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What Diets and Sales Have In Common?

Are you on a diet? Have you ever been on one? I’m going to guess the answer to one of those questions is "yes", considering that the Boston Medical Center approximates that over 45 million Americans diet each year…

With that, what did you measure? How did you know you were on track to accomplish your goal?
I’m going to assume that you set a goal to lose a certain number of pounds within a certain timeframe, as measured by your numerical weight. But then, did you just go about doing what you always have done, then measure your weight at the end of the timeframe to see how you did? Or, did you start to look at your metrics day one…like calorie intake and/or carb / sugar intake. Did you start to also look at your ratios…like the number of calories burned in a day through exercise compared to the number of calories you consumed?

Why did you measure? Was it because your partner / spouse made you?

Let’s shift the conversation to your sales world. Your goal is your bookings / quota. However, how many of you actually measure metrics and ratios that contribute to your ability to achieve that target? Or, do you just get to the end of the quarter, get on the scale (i.e., look at your CRM dashboard), and say to yourself, “Oh, crap! Didn’t make it…”
So often, we think of metric and ratio measurement as a big-brother activity, where our bosses use it to understand whether we’re actually doing our job when they’re not watching. However, metrics drive your ability to control your own destiny. Much like the ratio of calorie intake to calorie burn controls your ability to hit your weight loss goal, there are activities and ratios you can measure immediately that control your ability to hit your targets.
How many outbound prospecting calls do you make per day? How many result in scheduled appointments (and what’s the ratio)? Of those appointments, how many result in qualified opportunities (and what’s the ratio)? Then, how many of those qualified opportunities result in closed deals (and what’s the ratio)? Finally, what’s your average sale value?
From there, it becomes a relatively easy activity to work backwards from the target you want to achieve. When you know those ratios, you begin to know exactly how many calls you’ll need to generate the results needed. You also immediately know what ratios you can focus on to improve yourself professionally.
Metrics play a key role in that for your overall business for many of the same reasons…your company’s ability to proactively predict and adjust to help achieve the business targets. The business knows what proactive measures it needs to look at, and often drives those measures down to the sales org.
In your diets, and in your focus to attain your 2013 targets and beyond, control your destiny by focusing on your metrics and ratios today. Happy to help you figure out where to start…

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