It is that time again when all sales teams start with a fresh slate.  We’re back at ZERO and we have new goals to meet.  Do yourself and your sales team a favor, and make 2013 the year of the leading indicator.  This only requires a little up-front work on your part.  Just determine the answers to the following three questions:

  1. What is the most important activity that your salespeople can do that opens up an opportunity?  Sales PipelineIn most selling situations, it is the initial discovery appointment where one either determines they have a live opportunity or not.
  2. What percentage of these activities become closed business?
  3. How many new pieces of new business does the salesperson need to close?

Once you have the answers to these critical questions, it is time to get your team’s buy-in.  If the answers are accurate, all you need to do is focus on the number of activities in the first question.  For example, if Salesperson A needs to close 24 new accounts (2 per month), and he closes 25% of discovery appointment opportunities, then he needs 96 discovery appointments or 8 per month.  Easy, peezy, lemon squeezy.  Just focus your folks on conducting those 8 quality discovery appointments per month.  The closed business will take care of itself.  If the closed business is not coming, then that is a whole different issue which requires coaching intervention, which I will cover next time.