Here is a quote from the article “Each fighter needed to be at or below the 164.5-pound limit or they would face a $1 million penalty that would go directly to their opponent.”
With stakes like this, both boxers knew EXACTLY how much they weigh before they go to the weigh in.
Now, if you ask someone who hasn’t worked out in a year and hasn’t weighed themselves daily, and doesn’t have $1 million dollar stakes on the line, how much they weigh, EXACTLY ,to the OUNCE, they might be accurate.
The key word there is might.
They MIGHT be accurate.
The probability they will exactly right is extremely low. In most cases they will be off in their estimate. In some cases they could be 1 pound off, 10 pounds off, even 30 whole pounds off. And if a bowling ball weighs about 15 pounds, this means they could be carrying around 2 extra bowling balls without knowing it.
In other words, their perception of what they weigh and their actual weight will be vastly different.
“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker
Now you might be saying to yourself: what does this have to do with sales Dan?
Knowing where you are at EXACTLY has everything to do with sales and the stakes are easily worth OVER $1 MILLION DOLLARS over the course of your entire career.
Let me ask you a few questions:
How many calls did you make today?
How many presentations did you schedule today?
How many presentations did you make today?
How many proposals did you build?
How many DocuSigns did you send?
When I ask sales people these questions they say “Hold on Dan let me check the CRM.”
“I think it was around 15 calls… I know I did 2 demos. And maybe I build 5 proposals “
They say this but they don’t sound certain because they don’t know for sure. They have a general idea but they don’t know EXACTLY.
Don’t fool yourself!
Don’t fool yourself!
“The easiest person to fool is yourself.” – Richard Phillips Feynman
One of the biggest mistake I’ve made in the past was thinking that I was taking more action than I actually was.
I was fooling myself.
Without measuring and reviewing sales metrics daily it’s nearly impossible to improve your performance.
You want to be aware of your behaviors in order to be able to change and effect them.
If you don’t know what you are currently doing now how on earth are you going to improve upon what you are doing?
“But Dan…… I have a CRM for this stuff. It tracks everything I do, all the time, how could you fake yourself out?”
What I’ve found, especially with sales people who are great at making an emotional connection with their clients and have a high level of emotional intelligence, is they may be great at building relationships and connecting with people, but they are severely lacking in their organizational skills.
In the past when I was first getting started in sales, I was guilty of this behavior myself. I would forget to enter data into the CRM because I didn’t think it was that important. As long as I hit my number at the end of the month and exceeded my quota, that’s what counts right?
It wasn’t until I got obsessed with the numbers that my sales exploded.
Sales is all about numbers and that’s one of the things people love and hate about Sales or love to hate about Sales. There are not many careers out there were you can measure exactly how well you are doing any minute or hour of the day.
This old axiom from computer science has relevance when it comes to CRM data and being able to measure your performance or make decisions. If you are putting Garbage into the CRM that’s exactly what you get back… Garbage. In other words if the data you input is not accurate or if you neglect to enter the data in the first place, that’s what you get out of the CRM, Garbage. Bad, inaccurate data.
Here is an Easy System To Ensure You Are Not Faking Yourself Out:
I once met a Sales Rep named Damian over a decade ago. And I saw him making tally marks on a piece of paper. And I asked him what he was doing.
“I’m making a tally mark for every call I make, any time a make a call, I make a tally mark on a legal notepad” said Damian
“Why are you doing that? We have a CRM that tracks all of that for you.” I said
“I do it because what If I forget to input an activity? I get into a flow state with calls and sometimes entering data into the database takes me out of flow. I want to keep calling and get into my calling rhythm. At least with these tally marks even if I forget to log it in the data base, I’ll always know at the end of the day how many calls I actually made and not just what the data base says. It only takes one second to mark a tally down on a piece of paper, where finding the opportunity, typing in the information takes far longer. If I’m in a flow state and I forget to input my activity or the data base is too slow I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’m taking more or less activity than I actually am “
I adopted this strategy to ensure I never fooled myself regarding my key performance indicators again.
Here is what this simple Tally System looks like on a sheet of paper:
Daily KPIs I tracked
Amount of phone calls made = S
Amount of presentations scheduled = DS
Amount of presentations presented = DP
Amount of proposals created = Q
Amount of agreements sent via DocuSign = DS
Total revenue for the day – This is a number CRM actually easily tracks on it’s own 🙂
The simple tally system helped me when I was really focused on ramping up my personal sales. I would track every single activity. If you asked me the questions I asked you at the beginning of the post, I would know the answer EXACTLY.
And I would not track this so that management would be able to see or to input data to make it look like I was doing my job. I would do this so that I would know EXACTLY where I was at any time of the day.
Once I made tally marks for each of these activities on a sheet of paper I’d count them up and put the final number into a spreadsheet that looks like this:
With this you can notice trends. When I initially started doing this, I noticed I would make fewer calls on Monday and Fridays and those were the days to attack with more aggressiveness because I was leaving money on the table. I also noticed how much my emotional state would effect my numbers for that day.
To paraphrase Peter Drucker a bit, what does not get measured does not get managed. And we rely far to much on CRM data when the reality is that most sales people are not very reliable at data entry. So if you know that you’re not very reliable at entering data into the CRM then this tally system can provide you an insurance policy.
Now why go to all this trouble?
Why is it valuable to track the specific amount of activity you take?
It’s valuable to track every activity you take because there are only a few basic ways to double your sales and they are:
Double the number of leads you receive.
Double your conversion rate.
Double the amount of activity you take.
For this blog post we are going to focus on activity.
How much is one phone call worth to you on average?
How much is one demo or presentation worth to you on average?
Do you know?
What if you knew that one phone call was worth 30 dollars on average or 50 dollars on average, how hard would it be to pick up the phone?
What if you knew that one presentation was worth 700 dollars or 1000 dollars?
How hard would it be to put yourself in a peak state for the presentation if you knew if you were paying yourself 1000 dollars per hour?
Double your activities double your sales.
Don’t over complicate things. If you want to double your sales, increase one of the three: activities, leads, or conversion rate.
Now what if you don’t know how much a phone call is worth?
And what if you don’t know how many phone calls you make per month?
And what if you still want to double your sales?
If you don’t know the answers to any of the above questions, it’s going to be difficult to do it through activities alone because:
You won’t have the same motivation that you do when you know how much an activity is actually worth.
You won’t know specifically what number you’d actually need to hit to double the amount of activities and double your sales.
After you’ve tracked your activities for a few months and have a base line, here is:
How to Reverse Engineer Your Income Goal And Determine What You’d Really Need to Do to Double Your Income:
Decide how much money you want to earn per year. Write this amount down. This is your income goal.
Subtract your yearly salary
Take the new number (income goal – yearly salary) and divide by 12. Write this amount down, this is the amount you will need to average in commission income per month to hit your income goal.
Now take your last commission statement from the prior month. Divide this number by the amount of phone calls you made in the month. This is how much a phone call is currently worth to you.
Now take your last commission statement from the prior month. Divide this number by the amount of demos or presentations you made. This is how much a presentation is worth to you.
Take the amount you will need to average in commission income per month to hit your income goal and divide this number by how much a phone call is worth to you, this is how many phone calls you would need to make to make your income goal with your current conversion rate.
Take the amount you will need to average in commission income per month to hit your income goal and divide this number by how much a presentation is worth to you, this is how many presentations you will need to maketo hit your income goal with your current conversion rate.
Here is what this exercise looks like:
This model assumes you have plenty of leads to be able to double your activities. If you don’t have enough leads to be able to double your activities you’ll need to create a better prospecting system. (We’ll save prospecting systems for another post.)
Now that you have an exact call and presentation target to hit, GET AFTER IT!
How does it feel to know EXACTLY how much activity you need to take in order to achieve your income goal?