I remember when I first started out in sales, the idea of leading a team to a $100,000 sales month seemed crazy and unachievable. Today when I look at my business I again think that such results are miles away – but then I remember I have already conquered that demon, the one that says “you’ll never make that much” and I have decided it’s time to get rid of that barrier and charge forth at full speed. It is time to get those sales results I used to get in my corporate gig.
I am not going to say it is easy to crack $100,000 in sales each month. It is very hard work. However if you follow the right methodologies, the ease at which you will end up achieving that six figure sum will surprise you.
Throw away the vanity metrics
The biggest mistake we all make when it comes to sales management is the value of our product in the first place. For example, if my product is $200 and I want to make $100,000 in a month that means I need to sell 500 of whatever it is I am selling in order to achieve that goal – is that possible?
Founders need to sit down and seriously ask themselves these types of questions. Too often we kid ourselves into punching numbers into a calculator, writing it down as a goal and putting in our forecast without even taking a moment to reflect on our personal capabilities, our teams capabilities, the product value, our time and whether or not our business can actually handle that work load in the first place.
Forecasting is critical to having a $100,000 sales month, and to get it right founders need to stop it with the vanity or best case scenario metrics – they might make you feel warm and fuzzy and hopeful and motivated at the beginning of the month.
But once that last day hits and you have not achieved those numbers, we then start to feel like failures, we add another layer of helplessness to our barriers already blocking us and we never truly understand how to get the most out of our business.
The first thing to know about forecasting, is the first few times you do it – you will never be accurate.
But once you learn the metrics in your business that give you the information, you can usually quite remarkably forecast to the nearest hundred dollar value each month.
When I forecast I use my the data from past team performance, the data from current team pipeline and the impending activity for myself or that team member for that month.
(Team Past Performance + Team Current Sales Pipeline x Activity) = Individuals Forecast for Revenue
Let’s break this down using a real example for myself for this month. Focused on the numbers I billed personally for the business.
November 2013 was an average month for revenue for me:
Low Sales Activity + Undeveloped pipeline = A small $6,000 AUD in Revenue
So based on that past performance and looking at the pipeline I developed for January based on, the way I work out my forecast for January should look something like this:
November Performance + 60% of Current Sales Pipeline x (40 sales calls daily x 15 days) = Jan Forecast
For me personally I always aim to close a minimum of 60% of what is sitting in my pipeline of sales, and customers only sit in my pipeline if there is an 80% + chance of me closing them – this gives me both a buffer and the confidence that executing on my activity will yield results.
I also know that my activity is paramount – if I don’t stick to the activity I need to as specified – I know that I will fall short of my forecast, as those calls and contact rates are aligned with closing that portion of my pipeline.
By rights if I close 60% of the pipeline I have given myself this month I should personally bill around $30,000 for the company. IF I follow my proven methodology to a tee. I always aim to close the amount of the previous month as fast as possible so that each month I know I am growing. So far for January I have billed $5,991AUD – so I know I am on track to reach the $30,000 forecast if I stick to making sure I close a minimum of $1700AUD a day in business.
In February, where we are aiming to have a $100,000 sales month, my forecast will be very similar to January for me personally, with other team members working on campaigns for other websites in our portfolio to get us to the six figure end goal for the month.
A Good Campaign is a Focused Campaign
The most common mistake I see being made by new businesses when it comes to sales is their lack of focus when it comes to what they are selling.
Sales will always work best when you think of them as if you are running “campaigns” in the beginning.
When you are a new business it takes a lot of practice to perfect your pitch, learn what the objections are going to be and how you will handle them and it takes a lot of calls to understand the ‘x’ factor about your product from a consumer perspective. Once you understand these things your success rate increases dramatically.
However far too often I see people test something for a bit, come up with another product or add on service to sell and start doing that as well. This does NOT increase revenue, it STOPS you making revenue.
Last year, I noticed I was going into territory where I was beginning to become not focused on what I was selling – a big mistake, especially when I know better, I used to train people on this stuff. But when you are trying to keep cash flowing sometimes it’s very easy to stray away from the process and search for the quick win.
Now in my business I have three different types of products. Only Three.
I execute a campaign each month around one product.
And two other people execute campaigns around the other products each month. Being focused and being the best at selling that product to that particular audience we are going after always yields a much more consistent, stronger result in the end.
Know what you are selling. Be focused and execute a campaign. Forecast Accurately. A $100,000 month is not about being lucky – it is about being methodical and proactive.