Recently, I held a planning session with one of our “rising-star” sales reps in our Summit program. Our call was focused on setting his goals for the coming year. Over the last year and a half, the rep had done a great job tracking his estimates, so we had plenty of data to look at – a great help. During our meeting, we went through a standard list of items, including # of leads, close rate, time spent prospecting, etc. Then we hit on something interesting…and very motivating.
While this sales rep’s close rate was great, his percent of dollars closed was just average. Percent of dollars is measured by the dollar amount of sales divided by the dollar amount estimated in a given period. After looking over the numbers, a real opportunity became clear. A 6% increase in this sales rep’s dollars closed percent, from 29% to 35%, resulted in a 20% increase in revenue, all while doing the same amount of estimates. Now that’s a return on investment!
We then turned our attention to what behaviors would be necessary to accomplish this goal. After some discussion, here’s what we decided:
–Spend more time with larger estimates. In his zeal to provide great customer service and establish the company brand, he realized he was spending almost the same amount of time with each prospect. Bigger jobs need more follow-up and attention. Because the metrics can be skewed by a few really big estimates here and there, closing just one of them could have a huge effect in achieving our goal.
–Leverage past customers. At our Summit conference this year, Todd Cohen discussed the idea of a “virtual sales team.” This sales rep realized he could be making better use of his relationships. We discussed three specific tactics: (1) being more aggressive about getting referrals; (2) create a “customer loyalty offer,” that incentives past customers; and (3) use his past customers as references more often (this would be a great way to get prospects “off the fence,” and buy from him).
–Continuous Improvement. For the coming year, he is going to rewrite the agenda for the weekly sales meeting. The meeting will now be more focused on his new goals. He will also be joining the Summit Sales Accountability Group to improve his sales skills and get feedback and encouragement from other sales reps.
At the end of the meeting, we were both incredibly confident in the coming year. He was energized and ready to take on the challenge of a new year. So, what are your goals for 2012? What opportunities are there for improvement? Most importantly, what specific behaviors are you going to execute to get to the finish line at the front of the pack? I’m certain the answers will get you energized, too.