If you are running a small business or a sales team within a larger business, you need metrics so that you know where you are and where you need to be. I’ve often said it — “you can’t improve what you can’t measure” and it is the underlying reason that most people don’t succeed – or they are average but not exceptional.
Here are ideas about getting process in place to measure, hone and improve.
1. The first problem with your sales pipeline is that you don’t have one. Find a tool (there are MANY) where you can keep track of all of the activities you do which relate to helping create a prospective customer. These include trade shows, advertising, networking, etc. Use a whiteboard on the wall until you find an electronic version that you like – but be sure and get something in place that tracks potential sales opportunities!
2. Enter ALL information into it on a regular, daily basis. Include new prospective customers you met or talked to, and new and prospective referral partners – these are folks who can refer you new business. Track both. Keep the information updated, and be honest with it. Print out weekly reports as to activity successes….. new meetings, new qualified prospects, and deals that were brought to closure.
3. Be a student of sales and learn more about how to craft not just a sales pipeline but a full sales metrics dashboard. Learn what else you need to know how you are doing, what is needed, and how to improve. Scrutinize these numbers and fine tune until all you need to know is within fingertips. Most sales methodologies have good reading material on this topic – send me a note if you want more specifics. Just get going!!