Q1 not go as expected? Here are a few ideas to implement for Q2 to get your organization back on track and generating the revenue you want. (With a little help from HBO's Silicon Valley).

Leading an organization at any level is hard enough when things are going well. But "going well" doesn't exactly describe the state of affairs for many executives who began 2015 with a whimper, instead of a bang.  

Fortunately, April signals the blossoming of Spring, a time of renewal and rebirth. Resurrect your sales team's profits in Q2 by following these helpful tips.

How To Leverage Q1 Failure into Q2 Success

The purpose here is to offer a few solutions that can help your Business team collect themselves and get back on their feet for Q2. With a new season of HBO's Silicon Valley (an Ambition favorite) just around the corner, we figured it would be fun to incorporate a few of the best clips from Season 1 to help illustrate our directives while keeping things light.

1. Wipe the slate clean.

Momentum can either be your best friend or worst enemy, and right now, it's the latter. Take a symbolic action that shuts the door on Q1.

Silicon Valley Tip #1: Don't have a panic attack.

Your organization is going to follow your lead. If you panic right now and let Q1 numbers hang over you, then you're giving license for the rest of your team to do likewise. You need performers who are inspired, relaxed and motivated, not as stressed out as you are. Encourage your team to mentally put Q1 behind them. 

The goal is to conduct an audit of what went wrong in Q1, while preventing failure from inhabiting the mindset of your team as it ventures into Q2. 

2. Look at your numbers and figure out the weakness in your process.

If you're asking yourself, "What numbers?" or "What process?" Proceed immediately to Step 3.

If you do have the numbers in front of you, look through them and see what is or is not working. For example, if your Inside Sales team is where the struggle is occurring, assess what their process is and whether it requires minor alterations or a full-scale overhaul.

Silicon Valley Tip #2: Figure out where your problems are.

Especially in companies that are still growing, there is a learning curve that must take place in order to reach full maturation. Even the fastest-growing companies are not without weaknesses. Look to your Q1 struggles as a guidepost and leverage them into positives by informing and accelerating the steps you must take to optimize your product, your processes and your people.

3. Learn all your numbers and tighten up your process.

If you don't have all your numbers, figure out where there's a deficiency in acquiring them. From there, take the numbers you do have and, after making your assessment, implement a strategy to tighten up your processes.

Silicon Valley Tip #3: Understand where your people are adding value.

If your sales team, for example, is reaching out to a wide swath of buyer types, figure out which ones have been the most apt to buy and hone in on those for Q2. Let your people know they will only be contacting people with that type of buyer profile.

Alternatively, if you've been mixing in social selling with your sales process, and you assess that that's had little impact on close rates, make it a policy to remove that from your process.

4. Let your top performers know it's time to step up.

Not everyone on your team had a bad Q1 -- some people may have even killed it. Now is the time to personally reach out to those people and let them know that it's their time to shine. Their goal for Q2: Help make their peers better.

Silicon Valley Tip #4: Let people know it's their time to shine. (But don't follow Erlich's example).

These are the people you need the most feedback from during your rough stretch. Let them know they are valued and that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

If some of your top performers are millennials, who happen to crave this type of feedback, not to mention an approachable manager who coaches and mentors them, then trust me, schedule a brief one-on-one meeting with them and have this conversation. They will love you for it and push themselves as asked.

5. Light a fire in, not under, your low performers.

Before you have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with your team, figure out who is not meeting their full potential and seek to assess why. This isn't the time to clean house, it's time to re-establish what it means to be a part of your organization -- what's expected of you, what you're capable of, and how you can contribute more.

Silicon Valley Tip #5: Set the proper tone. (But again, don't follow Erlich's example).

How you do it is up to you, but you need to get your personnel opening up to your leadership about where their issues are. From there, figure out how to re-conceptualize roles in a way that will make people more driven and aware of their own potential within your organization. 

Turn Q1 Tailspin into Q2 Success

The ultimate sign of one's character is how he or she acts under stress or in times of adversity. If your company is struggling its way through the beginning of the year, now is the time to discover its true mettle.

Taking the five steps noted in this article won't guarantee you a world-beating Q2. However, it will assure that you derive value from the travails you're undergoing and that you exit Q1 with a sense of how to become a stronger, leaner and meaner operation. More importantly, it will give you a head start on getting there.

You've survived the Ides of March, now make like Silicon Valley's Pied Piper and become the upstart, world-beating organization you're capable of -- just in time for Season 3.

Ambition: 360° Sales Management Software

Ambition clarifies and publicizes real-time performance analytics for your entire sales organization. Using a drag-and-drop interface, non-technical sales leaders can build custom scorecards, contests, reports, and TVs.


Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review, AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization), and USA Today as a proven solution for managing millennial sales teams. Hear from our customers below.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations . 
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  • ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  • Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
  • AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Clayton HomesHBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics. 
  2. Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
  3. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  4. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

Popular Content