Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sales Management By The Numbers

Writen by Steve Martinez

If you ask me how much Bobby will sell this month, there is only one way to tell. It isn't by what Bobby wrote on his forecast sheet. However, with the right information, this is an equation I can get into. If we run the sales activity numbers, we can pretty accurately determine where Bobby will end up this month, quarter and year. As the numbers and ratios change so will the final results. This can be exciting, when we are interested in managing sales and our business through sales activities.

Sales activity numbers are an important indicator of success and failure. The problem associated with calculating sales activity is that many salespeople and sales managers don't keep track of the vital numbers to make the analysis. The numbers aren't that difficult to track but many people are afraid of what the numbers will reveal. There is a dark side to numbers when used to point out only the negatives.

Let's go back to old early algebra scenarios. We ask Bobby how many sales contacts it will take him to reach 50,000 dollars in sales this month. We could calculate this out, if we knew how many contacts it takes Bobby to get an appointment. This will lead us to his average sale. If we know what these numbers are and apply them to the sales formula, we have our answer.

Improving Success Through Ratios

The great thing about numbers and ratios is they can tell us where Bobby needs help and support. We wouldn't normally have this unless we have Bobby's contact numbers to calculate his success ratios. If it takes Bobby 30 telephone contacts to get one appointment, the numbers tell us that Bobby is at a very low 30-1 ratio. If this was his baseball batting average, we wouldn't want him on our team. Bobby would be in a terrible slump and in serious trouble. Now we can look at several things, his telephone script, and the quality and type of the contacts on his telephone list. Perhaps the timing of his telephone calls and the tone and rhythm of his voice needs work too.

The good news is that Bobby only needs a few hits to improve his ratios. All of a sudden Bobby is looking pretty good. It usually doesn't take much to make this transformation. If we don't have the numbers, we won't know where we are and what our ratios can tell you.

What Is A Good Ratio For Your Sales Team?

Keeping track of your sales and contact numbers is an easy thing for some people and difficult for others. Those that know them have an advantage. ACT! is a great tabulator for this. If you examine your numbers and ratios, they will tell you where you need improvement and where you are awesome.

Steve Martinez is a Sales Management Growth Strategist and Founder of Selling Magic. His organization teaches businesses how to automate and customizing CRM solutions with the best practices of sales management for increased profits.

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