In sporting events we have winners and losers. How do we know who wins and who loses? We keep score. It is knowing the score that allows the players to reach deep inside themselves and find that little “extra” that allows them to win. Years ago when my first son was about four or five we enrolled him in the local Tee Ball baseball program. There is no pitcher on the mound, only a tee-ball stand on home plate. The children would swing their bat at the ball placed on the stand. Most of the balls hit didn’t even make it to the outfield. My son played Right Field and seldom ever saw the ball come his direction. He would stand in his designated area wondering if he would ever see a ball and after a while he would sit on the grass and pick clover, oblivious to what was going on around him. The game was being played, but not in his mind. He along with many of the other children had no concept of the score, and often didn’t know if their team had won or lost the game until the coach told them. It didn’t really matter to them; they got drinks and treats regardless, when the coach announced the game was over.

Why do I mention this experience? It reminds me of salespeople! Most sales people don’t know that they need to keep score and few have any method of keeping score. The majority of sales people that I have known over the past thirty-five years have just done a lot of “stuff” every day hoping that if they did enough “stuff” their commission checks would pay the bills. Is it any wonder that the majority of salespeople are under achievers? They are in the game, just like my young son, but they are just out there in Right Field picking clover, oblivious to what is going on, and totally unaware that anyone is even keeping score. If you are going to win at sales your head must be in the game and you must keep score so you will know where you are and what must be done to win. Imagine going to a sporting event, paying top dollar for a ticket and watching the players run around demonstrating their athletic prowess without any indication of competition. There is no score keeping, no penalties, no time frames, no winner, no loser, and no point to their activity. It would become very boring for the ticket holder’s and soon there would be no tickets sold.

In a typical sales organization the sales people show up for work every day, involve themselves in certain activities, they do lots of “stuff”, and go home at the end of the. day. Nothing has been measured and very little profit has been added to the bottom-line. These days are over and significant changes needs to take place. Let me explain what needs to take place each day, each week and each month.

First of all, sales people need to understand that selling is a process. It is the result of very specific activities that sales are made. Sales people need to know their sales process. It might include (1) finding prospects (2) scheduling appointments (3) making a presentation (4) preparing a quote (5) following up regularly and at the proper intervals (6) resolving concerns (7) asking for the order. Regardless of your sales process, find what works and follow the process consistently.

Second, you must keep score. Keep track of the number of prospects needed to make a sale. Keep track of the number of follow-ups need to make a typical sales. Keep track of all the activities needed to complete the sale. Know what the typical commission will be on a typical sale. The more you keep track of the specific activities that are necessary to make a typical sale, and the better you understand your reward, the better you will perform. When your head is in the game the more you will participate and less time will be spent picking clover in Right Field.

Third, salespeople should use and keep scorecards. There are several different types of scorecards. The first one is a pipeline sheet listing every active prospect. The second one is a monthly goal sheet identifying their sales goal for the month, including a weekly breakdown. It should also include a list of those prospects that they believe have a reasonable chance of being closed for the month. The third scorecard is a chart showing what their income will be based on their completed sales for the month. If they want to increase their income they can easily see to what point they need to increase their sales. When sales people keep score, they know what their sales and income are at any point in the month. They know if they need to do more activity and work harder to reach their goal. They will consistently increase their income as they begin to understand the relationship between activity, time, effort and money. Sales people that keep score are winners!

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Copyright: The Business Performance Group, Inc.
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