Collect Data

Most salespeople have an aversion to collecting data about their sales performance. Hence, analyzing progress they are making is difficult at best. Progress assessments become subjective. “Joe seems to be doing better as far as I can see” is a typical assessment a sales manager would make in the absence of any data on closing rates. Without data there is no way to see trends or document successes that don’t result in a signed contract. I am not suggesting that you collect reams of data. Only a few select indicators of performance. If you knew that you had talked to an average of 5 more people per week over the last quarter than you had in the previous two years, that would tell you something. If, on the other hand, your number of appointments booked decreased by 2 per week over that same period that would be a cause for concern and further investigation as to why. You don’t have to collect much data. Companies usually have ways to track deals once they hit the pipeline. So, there is plenty of data from that point on. But you should collect some data on how many calls you make, how many people you talk to, how many appointments you book and how many qualified opportunities you turn up. You should do this week by week, month by month and year by year. Plot the data and look for trends. Look for changes. You don’t need any fancy math to analyze the data. But you will find that data like this can be an invaluable diagnostic tool and as a bonus it can be an early warning of an impending slump in sales.

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