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How Are Sales Behaviors Related to Goals?
When I was a child, I was always fascinated by numbers. Not that I slammed the math or anything. I was fascinated by numbers because I loved baseball and loved reading box scores. Basically, box scores are percentages. If you hit X number of times and get hits X times, your batting average will be X.
When I moved into sales and sales management, I was a fanatic about figuring out what I or my sales team needed to do to meet revenue goals. Something like this happened. OK, last year we had $12.5 million in sales as a region. Management is asking for a 20% increase in sales, which means the region needs to make $15 million for the year. Then the numbers really start spinning in the brain. Let’s see, Jim made $2.8 million last year, so he has to do… Beth made $3.2 million last year, so she has to do… juggles the numbers in my head since I was 6 years old.
In the late 80s, I was traveling with a salesperson and we were talking about his revenue goals for the year. Man, this guy blew my mind. He described what he needed to sell daily and weekly to hit his numbers. He divided his sales life into sales activities that he had to do every day. How many accounts should he see, how many leads should he see in those accounts, what products should he sell, and what should the margin be? It practically broke the number of bathroom visits for each day!
I was impressed but not enough to remember until about 10 years later when I started training and coaching sales people and sales managers. The idea is really very simple. It becomes more complex during implementation.
The question a manager should ask the salesperson is: what sales behaviors (activities) do you need to do on a daily basis and in what quantity? Here is an oversimplified example. Billy Rae sells golf vacation packages. He has a base salary of 40,000 and receives a 10% commission on the cost of the trip. He sells 10 different packages and found out that the average trip cost is 4K. Being a math wizard, Billy Rae figured out that he made $400 per trip sold. Its quota is 10 trips sold per month. Seventy percent of these trips are sold over the phone, with the remainder sold through face-to-face sales calls.
When Billy Rae and his manager look at the selling behaviors he needs to adopt, they will look at these:
1. How many outbound phone calls does the representative have to make?
2. How many direct contacts with prospects should he have?
3. What is its percentage of total calls to live connections?
4. How much time is spent on each phone call?
5. Of the live calls, how many of them does the representative close for travel?
6. What is the percentage of chat closures?
7. What is the percentage of closures compared to the total number of calls?
8. How many face-to-face sales calls does the representative need to make?
9. What percentage of these does the representative close?
10. What is the closing percentage of face-to-face calls?
11. How many total closures does Billy Rae need to reach his goal?
12. Is this one closed call, two closed calls?
13. How long is each sales call on the phone?
14. How long is each face-to-face sales call?
The scenario doesn’t take into account whether the rep receives leads from ads or has to make cold calls. Obviously, we also don’t know how good a salesman Billy Rae is. Or what is his sales process. This article focuses only on selling behaviors and the quantities of those selling behaviors that the rep should perform.
Let’s face it, this is a pretty example of vanilla. The sales rep who sells high-tech capital goods has a completely different sales cycle than this example illustrates. The rep with a catalog four inches thick will have a harder time placing a monetary value on an average sale. However, the fact is that no matter what a company sells, the sales manager and rep can integrate behaviors and sales numbers around the product. Call it Six Sigma or Metrics, I don’t care. The fact is that a salesperson absolutely must know what their selling behaviors should be.
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