What if you as a sales manager had data about your sales process like the example below. Study it. Think about it a bit. The sample company has annual sales of about $46 million and uses a six stage sales process with cycle times and success rates by stage as shown. (Your process might be 4 stages or 7 stages with different definitions for each, but that doesn’t change the point one iota.)
At the time of this snapshot, they had a total of $271 million potential sales at the top end of their funnel. Historically, they know it takes 98 days to qualify 51% of that potential and move it to stage 2; another 31 days to get 54% to stage 3; etc.
Now it gets interesting. What if? A sales manager can ask all kinds of “What ifs?” with this sort of data. For example, what if all the cycle times, success rates and profit margin could be improved by a mere 1%?
As you can see, sales would go up better than 7% to over $49 million and profit would go up 8+% to more than $13 million. Hmmmmm…. Well it’s hard to improve that many things all at once. What if this company focused on just one thing; like reducing the cycle time of Present/Propose. For them, this stage is totally internal – completely under their own control. What if they took it from 18 days to 7 days?
As you can see, that last “what if” would mean a 6 1/2% increase in sales and profit. Get the point? If you:
- Have a defined sales process, and
- Have collected data for few months
You can use this simple model to make data-backed decisions about where your coaching efforts should be directed.
It’s not guessing or gut feel. It’s coaching to improve performance of execution of the parts of your sales process that will yield the greatest improvement to the bottom line.
Think About It…