Written by Sean McPheat |
Professional selling is perhaps the most subjective business in the world. You will always be somewhat biased when it comes to measuring your own work ethic. The amount of prospects you think you talked to and the actual amount of prospects you spoke with, will seldom match. In addition, factual sales data can be equally as misleading. To get a clear picture of how you are doing in your sales career, you have to measure more than the amount of sales you made.
As an example, using a hypothetical sales person let us assume that in her business, it is typical for a sales person to close two sales per week or eight sales per month. For a sales rep to close four in a week or ten or twelve sales in a month, is considered a great month. The last week of the month, our sales person closed five sales that gave her eleven sales for the month!
Did our sales person have a good month? Before you answer yes, consider this additional information: The sales person’s closing average is 33% or about one out of three, which is a little higher than the company average. She must complete three closing attempts to close one sale. Therefore, to close eleven sales, she should complete 33 closing attempts. However, upon further review, we find that our sales pro only did 18 sales closes that month.
What is The Problem?
You might wonder, “So, what’s wrong with that? She was hot and she just had a good month, right?” What is wrong with that is as per her closing average, she should have completed 33 presentations, but she only did 18. What is wrong with that is that 11 out of 18 is about a 61% closing average! Did her closing ability magically triple overnight?
Your closing average is an average, complied over time. Because you have a one out of five (20%) average, does not mean that you will only sell every fifth prospect. You may make three, four, or more sales in a row. However, eventually the law will catch up to make that average come close to 20%. With that in mind, what do you think is going to happen to our hypothetical sales person next month? The sales person in our example had a terrible month, despite the sales she made.
Do Not Just Measure the Sales
To get an accurate picture of your sales performance, measure more than the end result—the sale. Use CRM (Customer Relationships Management) software or some database management system to track your sales activity accurately.
Track and measure sales activities such as the number of closing attempts, the amount of calls, the amount of emails, the number of sales interactions and the amount of appointments you set. Stay consistent in your work ethic and sales related activity and the results—more sales— will be automatic.
Originally published: 8 July, 2011