Management is constantly shuffling priorities and identifying projects “they need to get to”. When? It’s not uncommon to see projects relegated to the end of year – when they fall into a fierce competition with all the “have to” items. Inevitably they don’t get done and once again appear on the following year’s list of “like to” items. Does this sound like your company? Maybe it’s time to make these items a higher priority “spring cleaning” initiative.
Here is a list of potential “spring cleaning” initiatives:
Maintaining/Updating Customer/CRM Files – Does your current CRM lack organization/standard processes? Does each salesperson maintain individual “pipelines” making forecasting difficult if not impossible? Does your ERP system have a CRM module that goes unused because staff refuses to give up outdated/home grown CRM databases? Are you getting what you need from your current CRM process?
This one speaks for itself. If your CRM is underperforming, it could be costing you sales. Even if the current iteration is functional (but there is room for improvement) you may want to make this a higher priority.
Inventory accuracy and obsolescence – When was the last time you did a comprehensive review of your inventory? Do your customer response times suffer because you waste time sifting through your inventory determining “live” items? Is your inventory numbering scheme in need of an overhaul? Are you writing off obsolete items timely?
Manufacturers – how accurate are your standard material costs? Labor routings?
Inventory is where the money is! Can you really afford NOT to address these issues?
Updating your website – Is the design tired? Is the content stale? How effectively does it service customers? Would you shop from your website?
At a minimum, not having a website today is the equivalent to not having a business card 20 years ago. Would you hand out a business card that embarrassed you (or not have one to hand out)? Do you think customers will return to a site they find difficult to navigate or place orders?
Considering the impact on sales (and the organizations image), can you afford to ignore updating your website any longer?
Restructuring Your Commission Plan – Does your current commission plan motivate the appropriate behavior(s) from your sales team? Is your current plan fair/equitable? Is your current plan an administrative nightmare, too complicated to follow or both?
Unless you are running a dictatorship, try letting this initiative drift until year end and then tell me how close you get to developing a new plan. Assuming you would solicit input/buy in from all the various stakeholders (sales, HR, accounting, etc.), if you start in the springtime you will be lucky to have a new plan in place for the following year!
If an inordinate amount of time is spent calculating/paying/reporting commissions each month, you may want to consider restructuring. Nobody is in the “paying commissions business”. An easy to follow, easy to administer, easy to report commission plan that drives sales force energy in the right direction is an initiative worth pursuing.
Will your organization be doing any spring cleaning this year?