At our core, we are all salespeople. No matter who we are or what we do, we spend a portion of every day selling our ideas to our colleagues, business partners, spouses, and to our most difficult clients (our children). If we really stop and think about it, everything we do revolves around sales.
If you are a C-level executive, you are not immune to this notion. In fact, you may be in one of the most important sales positions out there: You have to sell your vision and inspire those on your team to bring their best selves to their careers every day to grow and monetize your vision and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Play the Numbers Game to Win
As salespeople, it’s important to remember that, regardless of how great we think we are, it’s always a numbers game at the end of the day. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. What separates the good from the exceptional is the dedication to the stats: numbers, ratios and metrics. Measurable stats will grow your business in a tremendous way. They must never be overlooked. Everything in business should be measurable in one form or another, especially in the science part of your business. This is what is growing your bottom line and making money for you, as well as for those around you in the organization.
As business people, we must recognize and accept that only those things that can be measured can be improved.
Define Your Metrics
Here are some metrics every C-level executive should require from their division heads and salespeople. These metrics enable those people to manage themselves, which in turn allows you to focus on managing your department head and having an understanding, in quick summary, of how everyone in the company is performing. Here are a few suggestions:
The results will vary among your salespeople. However, if a salesperson knows their numbers and sees how to measure their own success, they are more apt to stay that extra 30 minutes one night or come in early the next day.
For example, here is a breakdown for Jim, a salesperson:
- 10 Calls to 1 Contact
- 2 Contacts to 1 Meeting]
- 2 Meetings to 1 Proposal
- 3 Proposals to 1 Closing
In this scenario, Jim needs three proposals to close one sale. In order for Jim to close four sales a month, he needs to make 12 proposals. To make 12 proposals, Jim needs to attend 24 meetings. To attend 24 meetings, Jim needs to get 48 contacts and make 480 calls. Now, Jim knows how to manage himself and it is a lot easier for your department head to manage Jim. Jim can now be managed more effectively, and manage himself more effectively.
You Can’t Raise the Bar If There Isn’t One
If you have an organization that already operates with metrics, ratios and high standards, then I commend you!
A common pitfall I see occurs when complacency sets in and these metrics and ratios are ignored and not discussed. There is no structure or accountability in place to continually raise the bar and make sure people are doing what they say they are going to do to hit those standards. There are company standards, but the salespeople don’t own them. They may have their own standards, as well, but they aren’t being met either.
Once the standards are in place, overseeing them is absolutely critical. It requires an attentive division head whom the salespeople trust, feel empowered by, and respond to for an infusion of that go-get-‘em attitude that is critical for a salesperson to thrive.
Think about this: for practically our entire lives, we have been getting annual physicals at the doctor’s office. The first thing we do when we get in there is step on the scale. Our weight and height is measured and recorded annually (at least). These simple measurements help to determine that we are growing in the right way. Your organization is a growing entity, too.
Measure yourself. Measure your business. Watch it grow to be strong, healthy and vibrant in culture, spirit, and in the bottom line. And, if you need help, get it.
What’s your next step in measuring your business success?