Written by Sean McPheat |
4 July, 2011
Sales people usually look in only a few areas when it comes to finding ways to increase sales. Sales professionals look to increase the total amount of prospects they see by making more calls, sending more emails and increasing their overall prospecting activity. Or, the sales person and management team look to increase closing averages by learning more techniques, overcoming a few more objections or being a bit more persistent.
Understand the Sales Process
However, the easiest way to increase your sales instantly is to concentrate on raising your efficiency in smaller, seemly less important areas of your sales process.
First, you must clearly understand your sales process and your S.O.S. – Science of Selling. You have to know all of your numbers as facts. In other words, you must know your exact closing average, but also your appointment setting average. Exactly how many calls do you make every day and exactly what percentage become appointments?
You must know the exact percentage of people that answer the telephone when you cold call and precisely what percentage of decision makers (DMs) you reach. You have to understand your sales process and S.O.S and you must base these numbers on factually data. Once you have these numbers you can change everything!
Focus on Other Sales Activities
Let us imagine a sales person’s numbers look like this:
20 – Cold Calls
15 – Answers
8 – DMs Reached
4 – Appointments Set
2 – Sales Closed
The Usual Suspects
Again, the usual attack is to try to increase the closing percentage to more than 50% or simply make more than 20 cold calls. However, let us look at the number of DMs reached compared to the number of calls answered. Could we increase the amount of DMs reached, which is barley over 50%? Is the sales person just having bad luck on reaching DMs, or is it more likely the result of sophisticated gatekeeper screens? If the sales person could increase the percentage in this area, sales will increase even though all the other percentages remain the same. As an example:
20 – Cold Calls
15 – Answers
12 – DMs reached = Sales person gets past more screens and increased this percentage
6 – Appointments Set = Number of sets has increased, yet the percentage remained the same
3 – Sales Closed = Closed sales have increased, yet closing average remains the same.
You are not going to double your closing average overnight. However, can you increase the percentage of returned calls you receive or the amount of retuned emails? Can you raise the percentage of people who opt-in for your literature?
Keep good records and be a true professional. Increase proficiency and efficiency in every area of your sales process and you will increase your income.
Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person: