Skip to main content

Sales - making the numbers work for you

 The sales cycle is pretty simple really.  It starts with a prospect, ends with a close, and starts again with the next opportunity.

So how do you make the numbers work for you?   First of all, you need to understand your own numbers.  You can benchmark against other sales people, against industry standards and all manner of other statistics, but if you don't know your own hit rates, and own them, you are lost.

Sales Managers put complex models together to measure sales people.   This is partly so that they are able to understand what is needed for success from each person.   Unfortunately, many sales people don't spend the time to understand the model, and do not buy into the numbers game.

Lets look at a simple example:

Target = R1.2 million of new sales per annum
Prospect pipeline = R3.6 million
Last years hit rate = 20% of pipeline
20% of pipeline = R720 000

Taking this into account, there are two possible scenarios:
  • Improve the hit rate to 33%
  • Grow the pipeline to R6 million
Then you have to dig deeper into your sales methods.
  • How do you build your prospect list?
    • Phoning, referrals, existing clients
  • What is your follow up process once you have delivered the proposal?
    • Phone calls, chasing the close
    • Keeping the signatory in the loop on industry issues, sending articles, newsletters
    • Entertaining, lunches, rugby box seats, etc
What works, what doesn't?

Improve the hit rate
  • How many opportunities are on your pipeline
  • Where do they come from
  • Talk to your sales successes - ask them why they bought from you and would they do so again
  • Analyse where your sales have come from in the past
  • Does your current pipeline reflect past success ie if 50% of last years sales were in the mining industry, how much of your current pipeline is in the same industry
  • How many sales did you bring in last year to hit your target and what was your hit rate on number of deals
  • How many calls (visits/presentations/meetings/entertainment) did you make to bring in the deals / prospects last year
  • Are you doing the same amount to bring in a higher target, or have you just upped your prices?
The list is endless, but you can't do the same to bring in more, and you need to look objectively at what worked and what didn't

Grow the Pipeline
  • Ask for referrals from your current clients, prospects and new signers
  • Network externally, sales is not a 9 to 5 job, you need to belong to associations, sports clubs, etc
  • Network on social media, use LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, comment on articles, build a presence
  • Network within your own business, build relationships with your colleagues and the broader group you might be a part of
  • Network with your clients, retain and build the relationship after you have the sale, you should speak to your existing clients regularly, even when they are not buying, make them feel appreciated
When you are committed to making numbers work for you, setting achievable goals and objectives (in addition to your company's targets) is critical.   Then share them, because that ups your commitment.   So if your current pipeline is R3.6 on January 1st, set a goal of R3.8 for February 1st, and aim to achieve that goal, then set the next one.

Design a spreadsheet that tracks successes, and reset goals monthly if you are ahead or behind.

One of the sayings I have always believed is "People do what managers measure", it is also true that people do what they measure for themselves.


The Sales Cycle


Links, References and Notes

Accsys


Note


Thank you for reading Teryl@Work.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source

email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za

twitter:   @TerylSchroenn

Popular posts from this blog

Salespeople - Just Answer the Question.

How we love to elaborate…     Both in our personal and business lives.   It is rare to find somebody who simply answers the question.
In sales, it is becoming more and more critical to just say yes or no.   If you want to embroider afterwards, by all means, but tell the client you can or you can’t do it, first.

That’s what they remember, the yes or the no. Being married to an engineer, I have learnt that if I don’t answer the question, he simply repeats it, until he gets a definitive answer..
As the above is extremely bad for marital relationships, I try to say yes or no first and then give the details.

I thought it was just me, but I have been observing my friends and the people I work with, and it is fascinating how few one word answers are immediately available. When you are selling and a client asks you:
If the widget turns blue in the dark, say yes if it does, then ask if that is a key part of the decision making processIf they ask when you can deliver, give them a…

Hi, 22 year old me..

If I were 22 May is my birthday month, so a time for celebrations and introspection. In interviews, I often ask our applicants to pretend they are 60, and look back on their careers.   Their dreams range from leaving a legacy to being able to retire by the age of 45. At 22, I had taken my first steps on the career ladder.   I had been promoted from being a PA and Installation Secretary (setting up PoS installations for NCR’s large retailers) to becoming a full time programmer. I had made some extremely poor academic decisions, and realised I had to make some very good career choices.   Software development was a relatively new field when I was in my early 20s, and it became an exciting and fulfilling career. Based on my history what advice would I give myself or a new graduate? It doesn’t matter what you have studied, or what your first job is. Keep looking for your passion, find what makes you happy. If it’s money, and you don’t mind being a little unchallenged, as long as there is eno…

3 things to do BEFORE you resign

or sign a new contract…
1.Confirm your notice period ·A lot of companies allow 30 days from date of resignation, but many ask for a calendar month
2.Check your restraints ·If you are joining a competitor ·If you are joining a client
3.Find out when your last payment will be transferred ·Companies have been burned by paying over on the 25th, and people not returning, so they may delay payment transfer until the last official working day, or even the first day of the following month.  You may need to make special arrangements regarding debit orders ….
Both your current company and your new one deserve to be fairly treated.   Knowledge of the policies makes this possible.
Even if the policies don’t make sense to you, you agreed to them when you signed your contract.
HR managers will tell you how many great working relationships are damaged because people don’t follow policy when resigning. It’s worth taking the time for many good reasons.  Building a solid career can depend just as much on how you …