"Holding yourself accountable to day-to-day operations is a whole lot easier than holding yourself accountable to your sales targets. With your day-to-day things fall apart right away and with your sales targets, things will just fall apart more slowly over time.''
What are ways to keep my sales goals in the forefront? Read below for our top 3.
An effective sales funnel is not just a process to close more deals, it is also a great way to track your progress and keep you accountable.
First let’s define a sales funnel
Most sales funnels you find online will have 4 levels: Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action.
Awareness is when customers are first introduced to your product/service. At this step, you identify the problem you are solving.
Interest is when they take some sort of action to show that they are interested in the problem you are solving. (ex. When they sign up for your email list.)
Decision is largely influenced by your business’ perceived ability to solve their problem. This is the stage where loyal customers are created and will start to follow what you are doing.
Action is when they make a purchase of your product/service.
Now that we know what the stages of a sales funnel are…
You’ll notice that the “funnel” is much larger at the top. This means you should have more potential customers in your Awareness stage than in your Decision and Action stages. Set goals with outcomes for each stage of the sales funnel. For example, “I will have 800 people in the Awareness stage.” This will keep you accountable to continually maintain that number, even as people fall off or move down into the Interest stage. Many times we don’t know how many people we can sell to because we think we just need to call people, but without tracking we are likely doing far less than we think.
2. Understand your numbers
We are all people…unless your dog can read…and as people who are interested in entrepreneurship, we are excited to get working and help impact the world! What an amazing gift! Sometimes we are so excited, we forget to track what we are doing and thus end up not accomplishing much. I remember building a product for about 3 months and then hit a point when I needed to start selling it. I was extremely nervous to start selling (Not too long ago I was nervous to call my cellphone service provider to ask a question!). I set a goal of making 20 phone calls a day. I crunched all the numbers and calculated conversion rates, and 20 was the number that I needed. I started calling people and did not sell one single product!
I asked if they wanted my product
They said “no”
I said “ok”
We hung up
Obviously, there is a lot going on here that could be drastically improved. The point I want to highlight is that I was tracking the wrong numbers. I was tracking how many calls I made a day, not how many were working. That made it a success when I got 20 “no’s” in 20 minutes; I was actually being a productive worker because I got through them so quickly. This got old really quick, once I realized that I needed to eat. A focus on the right numbers and understanding exactly HOW they are keeping us accountable is a huge step.
Every business will have different numbers. Think about how you are tracking yourself and how those numbers are incentivizing you.
3. Use online sales tools
There are many great online tools to help you create your sales funnel and other parts of your sales process. These tools take the human tracking out of the equation, which means there is no room to convince yourself that you don’t need to track it.
We use Hubspot and love it because it allows us to track emails that our entire team is sending and see our sales funnel automatically. It is based on emails created and funnels to closed deals. It also shows us how productive we are being in our sales efforts by showing us if our activity is increasing or decreasing and personally, there is nothing worse than seeing I am doing 20% less this week. It is really great for keeping us on track. It has many other features that help with anything from creating Facebook ads to setting up email subscriber lists. It is really a great tool to keep you accountable and track your sales. There are many other great tools that you could research, this is just the one we use.
Set a day aside time each week to work your leads. Put it in your schedule well in advance and don’t waiver from it. In business’ simplest form, sales is the most important think. If you aren’t selling you aren’t making money.
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