Top Salespeople Win at the Numbers Game

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2005

“Sales is a numbers game” is something most salespeople are taught from Day One on the job.  That's very true.  But, what are the numbers everyone is talking about?

In the Life Insurance Industry, most new agents are taught the “Standard Sales Formula — 100/10/3.”  That is, contact 100 people, get 10 appointments, sell 3 policies.  That sounds like a winning formula, doesn't it?

In reality, less than 1 percent of the 1 million+ insurance agents in the USA can consistently produce those results.  Other industries have their own bogus formulas.

Bogus numbers lead to bogus sales goals: they inevitably result in disappointment and discouragement.  On the other hand, good numbers, based on 'real-world' sales activity in the field, can guide you through the sales process and lead to increasingly encouraging results.  Top producing salespeople *really* know their numbers.

Most people, therefore, don't choose the uncomfortable route.  They don't change very much of what they're doing, with the exception of performing a few sales techniques somewhat better.  Yet, they expect their results to change dramatically.  That's not how the world works!

In High Probability Selling, we track all sales activity, at every step of the sales process, from initial contact through to the signing of the contract.  By monitoring and measuring the results of each discrete step of the selling process, you can constantly refine your selling skills.  The result is steady, gradual improvement, until you are producing optimal results and have become a Top Performer.

Top Performers know the answers to every one of the questions below.  In the last 6 months:

  1. What is the average number of prospects that you attempted to call (dials per week?)
  2. What percentage of those dials resulted in contact with a decision maker (not voice mail or a gatekeeper)?
  3. Out of all the dialing you did in #1, what percentage resulted in talking to the person who could sign a contract, issue a purchase order, or cut a check?  This number is crucial: this is the number of genuine prospects you contacted.
  4. What percentage of those decision-maker contacts resulted in an appointment?  This number is important for two reasons: 1) You need to know how many contacts it takes to secure an appointment, and 2) You need to gauge, measure, and refine your High Probability Prospecting offers.
  5. What percentage of your appointments resulted in a sale?
  6. What is the average number of sales appointments, per prospect, does it take for you to close a sale?  Over the past 6 months, exactly how many appointments did you make, and keep?
  7. What is your closing average per prospect?  What is your closing average per appointment?

Top Performers can answer ALL of the above questions, ACCURATELY, at any given moment.  Can you?

If you don't monitor and measure your sales activity, you're typical of 98% of the thousands of salespeople we've dealt with over the years.  Most of those salespeople struggle with their jobs every day.  Without knowing exactly what you are doing, and how much you are doing it, the probability of improving your sales performance is extremely low.

Yes, sales IS a numbers game.  Keep statistics on EVERYTHING that you do — it's easy, once you get into the habit.  Now is the best time to start keeping sales performance records.

Your statistics will enable you to understand, tweak, and improve your selling skills.  The result?  A dramatic improvement in your sales success.