16/01/2013 - 08:10

Are you making sales or measuring activity?

16/01/2013 - 08:10


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THE amount of time management spends measuring sales activity and salespeople is generally wasted.

The same amount of time could be invested in making millions of dollars worth of sales if the salesperson was just pointed in the right direction, and trained what to ‘produce’ rather than what to ‘do’.

How do you measure sales success?

What’s on your sales dashboard?

What’s on your manager’s sales dashboard?

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I measure sales in 3.5 ways.

1.    How many sales did you make?

2.    What was the dollar amount?

3.    What was the profit?

3.5 What was the source of the sale?

All other measurements pale by comparison.

There are many sales managers who measure ‘activity’; a complete waste of time. If you’re comparing a salesperson who makes 100 cold calls a day but zero sales to a salesperson who makes one appointed sales call from a referral and makes one sale, what’s the measurement?

Will the manager yell at the guy who made the sale? Will the manager congratulate the salesperson who made 100 cold calls but no sale? The 100 cold calls completed the activity requirement, but had a zero return, yet his dashboard will show he made 100 cold calls.

I may be old fashioned but I’m pragmatic, especially about the sales process. Measure sales, not activity. Measure dollars, not activity. Measure profit, not activity. Document sources, not activity.

I don’t care about activity, even though activity may eventually lead to results. The real question is: what kind of results? If you have to measure a salesperson’s daily activity, you have hired the wrong salesperson or (worse) the wrong manager.

I don’t want activity. I want proactivity.

I don’t want activity. I want productivity.

I don’t want activity. I want profit.

When you understand the difference between activity, proactivity, productivity, and profit, then and only then will you understand the difference between a useless cold call and the power of an unsolicited referral. The cold call is an activity. An unsolicited referral is productivity and profit.

A salesperson or a sales manager looking at activity without understanding what the activity actually is, or produces, is basically staring at a black hole - and worse, blaming someone or some thing, rather than taking responsibility to study ‘What am I doing with my time?’ or better ‘How am I investing my time?’

Here are some measurements to uncover reality.

•    Is this the highest, best use of my time?

•    Will this produce the best results for my invested time?

•    Is there a better way for me to achieve a higher result?

•    Am I frustrated with this activity?

•    Is this activity producing sales?

•    Is this activity producing profit?

•    Is this activity getting to my attitude?

•    Now that I’ve buried activity, time management, and cold calls, it’s time to move on to pipeline.

When The Tubes recorded The Completion Backward Principle in the early 1980s, their hit song ‘Talk to You Later’ was a satirical comment on how backwards politics was. So they started at the core and worked forward to society.

I created a similar backward principle on accident in the early 1960s.

I was running my dad’s kitchen cabinet factory, and the output production goal was 200 cabinet doors per day. Somehow I knew if we didn’t cut and prepare 200 doors a day we could never produce them. So I started with cutting rather than measuring activity.

Surprise, surprise, once I measured 200 doors cut, I ended the day with 200 doors produced. No rocket science there.

It’s the same in sales. If your goal is two sales a week and it takes four appointments to get one sale, then you need eight appointments. If it takes four calls to make one appointment, then the goal is not two sales, the mission is 32 calls..

Got activity? Or got sales? Get real.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training, seminars, and webinars -or email him personally at salesman@gitomer.com

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don't reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/3331112 www.gitomer.com.


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