Sometimes the strangest series of events occur to alert us about things we should be doing to help us hit our numbers consistently every month, quarter and year.
This recently happened to me after attending a conference and listening to a great speaker talk about achieving results, then I watched a webinar done by an Internet Marketing Guru who challenged everyone to think about crunching their numbers to gain a better understanding of how to achieve, and finally while traveling I reflected upon things I did early in my sales career to help me succeed.
Amazingly, it all came back to asking a question…
What Will Crunching Your Numbers Do for You?
I almost wanted to kick myself in the seat of my pants since the answer was so obvious. Take some time to crunch the numbers of my personal sales goals for 2012. In this time of reflection and thought, there are seven points to focus upon while crunching your numbers.
So, over a weekend, I dug down into the numbers to make certain the following seven points…
- I had real achievable numbers in my forecast
When you realize your numbers are achievable you can eliminate self-doubt and get started on making the numbers happen.
- I had believable numbers
This is the major breakthrough area most b2b sales people have ignored, thus costing them higher levels of success through the years. When you believe – at a subconscious level – a goal is achievable it is only a matter of time it will be achieved and probably exceeded. I have seen entire sales teams change their results once they saw one person achieve new results. Then the whole sales team decided – it could be done – and changed the entire success of the company.
- Discover how much time it will take to secure my numbers
It is a fact you will have different sales processes and cycles for certain product or service offerings. Understanding the length of time for a normal sales cycle will assist you in determining how many opportunities must enter your sales pipeline. The more balanced your sales pipeline, the more consistent your sales results will become.
- Learn the real timing based upon the different sales cycles of revenue channels
Again, understanding the sales process for each product or service offering helps you plan your sales development with existing customers and potential customers.
- Understand the marketing campaigns – and timing – to hit my numbers
B2B Sales is all about making multiple contacts or touches with potential customers. The old days of just dropping in on a buyer and getting a sale are gone (unless you are stuck in the commodity sales world and add no value to the customer.) A balanced campaign is a series of thought out and structured (can be automated) touches to capture the customer’s top of mind awareness of you as the primary solution to their problems or concerns.
- Do I have the right targeted list of potential customers for each revenue channel?
This one is stated as a question rather than a point, but I bet you get the point. You need to figure out however many customers will you need to hit your numbers. If you have been selling your products and services for a long time, you should know the average size of your existing customers, whether or not accounts will start with big initial purchases and scale down over time or they start small and ramp up over time into larger volumes? This point is all about understanding what you sell, how the numbers are created and how many average sized accounts will it take to hit your numbers. Then, you must take a hard and realistic look at your targeted list of potential customers. Does it need to be expanded? Does it need to be Focused? This is the time you need to think strategically.
Before sitting down and crunching the numbers I was uncertain on several factors which would hinder my success if I was confused or unsure regarding the accuracy of the numbers.
Finally, there was one major limiting factor which got busted by the exercise of crunching my numbers – the linkage to the past and particularly the past three years of the Great Recession. When I crunched my numbers and examined all the variables and combinations available to hit the numbers, my doubts and concerns – well – “left the building!”
My confidence is so high at this point in time, that I increased several of my revenue streams or channels since I had more clarity about how to achieve my targets.
In summary, if you have any concerns about hitting your numbers or goals this year – make an appointment with yourself. Sit down and go over every line item in your goals or budgets (quota) and crunch the numbers. How many units, selling price, combinations of product lines or bundles would it take to achieve your goals.
Then look at your customer list and your potential customer lists to reflect upon where to place your energy and time – especially when combined with your sales cycle. Answer this important question – do I have enough existing customers and high potential prospects to achieve my volume of sales?
If you answered “no” to the above question, then you must begin to find more prospects who would be an excellent candidate to buy what you are selling.
If you answered “yes” to the above question, then begin to map out your plans to engage each customer and potential customer on your list using a structured marketing campaign of letters, direct mail, success stories, emails (no spam however), phone calls and face to face visits (actual face to face or using a video conferencing tool such as Go To Meeting or Skype.)
One final note for your B2B Sales Superstar candidates. No amount of self-motivation is as effective as personal achievement. When you achieve your goals and objectives (even better to exceed your goals) you gain a strong dose of self-mastery. This means you feel like the real winner you have become. And, interestingly, this leads to stronger feelings of self-confidence and success – since customers prefer working with people they view as winners.
Crunch you numbers and join the ranks of the B2B Sales Superstars.