By Howard Shore
I consistently see management frustrated that their sales force is not producing. They will tell me there are enough sales out there, but their people are not getting it done. When I ask where the problem is, they cannot tell me. The reason they can’t tell me is that they are not tracking and measuring the right numbers.
The key to understanding the success of a salesperson is to measure as far upstream in the sales process as possible. Too often we ask salespeople to provide a list of their prospects, with an estimate of the dollar value of the contract, and they keep giving us the same people and deals. In order to properly track your sales activity and to predict sales results, you need to track the following for every salesperson:
How many calls they make daily, and break those down to:
- Messages Left
- Returned Calls
- New Suspects
How many meetings they have, and break that down to:
- New Prospects
- Referral Partners/Centers of Influence
- 2nd and 3rd Visits
- Deals Closed
In the Pipeline
- Number of suspects – Scheduled and/or had first meetings
- Prospects – Prospects need what you have, and there is a compelling reason to take action; you have developed a relationship, and they see you differently from your competitors.
- Qualified Prospects – They are completely qualified to do business with you, and you are qualified to do business with them.
- Closeable – You are ready to propose and close the deal.
It all starts with phone calls and prospecting activity. If they do not do enough there, you are guaranteed to not have enough sales. In addition, with each individual, you can start predicting the amount of upfront activity it takes to achieve the desired sales targets, which will be different for each person. Some people are stronger closers and thus do not need as many deal opportunities. Some people are prospecting machines, but are not as good at closing. In the end, a certain amount of activity leads to a certain amount of productivity, and the math adds up.
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