It is time to look back at the last years results and measure your progress. While this may seem unimportant or needless detail to some, they smart ones know the value of reviewing their results. Then using the information as a guide for setting goals and objectives for the new year.
Here is a list of things to review regarding your results from last year…
Seven Sales Measurements to Review
- Total Sales – Yes, this one is easy, yet, here is the key – compare to the previous year. Did the total go up, down or remain flat? Think about what changed during the past year that will influence the coming year results.
- Number of “Active” Customers – This information shows you who is buying on a consist basis. Active customers are just that – actively buying throughout the year. You want to know who these customers are show you can focus upon keeping them happy and buying.
- Average Account Size – Here is information into how valuable accounts can be. Find the average and then review your list of customers. How many are above the average and how many are below the average? How high is your average compared to the industry norm?
- Average Sale – I call this this the average check and I want to know if my strategy is working regarding the targeted average “check” called for in my personal selling strategy. Tracking the average sale helps you when planning a sales call. What combination or package could you offer to maintain or increase your average sale.
- Top Account List – Study this list for trends and knowledge of who is really buying from you. Every year I find at least one surprise in the ranking of accounts. Someone either ranks higher than I thought or someone is ranking quite lower than I realized. The important thing is to know your accounts and watch the trends. Compare your Top Account list for the past five years (if you have this data) and track the trends. Watch which industry group is growing or contracting, which accounts are growing or slowing down, which accounts have left and which accounts are new? This information is critical to your sales planning and sales strategy for the coming year.
- Product Mix or Service Mix – Depending upon both what you sell and if your financial systems allow this much information for you, take a long look at this information. What product service mix do you sell most, little if at all, category or groups of products, and services? This information can give you insight into what you sell best and then time to think about what other customers or prospects buy this product? Another way to look at the data is what customers could you increase sales revenue by offering other products you have available for sale? This exercise always opens my eyes to several major new sale opportunities – to existing customers. Selling to existing customers is usually easier than selling to a stranger or prospect.
- Profitability Analysis – Here is the most difficult one to review. With all the possible offers and combination of products and services, it is difficult to calculate the profit margins with every account. However, if your company has excellent information systems or accounting systems, profitability of accounts should be available to you. If not, then do some spreadsheets on your own to make certain that at a minimum, your top ten list of accounts is profitable. The important thing to remember is your gross margin needs to be as high as possible to insure the overall profitability of the organization.
Use the information you gain from the Seven Sales Measures to know more about your sales success and your customer list. Your sales planning process will improve due to these exercises. I recommend that you do this every year and target your progress as a sales person. The data will not tell you anything but the truth about your results. Use the data to improve your sales strategy and your sales results.