In sales today, many things will happen to distract your focus. Clients, market pressures, orders, seasonal changes in the market will all have an impact.
The only way to establish some progress is to track your sales results or ‘scores’. You don’t have to track a lot of things; only the ones that have meaning to your product and services. Small incremental increases in actions will compound your progress in sales.
So what can you track? If you have been working in a market or industry for some time you will already have facts and figures you can draw on. If you are new to a zone then you will need to develop assumptions based on real market trends; that will take research and investigation. Answer these questions in doing so:
- Where are the clients coming from?
- What are they looking for in obtaining service and supply of goods?
- How can you tap into the client segments in a regular way?
- What prospecting methods work better than others?
- How many prospecting calls are you making?
- What is the average unit of sale over the last 12 months?
- What is the average unit of commission or profit over the last 12 months?
- What is the volume of sales per person in your industry versus your business?
- How long does it take to connect with your clients and prospects at a level that you would regard as primed for new business activity?
- What’s your market share? How has that market share changed?
Questions like these help you move ahead. Success in professional sales today is a very personal thing. Results come from personal action and incremental improvements in doing so. Take action every day; that’s what sales success is all about.
With your career and in business you will come across many challenges that will threaten to derail your efforts and progress. That is why we all need goals and targets. It’s like having a railroad track stretching out in front of you to take you to the correct ‘station’. Every day you move further up the line.
Many books have been written on the goal process and systems available. Choose one or two of those books and develop your goals based on proven systems and evidence from those that have achieved results. Implement your goals system.
Here are some tips to help you get this process under control:
- Having goals will help you see what’s possible. Set targets for set periods of time to help you move through barriers and levels of achievement. It’s a bit like moving up a staircase; eventually you can and should reach the top.
- Action systems should be based around your targets. Every day the right things should be done that help you move ahead.
- The comfort zone can be a real problem for some salespeople and business professionals. The accumulated habits that we have built up over the years threaten to hold us back and take us to the things that are ‘comfortable’. Don’t let that happen.
- Track and measure your progress using benchmarks of performance that are quantifiable. That could be in the number of sales, clients, database growth, or market share.
- At the end of each week give yourself some small reward or benefit, recognising that you have made some progress.
- Create a pictorial storyboard of progress and experiences. You can inspire yourself into further action by remembering the barriers and achievements that you have made.
- Look for mentors and the people that have achieved results under immense pressure. Their experiences will inspire you to take greater action.
It’s great to work in a career that is challenging, rewarding, and interesting. Given all of that, it is a personal process of success and effort that will help take you forward.