Annual Sales Goals

SALES TEAM members are heavy lifters contributing to the success of their companies.

Therefore, it makes sense to prioritize an annual sales goal process as part of your business practice. These meetings offer a time to share the Company’s VISION MISSION, allowing TEAM members to know where they stand within the organization’s established benchmarked goals and objectives. And know if they are at Performance Standards, Below or a High Achiever.

Also of importance, it offers time to review the salespeople’s motivational desires they strive for before management cast out annual goal expectations.

This meeting process helps assure sales and management personnel on reaching obtainable revenue numbers they forecast and expect to achieve that alight with Company goals.

Need a process? Here’s a summary outline you may find helpful.

  1. Start with Group Messaging
    • Communicate the company’s current year-end (YE) results compared to goals. What went right and opportunities to capitalize on.
    • Review of the company’s longer-term Vision and Career Opportunities that avail. Include in careers, “What’s in it For Them” talk, facilitates retention plans and helps to attract the right people into the organization.
  2. One-on-One Meeting
    • Review with each salesperson their current YE sales revenue and personal income results.  Start now, project out to YE if necessary.
    • Compare their results with the goals forecasted to be achieved for this year.
    • Discuss in detail the metric measurements, controllable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that produced their sales revenues and income results.
    • Take time to define what they feel went well and what they would do differently to improve results.
    • Compare their contribution standing to the Company’s resulting Performance.
    • Goal Setting.  Discuss the income the salesperson wants to make for the coming year.  Tie the KPI metrics required to produce the level of sales revenue to generate their income goal.
    • Explore how sure they feel about the metrics required, and HOW they expect to accomplish.  Establish that both of you agree the sales revenues, KPIs, and income goals are obtainable.  If you or the salesperson feel they are too high or low, collaborate to reach a number you both believe is real.  It’s KEY for the salesperson and manager to agree on the income to sales revenue ratio and KIPs required are achievable.
    • Understand WHY the Income Goal is meaningful to them.  Knowing how they plan to spend their income provides a self-managing motivational tool.
    • Career Opportunity.  We all want to BE learning and growing.  Ask the salesperson what they want as the next step in their career.  Review with them the company’s projected growth and the Performance Standards representing this opportunity.
  3. Probe the commitment level they have for their goal ambitions.
    • Remember, people do things for their own reasons.  Knowing these reasons helps manage the process through the year.
  4. Support.  What will they need from you?  Be clear.  Is it training in sales, leads generation, product and/or service, greater depth on knowing the customers’ business, other?  Get specific.
    • Be sure to understand what THEY personally feel vs. what you feel they need.
    • This feedback clarifies what you are committing to when providing the needed support requirements.
  5. Check-Ins.  Standardize a Report Form they fill out to review Results Expected/Result Achieved.
    • Establish a time, weekly preferred.  If a new salesperson, daily.
    • Review successes and/or variances in the metric numbers and discuss strategy and tactic adjustment requirements of KPIs to achieve desired results.
    • If continually missing their metric KPIs, find out if their financial income goal priorities changed.
  • Note
    • This is a TEAM effort.  It’s important to stick with regular review meetings the salesperson and manager establish. 
    • Write and keep accurate notes of conversation agreements and commitments.
    • KPI metrics are controllable factors, must do requirements to achieve desired goals. 
    • Numbers can be readjusted during the year if they are off track.

If you have questions or would like a more in-depth conversation on framing a goal setting session, contact:

Jim Iden, CPC

713-927-3564

jiden@silverfox.org

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Silver Fox Advisors Receive Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston’s “Appreciation Partnership Award”

HOUSTON, TX (Nov. 2, 2022) – Joseph Tung, President of the Silver Fox Advisors, announced today that the Silver Fox Advisors received a “Partnership Appreciation Award” at the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston’s 30th Annual Awards for Excellence luncheon held at the Bayou City Event Center.

“The Silver Fox Advisor’s serve as judges for the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston’s Education Foundation Award of Excellence Program.  The judging of the applications submitted by the Better Business Bureau’s members is one of the most rewarding projects the Silver Fox Advisors do all year. It is very impressive to see the quality of these applications. We can tell that the BBB members take this process very seriously, and it has become more and more competitive each year”, added President Tung. Several of the Silver Fox Advisors judges attended the Awards luncheon and joined Better Business Bureau of Houston members at their tables.

Silver Fox Advisors are proven business leaders who advise, consult, and mentor business owners, CEO Roundtables, and entrepreneurship programs. For more information visit: www.silverfox.org

How to Sell Your Business to a Buyer You Like

By: Herb Kalman, a Silver Fox Advisor

June’s job out of college was with a distribution company selling small widgets.  After a few years, thinking that there was more money in large widgets, June approached a large widget manufacturing company to represent their products in her market area. 

Twenty-five years later, with the business thriving, June started to receive inquiries regarding her interest in selling the business or selling part of the business.  She had discussions with prospective buyers, investors, and with colleagues who had sold their businesses.  The common theme of the sellers was regret.  Regret about selling too soon.  Regret about the changes to the company.  Regret about how the employees were treated.

The Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) was designed to allow business owners to sell stock indirectly to their employees by using a trust.  The initial ESOP occurred in 1956 in which the Profit-Sharing Plan of Peninsula Newspaper in San Francisco received a private letter ruling allowing it to acquire the Company’s stock from Company shareholders.  ESOPs are now part of ERISA and provide tax benefits for sellers in some cases and for the Company owned by the ESOP. 

June learned about ESOPs from her financial planner.  After consulting with the financial planner and her CPA, she decided to sell one-third of her stock to an ESOP.  Because the corporation was a “C-Corp,” she was able to defer taxes on the gain on the sale to the ESOP. 

June investigated the sale of 100% of the company to the ESOP with her team of a financial planner and CPA and an investment banker that specializes in ESOP transactions.  However, June decided to sell a minority interest and continue to grow the business.  Key managers have stepped up and assumed more responsibility.  The Company’s productivity has improved, and the annual value has been increasing.

June is now considering a second transaction to increase the ownership of the ESOP.  She has complete flexibility as to the number of shares she wishes to sell.  This transaction could be 100% of her remaining shares, which would make the ESOP own 100%.  Or it could be a smaller number of shares so that she could remain in control.  Or she could transfer control to the ESOP.

June has recently received calls from colleagues seeking an exit to learn about her ESOP experience.  She answers that she is selling the business to people she likes and has no regret of her decision.

Increasing the Pricing of Your Products and Services

Over the past several years I have written articles regarding product and service pricing and have made recommendations to my clients regarding the pricing of their products and services. These suggestions were based on my belief and experience that most businesses can pass on at least a 2 to 3 percentage price increase in their respective products and services to their customers each year and should do so annually at the same point in time, say January 1st.

Few customers if any will even notice that small an increase. If you are not doing this type of systematic pricing increase, your bottom-line profitability is going to suffer because the costs associated with running your business are increasing. If you don’t increase your pricing, you are simply absorbing the increases in your expenses (wages, insurance, rent, utilities, taxes, office supplies, advertising, and, the list goes on).  

An Example

One example I like to use to demonstrate this point is to take any year-end income statement for your business and add 3.0% to your revenue figure; see what that does to your gross profit margin and your net profit margin. Most business owners I ask to do that exercise will come back and tell me they are amazed, and they all wish they would have done something like that sooner.

What prompted me to write this article about increasing pricing for products and services is the present inflationary market we are experiencing. With the last published inflation rate of 9.1% (a 40 plus year high), if you are not increasing your product and service pricing right now by at least 9.1% your bottom line will be greatly affected in a negative way for 2022. I would almost guarantee you that you are experiencing increases in almost every expense item, like the ones I mentioned earlier.

Avoid the Wait

Further, if you wait until next year to increase your pricing, we could be operating in a much different business environment, perhaps a recession, and then it will be very difficult to pass product and service pricing on to your customers.

I recently heard of one business that decided to do a 25.0% increase in its service fee and add a 5.0% monthly fuel surcharge to its pricing, and it experienced had no questions or complaints.

I know and understand passing a double-digit price increase on to your customers might not be possible in every situation due to differences in competitive environments. But I would guess you could pass the inflationary rate of 9.1% on to your customers as a fair increase.

Lastly, I also know and understand that by increasing your product and service pricing you might feel like you are adding to the inflationary spiral. However, if you don’t increase your pricing as stated above, you will be simply absorbing the increases yourself in the goods and services that you have to pay. A simple saying, I have stated over the years might apply here: “Do you want to pay your mortgage payment, or do you want to pay someone else’s”?

Understanding the Bigger Energy Picture

With average gasoline prices in the United States passing $5 per gallon this month for the first time ever, energy has really captured the headlines showcasing the very real impact on many people’s pocketbooks and way of life. This has reenergized the dialogue and debate over oil’s usage, the primary feedstock for gasoline, and politically the need to switch more quickly to wind and solar.

Unfortunately, our modern information world of cable news, twitter, and other forms of media showcases unbalanced snippets.  Having spent my career in the energy industry, over the years I have found it rather appalling at the naivete and lack of depth of understanding for such a complex energy/environmental system that fundamentally powers our standard of living.

In my blog of October 25, 2021, on Understanding the Energy Quagmire, the focus was on climate change highlighting the issues around renewable energy and fossil fuels.  My overall conclusion was we needed a more thoughtful balance of the risks and rewards of different courses.

Then in my blog of March 4, 2022, we looked at the concept of energy security being made up of economic security, national security, and environmental security. In other words, energy security plays a major role in the other three primary securities which are central to daily living. Today, we are seeing the impact on economic security which doesn’t receive much attention until energy prices rise significantly.  In the blog, I referenced a presentation that I had given in August of 2021 before Russians invasion of Ukraine.  I made the point in that presentation that we were underplaying the role of energy security in terms of its potential impact on national security, in other words, a lack of balance and foresight.  The Russia/Ukraine war has brought this reality to the forefront.

Today, I received an e-mail from Scott Tinker, Director, Bureau of Economic Geology & State Geologist of Texas who is a Professor at the University of Texas.  I met Scott through my role at the University of Houston’s Global Energy Management Institute at the Bauer College, and my leadership role in the GHP’s Energy Collaborative.  He is incredibly knowledgeable and insightful on the energy/environment complexities and recently produced a YouTube video entitled TEDx-The Dual Challenge: Energy and Environment. 

Scott really addresses the bigger energy picture in a balanced way. He has requested us to share this 17-minute video with friends, colleagues, and social networks.  It will give you much greater insight into the big picture reality of energy beyond simple snapshots through the media.  Please listen to his insight:

Highlighting Rich Hall

Silver Fox Advisors is proud of our members and would like for you to get to know them better.

Rich Hall has been a valued member of Silver Fox Advisors since 2020. He currently serves as a Board member, Chair of the Membership Committee, and Facilitator of two CEO Roundtables (The Woodlands area and in partnership with Houston’s Better Business Bureau).

As the founder of Rich Hall Group, he works with small business owners and leaders to help them achieve their vision of success for themselves and their company. He has extensive experience with family-owned businesses looking to grow, transition to the next generation, or prepare for a successful exit.

In addition to his advisory and coaching services, Rich is the proud father of 3 boys, Jeremy, Mark, and Daniel, and husband to his beautiful wife, Jamie. They’re active members of The Woodlands Methodist Church, and parents to pandemic puppies, Bucky and Riley.

If you would like to learn more about Mr. Hall, or Silver Fox Advisors, see our website at www.silverfox.org/directory

Highlighting Our Members – George Connelly

Silver Fox Advisors is proud of our members and would like for you to get to know them better.

George Connelly has been a valued member of Silver Fox Advisors since 2000.

As a member of the Tax Controversy and Litigation section of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, George is recognized as one of the leading federal tax litigators in the United States.

In addition to his legal work, George is on the Executive Committee of the Better Business Bureau’s Board of Directors, and served on the Board of Houston Public Media for 13 years, including President and a year as Chairman of the Board, Advisor to CEOs through Silver Fox Advisor’s Roundtable program, and much more.

If you would like to learn more about Mr. Connelly, or Silver Fox Advisors, visit our website below.

Featuring Mary L. Kole

Silver Fox Advisors is proud of our members and would like for you to get to know them better.

Mary Kole is the founder of ML Kole, LLC, a consulting practice focused on assisting leaders of public and private companies with the development and implementation of strategies to achieve company or organization objectives. Mary is a professional Business Leadership Mentor, former Chairman, President, and Vice President of Silver Fox Advisors.

According to Silver Fox Advisors founder, Monte Pendleton, “Mary is the most capable person I have mentored in 30 years. She can do anything and do it well”.

If you would like to learn more about Ms. Kole or joining Silver Fox Advisors, visit our website.

Dr. Ken Wells

Featuring Dr. Ken Wells

Silver Fox Advisors is proud of our members and would like for you to get to know them better.

Dr. Ken Wells is one of our newest members. He is a seasoned executive with extensive corporate health experience spanning clinical medicine, health benefits, public health, and pharmacy. He is an Army reservist, flight surgeon, and pilot.

Ken serves as Vice-Chair of our CEO Roundtable Committee and an active participant in several of our programs including our recent Lunch & Learn on April 7th when we returned to an in-person gathering at the Houston Racquet Club. Ken joined a panel of other Silver Fox Advisors and updated those in attendance with information about “Hot Topics Facing Business Today.”

If you would like to learn more about Ken or join Silver Fox Advisors, visit our website.

Energy Security

As the Russia/Ukraine war escalates, oil and gas are really back in the spotlight. The rise in our gasoline prices largely driven by national policy to reduce the use of fossil fuels is now being exacerbated by the ramifications of this Russia/Ukraine conflict on worldwide oil prices. I had mentioned this in my recent blog …

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