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Sales Is a Numbers Game (But Not the Numbers You Think)

“Sales is a numbers game,” they say. Then they propose that, “if you want better numbers, just make more calls.” And when low activity is the problem, this might be a reasonably good answer.

But most of the numbers that really matter aren’t captured in any format in which a sales manager can easily see them. Sales is a numbers game, but not the numbers you think.

The Numbers

On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being “a disaster” and 10 being “off-the-charts amazing,” how effective is this salesperson?

Oh wait, I should have mentioned that it doesn’t matter what you think. It matters what your prospective clients think. How would they answer these questions?

On a scale from 1 – 10, how much value does this salesperson create for you during your interactions? How much through the process?

1 – 10, with 1 being “a complete inability to listen to anyone other than themselves” and 10 being “the best experience I’ve ever had,” how well does this salesperson listen?

On a scale from 1 – 10, how much do you trust this salesperson to help you with your biggest, most important results? From 1 – 10, how much do they care about you and your business?

1 – 10, rate this person’s initiative, determination, and resourcefulness on your experience with them to date.

How well is this salesperson going to do as an extended part of your team. Answer 1 to 10, with 1 being “doesn’t last a day” and 10 being “they’re my secret weapon and my strategic advantage.”

1 – 10, how likely is it that this salesperson can help you convince the rest of your team to move forward with the solution she proposed? In hours, how much time has this salesperson spent with you and your team?

If you had to pay a premium over and above any competitor’s proposal to buy from this salesperson and their company, as a percentage, how much more would you pay for the value that this salesperson created?

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “we are so, so very dead in the water” and 10 being “they’re going to beg us to act faster,” how much has this salesperson helped you to justify the price to the rest of your organization?

None of these numbers are being captured in your salesforce automation. None of them are easily counted, making them difficult to measure. Much of what matters isn’t easily measured, and good bit of it is invisible.

If sales is a numbers game, the numbers aren’t the ones you believe they are. You can’t capture these numbers, but you can go see for yourself.

Questions

What numbers really matter?

Is more activity always the right remedy for poor results? When is something else a better solution?

If more activity increases your chances of creating more opportunities, what increases your chances of winning those opportunities? Okay, how do you count that?

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