It takes a lot to simply earn a living in sales, for instance:
- Product knowledge
- Customer awareness
- People and organizational skills
- Consistently asking for the business
- Having the drive for success
But what separates a great sales person from merely a “good” one? Having worked with hundreds of sales professionals over the last 20 years, I believe it’s the sales people and teams who have an accountability method in place that not only tracks the end result but also tracks each step in the process. While monitoring sales, commissions and closes is important, it does not tell the whole story. To ensure that you can reach the highest levels of sales success, you need to be able to measure each step in the process to accurately assess your skills, process and sales strategy.
The sales process can be complex, and managing your sales pipeline from lead generation through to the close and then beyond is critical. I have seen many sales people who were considered successful but they did not know and track their sales process every step of the way. When they put these critical measurements in place and used them to improve their skills, processes and sales strategy, they were able to become much more successful. They went from being in the middle of the pack to way out in front!
The most successful sales organizations I have worked with have had methods in place to monitor at least 5-7 key steps in the process. They measure the activities related to these steps daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. They do it day after day and year after year. Collecting this information allows them to precisely look at their process and determine where they need to focus their energy to continuously improve the results.
When you know how many lead generating activities it takes to generate “x” number of leads, how many leads turn into sales presentations, how many sales presentations turn into proposals, and how many proposals turn into closes, you know your sales process. Once you know your process you can begin to look at your skills, processes and sales strategy to make changes in how you sell. You’ll improve your success and separate yourself and your business from the rest of the pack!