Charting Your Way to Success

Chart Your Success with a Prospect Rating System

Before your salespeople hit the streets, help them analyze prospects based on some key factors. That way, they can use their time more efficiently and close more sales. Here is a simple numeric rating system:

Does the potential customer perceive a need for the product?

  • Customers who get along fine without your product and don't think they need it are rated a 1.
  • A customer who buys a similar product from someone else is rated a 2.
  • A customer who has a need and is prepared to buy is a 3.

Can the potential customer afford the product?

  • A customer on the verge of bankruptcy is rated a 1.
  • A customer needing creative financing is a 2.
  • A customer with cash in the bank is rated a 3.

Who is the salesperson talking to?

  • A person who can buy only with a supervisor's permission, is rated a 1.
  • A purchasing manager is a 2.
  • The owner or top executive is rated a 3.

Add up the key numbers. A perfect prospect has a score of 9. The companies worth pursuing are those with the highest scores.

Now that the groundwork is laid, here's a system that can allow you to go one step further and chart the progress of companies that your staff identifies as key prospects. Using a chart like the one below, write down the dates that a salesperson accomplishes each step. At the end of the month, analyze how many prospects move forward in the cycle.

Chart Your Success Rating System
Chart Your Success

If sales reps are making tons of calls, but moving none of the prospects closer to closing, you obviously have a problem. Consider a reward system based on the number of prospects a salesperson advances through the cycle. Each month, the staff member who performs best might get a cash bonus or dinner for two.

And remember, not all rewards have to involve cash. You can give people with the best lead conversion ratios the most lucrative territories. That way, the more successful a salesperson is, the better the sales opportunities and future commissions. It's a gift that keeps on giving.

For more tips on how to measure success, read our previous article: "Herd Salespeople Toward Success"

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