For many business leaders, managing sales can be time-consuming, challenging and stressful. From hiring a personable staff member to take over only to find out they’re not that good it, to hoping that your sales manager and salesperson can manage it themselves—the challenges seem to never end. Oftentimes, business owners choose to delegate sales and simply hope that business increases, and truthfully, if I hadn’t been thrown into the whirlwind of sales management at Proctor & Gamble many moons ago, I’d probably feel the same way.
Sales tends to be one area that isn’t systematically and aggressively monitored by management—which is one reason why it can be a headache waiting to happen. But there’s a formula you can apply to your business so that managing sales is predictable, routine, and—best of all—pretty simple once you’ve set up and aligned your goals and tracking system.
Take a look at the two keys we’ve found to be at the heart of success when it comes to managing your company’s sales function:
- Focus on sales activities, as well as sales results
Since sales fluctuate depending on the sales cycle as well as the time of year, you simply can’t rely on managing only the sales results to determine success. Managing sales boils down to tracking and monitoring BOTH the activities that lead to sales as well as the results, the actual sales $, themselves.
- Certain levels of activities result in certain sales results
You’ve heard it before and it’s true: Sales is a numbers game. Reviewing and adjusting the sales activities numbers on a regular basis is what will lead to your desired sales results.
I’ve developed a 1-page tool that captures both sales activities and sales results and then lets you track against them on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual basis… all on the same 1-page Excel spreadsheet. The formulas are built right in, so all you have to do is decide what activities you want to track and plug in your goal numbers.
Click here to download the spreadsheet from our website.
Below is a simple overview on how YOU can start utilizing this simple tool today to help you manage your sales and keep your business moving forward:
- Determine the types of sales activities needed for your industry (emails, calls, etc.)
- Determine the “weight” of each activity (For example, appointments are always more valuable (weighted 3 in my example) than phone calls (weighted 1) but both are vital to sales success.) Decide what weight you want to give to each activity and enter them in the row “Activity Weight.”
- Determine the Daily Targets, or the number of each activity you want to do each day. I’ve entered some sample numbers.
- Execute the Weighted Sales Activity Plan:
- Each day, the salesperson should track activity levels versus plan. I’ve entered some sample numbers so you can see how they total Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Annually.
- The sales manager or business leader should review on a daily basis initially (for, say, 30 days), then once/week during the weekly sales meeting
- When you begin to see results:
- Capture the Sales Process versus what you originally thought it would be to see if you’re tracking the “right” activities.
- Evaluate whether the activities are sufficiently meeting your Sales Goals.
- Evaluate the Weighted Sales Activity Plan:
- If sales results are on or above plan – continue utilizing the Plan.
- If sales results are below plan, try:
- Adjusting the types of activities.
- Raising the Sales Activity level.
- Checking performance on each Sales Activity – sales training may be needed.
This’ll take the pain out of managing the sales function but the best part is, it will produce more sales and steady sales if you stick with managing your sales function in this manner.
Feel free to call or email if you have questions.