You never produce results without activity. But you also never produce results without those activities generating a positive outcome.
You can count the number of phone calls you make, but that’s only an indication of one part of your effort, your willingness to dial the telephone. It says nothing about how willing you were to engage in the right conversations when someone answered. It also reveals nothing about how effective you were on that call.
A scheduled appointment proves that a commitment was gained. That’s a good indication of a positive outcome. But that appointment tells you nothing about whether the prospective client has a problem you can solve, whether they’re dissatisfied enough to change, or whether or not the appointment is with the right person.
Face-to-face sales calls are easily counted. And they are the critical interaction that creates and moves opportunities forward. But counting them tells you nothing about the quality of the interaction. It doesn’t say anything about how the salesperson was perceived by the client or whether or not they created the kind of value that generates trust. The number of sales calls also doesn’t speak to whether or not you gained any real insight as to how you might help your prospective client.
Most salespeople fail because they take too little action or they are inconsistent. But anything that is easy to count isn’t often meaningful, and most of what is meaningful doesn’t easily lend itself to be counted.