vision is so critical to strategy and innovation.
Begin using MPV throughout your workplace and even at home, and watch how much more engaged you and those around you will become.