Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How To Get Your Salespeople To Exceed Your Expectations

If you have salespeople in the field, chances are that you have a firm sales goal in mind as to how much sales you would like to see each of them make every week, every month, or every quarter. You might even be thinking, "How hard can it be to close two sales a month? Why not just do it?"

But it might not be that simple. In an excellent blog post, "The Law of Large Numbers," sales consultant Russell Anderson points out that getting each of your salespeople to hit a target number can be harder than you think, because there are a lot of variables at work. To quote from the post:

". . . hypothetically, it takes 500 contacts to yield 20 responses that will result in two to three completed sales. Depending on the experience and skill of the sales person or the customers' appeal of a business, the actual numbers in the sequence may vary considerably. Where this becomes more complex is when you reconcile that the exceptional sales person will achieve results with fewer contacts, a higher ratio of responses, and convert more meetings into actual sales. The average sales person may need to overload the effort in any or all of the steps to achieve the same sales results."

That's wise thinking and it teaches some useful concepts about getting more results from salespeople:

  • If you have newer salespeople who are just learning your business, they are going to need more leads, and more support, before they can make the sales number that you expect from them. Compared to your top salespeople, you can expect that newer sales staff will convert a smaller percentage of overall leads into actual sales.

  • If you have more experienced salespeople, they will close at least two times more sales per 100 leads than your "greener" salesmen and saleswomen will. Yet if you want those results, you will need to provide them with more leads, and schedule more sales calls for them. Keep your expectations reasonable, however. Because there are only so many hours in the day to call on customers, there is a realistic upper limit on how many sales your strongest people can make.

So the lesson is that it can be best to look at each member of your sales team and to expect different results from each of them. And remember that over time, you can grow your "greener" salespeople into top producers.

Thanks to Diana Pohly / Step By Step Marketing

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