Sales are obviously vital for the survival and growth of any business, so do not leave it to chance. There are certain key sales activities that should be continually tracked.
There are certain key sales activities that should be continually tracked.
- Dials – How many calls does it take to reach a key decision-maker?
- Appointments – How many customer appointments are generated from completed calls?
- Recommendations – How many proposals does the salesperson create as a result of her appointments or meetings?
- Sales – What is the number of winning proposals?
- Sales in money – How much revenue is produced by sales?
I recommend recording the sum of these activities weekly. The goal is reaching a point where you know what every call is worth, what every appointment is worth, what every presentation is worth and, finally, what every sale is worth. Now you have not only made your sales predictable, but you can clearly articulate to future sales candidates what’s needed to succeed. How well can a salesperson perform without understanding what’s expected of her? Expectations spell out what’s required to succeed, and it’s best to articulate these during the training period.
For veteran salespeople, job expectations can be defined by:
- The number of customers.
- Revenue of sales per period.
- Gross profit margins.
I suggest actively involving salespeople in the goal-setting process. If you want the sales staff to become more accountable, ask them to set their own goals. Review their performance against these goals on a regular basis. Make it very clear what’s expected of them. Of course, any sales lead is only as good as the customer’s final decision to buy. You should closely scrutinize your marketing and sales process areas, with respect to Return on Investment (ROI) generated by the sales team’s leads:
- How do leads come in?
- What is the quality of these leads?
- Who gets these leads and who hands them out?
- Do we have a support system in place to help with these critical tasks?
- Once a lead is generated, how long does it take for a salesperson to follow up?
- Are they being attended to with callbacks and follow-through, or are they just left to wither on the vine?
- How many sales opportunities do we close?
- Are we tracking any deﬁciencies or obstacles blocking our path to success?
Without a system in place to track all this data, you have no way to analyze sales trends or assess overall team performance. Set your key indicators and track them on at least a weekly basis. That way, everyone gets involved and understands where things are going well and where they’re not.