In sales, mostly it is a numbers game. When you work the numbers, the numbers work for you. If you do not know the numbers or simply do not follow the process, you are leaving money on the table in your career and business. When you understand the elements that lead into each part of the process, you can then measure your progress or the converse, your lack of progress. When you measure it, then you can begin to manage it. The problem is most Salespeople only measure one or two of the elements (and perhaps there are more elements to your process- either way, we need to get them defined so you can start the proper measuring). There are three elements to measuring you need to pay proper attention too: What to measure, When to measure and how to adjust the measurements.
What to Measure
Most sales process look something like this:
- Prospect (going out and looking for prospective clients)
Pretend for a moment that you need to knock on “x” amount of doors (or make “x” amount of phone calls) to get an appointment. Next you need to get “y” amount of appointments to get “z” amount of sales. “Z” amount of sales will then lead to “y” amount of customers who will refer you, which continues the cycle. Maybe your sales process requires a quote, which adds another step into your process. Whatever is necessary, write these steps down and then start to measure them for the next 30 days.
At the end of the 30 days, you will have a better idea as to where improvement can be made. For example; you measure for 30 days and determine that your result (bottom line/paycheck/etc…) is not near where you want it to be. First question I have is how many phone calls or door knocks did you perform? If that numbers seems to be on task, then I will ask how many appointments did you get? Depending on your industry, competitive situation and allowance for product variation,, marketing and other input, you should have an idea what the standard should be and how you measure up. If you find that you are getting enough appointments, but not enough sales- boom- fix your sales presentation (or maybe your marketing is drawing the wrong kind of appointment) If you are getting plenty of phone calls, but no appointments-BAM fix your phone script. Following this fundamental principle will amaze you with the results.
When to measure
When you have a report card method of Measuring, keep in mind that you will be past the point of correction. Let me explain. Remember back in school when at the end of the semester or way back at the end of the school year, you received your report card . Let’s say you did poorly and got an “f”; it is either too late to fix of at the very least you need to scramble to fix it. Measuring monthly is something that salespeople do for the main reason that they are paid commissions monthly and have a cut off point. Fact is the great salespeople will measure hourly, daily, weekly and monthly. They know how to rate having an hourly expectation of performance. In their daily life for example, when they have several hours in a day that do not meet that expectation, they understand they need to turn up the heat a little. Develop an urgent method of when to measure so you don’t fall into “last week of the month” syndrome (you know- when you come down to the final week to earn money and find yourself coming up short, so you turn up the heat to make up for the other 3 weeks of mediocre performance).
How to adjust the measurements.
You will quickly discover that your expectations are too high, or by simply measuring, you can adjust your expectations higher so you can score even better. It is necessary to look for this adjustment as you will have the opportunity to refine your process and maximize sales. Further if your expectation is too high, you will become distracted and discouraged, so proper expectations are crucial to achieve maximum growth. Chart your progress of what was expected and what was achieved and over a several month period, you will find the trends. Further you will see anomalies in your results which may or may not add or take away from month to month results the following year.
Working your measurements may seem tedious, but it is a vital part of the growth process.