I was told that the more sales activity that you have, the more deals that will close. In some cases, I believe this to be true. I know for a fact that if you don't have enough meetings your pipeline will be devoid of enough deals to complete your month successfully.
I have also seen this theory fall flat on it's face. I have seen a ton of salespeople who meet with a lot of people, but fail to close any of the deals. This happens for many reasons.
So when I was told the theory of more activity leads to more deals, I disagreed.
So aside form low activity levels (too few phone calls, too few meetings) what would be some more relevant metrics that a sales organization could focus on?
- Substantive Meetings: A key to my success as a salesman is to schedule meetings with the right people at the right companies.
First, I like to identify which company can get the most benefit from my products. My goal is not to find a new vertical to sell in to, but to find companies that are similar to my client base. If 60% of my prospects are commercial real estate appraisers, then I would like to put my effort in to selling the remaining CRE appraisers. I don't try to sell to a whole new segment. Another tactic is to see who my competitor is selling to. Chances are that my competition has already sold a need to these people, and I can come in and show how my product is better. Meeting with the wrong type of companies can skew your metrics and provide you with an inaccurate sense of security. You get lots of meetings, but few sales.
Second, I identify the correct person within an organization to speak with. I will initially go to the top of the food chain at an organization. I have seen many salespeople go after the lowest person in the organization in order to get buy in. I found that tactic to be a waste of time. I like to find out who the final decision maker is for my product. I will do everything I can to meet and talk to the decision maker. There is little benefit in speaking with someone who cannot say yes. Years ago, we had a guy in our office who would schedule meetings with underlings. He would present our wares, and then expect the value proposition to be sold up the ladder by the non decision maker. Sometimes it worked, but most of the time it didn't. Sure, this guy had a ton of meetings, but he never really got any answers why they didn't buy. Nobody can sell your product to management better than you.
TO BE CONTINUED...