“We need to increase revenue” is something I hear frequently from Sales Leaders.
It often leads to a discussion around a Target Drive and how it can help. I’ve done a lot of Target Drive consulting over the years, and I commonly have to address the misconception that a Target Drive and a sales contest are the same thing.
So how are they different?
The Differences Between Sales Contests and Target Drives
1. Target Drives Are More Strategic Than a Sales Contest
While both of these efforts are focused on driving revenue, the foundation of each is different.
A sales contest is typically about closing any business that fits the criteria (new business, specific product, event, etc.) with a singular winner at the end. The focus isn't to just close any piece of business, but top rather on potential Target accounts that can really impact the bottom line now and in the future.
On the other hand, a Target Drive is designed to develop high potential accounts by following a proven sales process. It isn’t about closing anything, big or small, but placing the focus on potential key accounts that can really impact the bottom line.
With a Target Drive the goal, beyond revenue generation, is to create good selling habits. We do this by following a sales process and tracking the progress of each Target account against that process for a longer time frame, which is usually about 8-12 weeks. The goal is to have those good habits extend well beyond the Target Drive.
2. Target Drives Do Not Require Incentives to be Successful
While a contest typically has, and requires, an incentive to drive results, a Target Drive can be successful without an incentive because the focus is the process and coaching your salespeople.
Can incentives help? For sure, but they don’t have to be a monetary incentive. In the last 10 years, I have run as many, if not more, successful drives where the “incentive” was a certificate of achievement or forms of recognition vs. money.
3. Target Drives Provide Meaningful Insight
As a result of Target Drives following a proven sales process and developing specific high potential accounts, you can also gather valuable insights that can help you identify the bottlenecks in the sales process for each seller.
You should capture information along the entire sales process, including securing initial meetings with claimed Target accounts, completed Discover meetings, presented proposals, as well as pending and closed business. This will give you the opportunity to look back over the life of the Target Drive and identify where each of your salespeople gets stuck in the process. One you can identify the bottleneck for each seller, you can then customize your coaching to improve performance beyond the Target Drive.
At the end of the day, both a Target Drive and a sales contest can help your team drive revenue, but the reasons behind utilizing one tactic vs. the other are different.
If you are looking for a quick hit, or short-term solution, a sales contest might be all you need. On the other hand, if you need to not only drive revenue, but change behavior and create sustaining habits on how your salespeople approach new business development, a Target Drive is likely the right choice!