Charting Your Way to Success

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:

Businesswoman measuring an arrow trending up with a tape measure

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.

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.

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