Success in business and in life is not about perfection. It’s about persistent, incremental progress.
And so it is with your small business’ sales.
The best thing you can do to insure steady sales and sales growth is to break down your sales goal into small steps.
Sometimes leaders of small to mid-sized businesses throw out an overall sales goal for the company but neglect to determine what activities will lead to that sales goal… and how many of those activities it takes to reach the overall desired sales result. It’s understandable in small to mid-sized businesses, because the leaders or owners typically are managing not only sales, but finance, operations, HR, and everything else!
You’ve heard us say “identify and measure the activities that will lead to your desired results.” Another way we’ve said the same thing is “identify and focus on the lead measures vs. fixating on the lag measures.” Any way you say it, break down your sales goal into small steps in order to:
- Make them easier to manage on a daily basis
- Allow you to track them on a weekly and monthly basis,
- Ultimately ACHIEVE your sales goal
Ways to break down your sales goal
The way you break down your sales goal depends on the type of business you’re in. You might break down your sales goal by sales per product, per type of service, or per type of customer. For some businesses it makes sense to break down your sales goal by geography or by salesperson.
Whatever initial breakdowns you choose, the path to each one will be different so you’ll want to break each down into the activities necessary to achieve the goal. Some goals might require a certain number of phone calls, in-person calls, referrals, quotes, maintenance calls, repair calls, surgical procedures, or projects.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that a heating and cooling company’s overall sales goal is $2 million. They want 60% of that $2 million to come from new installations. The average revenue per installation is $12K so they need 100 installations. Next they expect that 60% of those installations come from service call referrals and 40% come from the marketing and sales effort. Since 75% of service calls results in an installation, they need to make 80 sales calls. And since 40% of their marketing leads close, they need to generate 250 appointments.
You don’t have to break your sales goal down into a perfect, intricate plan to start
It can be complicated to break your sales goal down into the activities necessary to achieve the goal so start this year with a first level breakdown and refine it as you go. That’s the kind of work you want to do in your sales planning. Track each month and make adjustments and additions as you go.
If you’d like to spend some dedicated time making a solid sales plan for 2019, we invite you to attend our 6-hour Sales Growth Plan Workshop on Thur., Nov. 8.
Test out your unique strategies, discuss your tough sales issues with fellow small to mid-size business owners, and walk away with a sales plan that:
- Sets realistic sales goals & identifies how much new business you need to accomplish them.
- Insures your sales goals support how much profit you want & overhead you need to cover.
- Balances results goals with activities goals.
- Creates accountability & insures that your salespeople are engaged & organized.
- Sets up a tracking methodology that makes monitoring & adjusting quick & easy.
P.S. For ongoing sales support that’s really affordable and doesn’t take much time check out our Sales Success Club on Indpls’ northside. Twice a month for 60-90 minutes you can discuss your toughest sales issues with an expert business coach and make incremental improvements. For sales leaders or business owners. Try your first one for free.