The Silver Bullet to Create More Sales
Are you a company leader or sales leader who would like to increase your company’s revenue? Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to grow? Is sales a mythical beast that is hard to tame and even harder to get to do what you want? If any of this sounds like you, here’s what I say in response: You just need a better system.
Many of the company leaders I start to work with are struggling to hit their sales goals. They’re either trying to hit the ground running, out of a hole, or off the plateau. Very few of us get to experience hyper sales growth; which sounds great until you actually have to deal with the suite of new problems that come accompanying that (that is a different discussion). For most of us, it is an initial lack of sales that is the main issue. Many times unfortunately, the sales team is seen as a “necessary evil.”
I personally don’t understand that mentality, but I see it a lot. I hear things like, “their paperwork stinks, they over-promise, they make too much money!!” “How hard can it be?!?!?!”
Regardless of how organized your sales team is, a good one will simply make you money. Now, you don’t want them over-promising or doing anything that’s unethical, but if you have a system in place to support them, you’re golden. You need to implement a system that will help you control the process and know what’s going on. If done right and followed through on, it will not only help you understand how sales are going, it will help you project your business, spot trends, and make you AND the sales person more money. #WINNING.
The key to all of it is statistics. Sales management is a numbers game. Here are a few steps to get you started:
BUILD A PLANNING SHEET
This form should be something that has categories like number of contacts, hottest prospects, planned marketing campaigns, etc on it. The focus should be on the sales person filling it out as they work through the week. What things are they doing. It is a real time report, not a history lesson. It should be done on as “as completed” basis, to assure they are doing the activities that drive sales, versus filling it all in at once in order to report it to the manager.
REVIEW THE PLAN
If you are a sales manager, require a weekly update of not only what happened last week, but what is planned to happen in the next week. By reviewing performance, missed targets can be discussed and plans can be generated to make up for the short falls this coming week. In addition, you’ll have familiarity and input on the future plans to help guide your salespeople.
If you want something to happen over the long haul, you have to ensure activities occur all along the way. If activity targets are missed…why? One of my favorite sayings about non-performance is “it is either a listening problem or a respect problem.” Which one? Either they didn’t hear you (doubtful), or they don’t respect you enough to do as you asked. If they consistently don’t do tasks that are completely about their own effort, sounds like you need a new salesperson. If they just follow the system, eventually, they will get more sales. It is just a numbers game at that point of how many of each activity it takes to generate a sale.
ANALYZE YOUR DATA
Collect all of the information on activities and counts. Graph them over time to watch the relationship between the number of activities and the number of appointments or conversions or some other measure depending on your industry. Soon you will have a statistical model that will not only show you what you have done, but allow you to predict the future. If you see it takes 20 contacts to make one appointment and 3 appointments to close a contract, you know that every 60 contacts on average will generate a sale. Changing nothing else with regard to price, product, presentation, promotion or the salesperson, you should be able to predict your sales rate by raising and lowering your activity levels. Call centers and other high volume sales operations have been doing this for years. I rarely see it in most other industries though.
The Silver Bullet to sales is really just as simple as having a system that is followed consistently and then tracked with accountability. This alone can juice your sales! Just think of what you could do. It becomes exponential growth very quickly. Until next time, go make something happen.