I have never felt sales was a numbers game. I always wanted to help everyone I met with designing a project with their budget.
After 20 years of selling, and helping other sales people, I found it really diffi cult to achieve my goals or help others achieve theirs without a clear understanding of what makes a salesperson successful.
Although there are many things that make a salesperson a success there is a piece that, without it, makes to hard to ever hit a goal or measure success.
MAKING THE NUMBERS WORK
First measure how many raw leads are being converted into appointments. That will give you the percent of raw leads to appointment.
Second, measure how many appointments the sales person went on and then how many design agreements or contracts they signed (depending what model you use in your business), that will give you the closing ratio from appointments. Now total the contract amounts for 2010 and divide that by how many contracts there were. That will give you the average job size.
These are the basics you can measure. If you don’t have this data, you will need to gather the historical from the beginning of 2010 to determine the baseline. Then start tracking in 2011 to monitor any changes.
So for a hypothetical case, say 60 percent of raw leads convert to appointments, and a sales person signs one contract for every seven appointments they make, and their average job size is $80,000. To make this sales person successful in 2011 they would need 292 raw leads, if 60 percent set appointments, they would run 175 appointments, and if they stayed at closing one in seven, they would sign 25 contracts at $80,000.
That is a baseline for 2011. Now you can affect the outcome by changing any of the following:
1. Increase the number of raw leads
- Increase the marketing budget
- Focus the existing marketing to get better returns
- Change the way you are marketing
2. Improve the quality of leads and increase the 60 percent conversion rate
- Focus on target market
- Increase referral business
- For this example all qualified leads have appointments set. Measuring and improving the number of appointments from qualified leads is an opportunity.
3. Improve the closing ratio to better than one contract for every seven appointments
- Do “no sale” surveys to fi nd out why you are not winning them
- Train the salesperson
- Provide more value to the client
4. Increase the average job size
- Look at the image of your company. Could you improve it?
- Examine the ads you are using, the pictures in the brochure, the website.
- Look at the bright spots. What projects have you done in the past with larger job sizes? Target those types of jobs and/or clients.
- Maybe stop doing smaller jobs that interfered with working on the larger projects
- Compare salesperson with others. It might be a limiting belief of theirs.
Based on the above example, this salesperson will need to run 3.5 appointments a week for 50 weeks, allowing for time off.
Other possible behaviors that will increase sales:
- Promoting and working events, such as Home Shows or any other events your company is involved in.
- Calling and visiting past clients. Set a goal: For example, four times a year.
- Calling past prospects. Again, set a goal: For example, 10 per week.
- Join a networking group, attend regularly and be a contributing member. Set a goal of two or four times a month
- Focus on continued education, both provided by the company and set-up the individual. Set a goal of attending a one-day course four times a year.
CULTURE AND ATTITUDE
The numbers used above are only a piece of the puzzle. Making sure the sales person models the culture of your organization which is their “predominating attitude and behaviors” will ensure a successful partnership
Craig Durosko is the chairman of Sun Design, an award-winning design/build fi rm he started in 1988.