Know your numbers

If you are a Business Owner, you probably didn’t go into business for yourself because you love the process of client acquisition. Am I right?

The truth is, most of us don’t really like the idea of selling ourselves and closing business. We would rather go to networking events, build elaborate websites, spend endless hours creating social media content and work on our ‘branding’. While these activities may be necessary depending on how your buyers prefer to buy, none of these activities are considered sales activity, they belong in the Marketing Category.

What is considered Sales Activity?

The sales process starts when there is enough interest coming from the buyer that they raise their hand and say, “Tell me more”. Here’s an example- you met someone at a networking function, they expressed interest when you told them what you do and then you schedule a call to discuss how you might be able to help them. Meeting them at the networking function is a Marketing Activity. Scheduling a call to discuss how you can help them moves into the Sales Activity category.

You may be better at selling than you think.

Most people think that they suck at selling, but I am here to tell you, that isn’t true. What is true is that most people haven’t spent much time actually doing things that would move a sales opportunity from an initial meeting to a signed agreement. Following this logic, you can’t suck at doing things you aren’t doing. The first step to getting good at selling is to have a process in place so you can turn a prospect into a client.

What does a sales process look like?

The typical sales process has 3 stages:

Discovery– this is your initial appointment where you and your prospect explore whether they have a problem that they want to fix and it’s one that you can fix.

Recommendations– This is where you might put your offer in writing, otherwise known as a proposal. If you have a physical product, there may be a demo at this stage as well.

Decision– This is where you get the Yes, No or Maybe. We’ll address maybe’s in a future post.

What numbers do I need to track?

If you are just starting to track your results, let’s keep it simple. At the bare minimum, you want to know:

How many opportunities does it take to get a Discovery Appointment?

How many Discovery Appointments turn into a recommendation or proposal?

How many Proposals turn into a Yes, a No, a Maybe.

Why should I track my numbers?

You need to understand what is going well in your sales process, and what are areas for improvement. If you are really good at getting people to agree to a discovery appointment, but after the appointment, only 10% move on to the recommendation stage, there are things you can do to get better results in that part of the sales cycle. If you do a lot of proposals, and get a lot of maybe’s, you may have not zero’ed in on a real problem that the buyer wants to deal with. See how that works?

If you aren’t tracking your results yet, please start today, after all, you can’t improve something if you don’t know what you need to fix.

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