What’s your area of least satisfaction today?

Gil Cargill ( http://www.gilcargill.com ) flew in from Los Angeles last week and conducted a “Sales Training” workshop to 2 dozen Austin owners, presidents and CEOs. Members rated him 4.6 on content and delivery out of 5. If you are dissatisfied with your YTD sales performance, sales process and/or your hiring process here are a few nuggets that if you aren’t doing or measuring you might consider implementing for the balance of 2011. Here’s a few statistics that got my attention, yes …figure’s lie and liars figure… yet the thought is compelling.

91% of deals don’t close as expected

85% of companies don’t have a documented sales process

51% of sales people missed quota last year

85% have no documented plan

73% have no plan for their top 5 accounts

What I liked about his approach was the down to earth “tired and proven” approach to sales training. Example and 1st KPI (Key Performance Indicator) when going through the interview process have the candidate present his or her telling session to you. Stop them if they start out with …I normally start with… have them see you as a prospect and ask them to do what they are currently doing now. Have them come back and sell you on their current product or service. Gill says and I agree it’s a great way to see actual performance you can expect when and if he or she goes to work for you.

The 2nd KPI is to start immediately and measure weekly “1st meetings”. Excellent metric on making sure out bound prospecting is being done to the level needed to gain new customers and new sales. Have sales team set their weekly goals and you as the owner, sales manager chart, post and/or send weekly updates. Create a sense of urgency suggests to your sales team that what they say and commit to will be measured.

That which gets measured, gets managed and that which gets managed gets done.


3rd KPI is determining where is your sweet spot, who is your preferred client and asking current customers why do they buy from you verifies or validates your brand promise and customer satisfaction. This is your role as a small business owner, president or CEO. Go see your top 5 clients, exchange your contact information and let them know they have a direct line to you if your brand promise isn’t meeting their expectations.

Here’s a short list of other critical success factors focused on activity for you and your sales team to be measuring:

  • # of New contacts
  • # of targets
  • # of customer site visits
  • # of deals & dollars at Info phase
  • # of deals & dollars at decision point
  • # of deals & dollars closed
  • Average sales cycle duration
  • Mile stones accomplished
  • # of proposal presentations
  • # of current accounts visited
  • # of orders closed

Gil shared that sales is not a contact sport it is about relationships. If you believe this to be true for you and your company then here’s what Rick L’Amie, president of Moxie Marketing http://getmoxiemarketing.com/and a Vistage Trusted Advisor suggested to me last month when discussing “relationship selling”.

You want the prospect to get to know you and you them

You want the prospect to like you and you them

Then and only then will trust take place

…between them and you

In closing, today our suspect, prospect, client or customer is far more knowledgeable, better read and most if not all have access to search engines on the internet. By creating weekly, monthly, 100 day targets or milestones, measuring activity, and working to improve your process how can you not become more successful, more profitable with a better life balance?

Published by edstillman

I grew up in Carlsbad, north San Diego County, lost my dad as a teenager, went into the USAF for four years and hired on with 3M in 1969. Received my AA from Santa Barbara City College, BA and Masters from Redlands University and after 33 plus years, I retired from 3M in 2002. As I look back on my life, I have been creating myself and developing my skill sets to be a business coach and a Vistage Chair. I am president of SEOT, a "personal improvement" consulting firm spending most of my time working with Central Texas executives running small to medium size for-profit companies who are focusing on improving their profitability greater than their competition. My area of interest is assisting senior executives in creating a better balance between business commitments and personal relationships. I also facilatate three leadership labs each consisting of a dozen owners, presidents and CEOs. We meet monthly both in a group setting as well as in a 1-to-1 coaching session. Our focus is to sharpen each others' skills in becoming better leaders, making better decisions and taking ourselves and companies to that next level. Who are we? My members are experienced top executives who recognize that they don’t have all the answers and who actively seek the company of successful peers—both to give and receive insights and ideas. My members mine the 200 plus years of chief executive experience that comes together in our monthly meetings and members are eager to offer their own experience and insights in the process. As a group, we spend our time exploring topics members can't discuss anywhere else. My members have many other places where they can engage in idle, "cocktail party" chatter. Our mission is to provide the setting for discussing the "undiscussable." Where or who can you go to for confidential, honest feedback to assist you in minimizing your personal "Worry List"?

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