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The 3 Act Structure of a Month: Sales Insights

ricca 4 10Most modern stories and screenplays are broken down into three integral parts – the Setup, the Confrontation, and the Resolution.  Traditionally, both the setup and the resolution are much shorter in length than the middle portion of the story, which weaves through a multitude of distinct confrontations. 

Now, let’s compare that to your regular four week work month for your Inside Sales team. The first week of your month would be deemed “The Setup”.  Day One, you’ll start with a clean slate, but naturally you still have goals and quotas to meet.  This first week is crucial in setting precedent for the remainder of your month as it will determine whether you’ll be playing “catch-up” or if you can cruise within a comfort zone and avoid the pressures of unattainable quotas. The numbers suggest that sales professionals will put a vast amount of effort into coming out of the gates enthusiastic and strong.

The Resolution, Act Three, would be the last work week of your month. Time is running out, Directors and VPs are bearing down aggressively for better results and more closed business. Similar to Week One, it is understandable that your sales team is able to realign their focus and efforts to finishing the month strong.  When the finish line draws near, what you had originally set forth to accomplish has now become more of a “reality”. As the month draws to an end, a sales person will scramble and do everything it takes to hit their numbers.

The typical problems lie within the second act of the month, the longest portion, since it consists of the middle two weeks. If Act One and Act Three seem to produce higher results, what is happening during Act Two, The Confrontation– do people lose sight of the end goal?  Do they take their foot off the gas because they feel like they have enough time to reach their goal and lose their sense of urgency? The point is, it could be many different things blending together, which in turn, result in the dip of these sales numbers.

What ideas have you implemented to ensure your sales team avoids the roller coaster ride of their month? A month used to feel long until I stepped foot in the sales world, where as now, after a few blinks of an eye, they seemingly breeze by. So think about what you can do, whether it is for yourself or for your sales team, in setting shorter term goals and incentives to keep people focused with consistent effort and energy levels all month long. Mid-month and weekly contests that emphasize sales production could always assist, especially if there’s money or other prizes to be had. Get creative and be proactive; after the first week, in which you’ve set up your month, think about what you need to do to avoid an anti-climatic resolution. What people don’t realize is that the middle two weeks require the most effort and attention, but in all reality, get the least.


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