What is actually your goal when doing any sort of sales activity? It seems like a simple question doesn’t it? Pretty much every time I will ask this question the usual response is: to get more business/clients. I disagree with this. In fact I think this is the fundamental element that sits behind why companies struggle with sales.
Not New Customers?
I would define the role of sales as: Proactively finding qualified leads for your company.
The key word there is qualified leads. In order to bring in more sales you must go out there, find a number of customers you’d like to work with and get rid of the ones that aren’t right for you. This qualification element is absolutely key and to my mind disqualification is as important (if not more so) than qualification.
The Real Cost of Sales
Companies that focus purely on ‘getting sales in’ often don’t take into the real cost of sales. Time is money. If you spend more time chasing a prospect that isn’t interested, then that is wasted time. People see a cold or dead lead as a bad thing, but the quicker you can ascertain if that prospect is likely to come off, the quicker you can move on to one that will. It’s also important to recognise that by chasing a client who isn’t really interested not only do you potentially waste your time selling to them but should they convert, they will often become a nightmare client. This is due to the fact they have had to be persuaded, some small thing will go wrong and buyer’s remorse will settle in. Costing you more effort and stress down the line.
Return on Investment
The real goal with anything you do in business is to first of all get a return on your investment. There are a number of ways you could look at this. The first would be based on profit so if Emily gets paid £200 a month and we make £20 per order she would need to bring in 10 jobs to justify her salary. The other would be to think in terms of ‘Emily bought in a customer for £200 and that’s a job we would not have got without her’ type of thing. Factor in costs like freebies/promotional material etc