Before you know it, the year will be half over! Are you on track to achieve your business and personal goals?
Some of you might know exactly where you stand or specifically what needs to be done to achieve your goals. If you fall into this category, congratulations.
But far too many of us don’t take the time to consistently track where we are now in relation to where we want to be the end of the year.
The problem lies in the fact that even if you write out the goals you would like to achieve, they are all too often not accompanied by trackable action steps to achieve them.
Most people set an annual numerical goal they would like to achieve and then simply divide that number by twelve to create a monthly objective. That’s a great start, however, it doesn’t offer any help as to how to go about achieving it.
Tracking results consistently by keeping records and statistics is essential to stay on track.
Having these numbers also acts as an early warning system to let you know when you’re veering off-track.
Fact - Successful businesses keep records. Those records represent both leading indicators and lagging indicators for success.
The best example of a lagging indicator would be your commission check or client payment for services. It comes at the very end of the sales or engagement process. Don’t get me wrong, it serves a good purpose to let you know where you stand. It does not however help in either predicting future revenue or to determine if your current actions are of the right type or correct quantity to achieve your goals.
Every business has its own set of relevant metrics. Here are some for you to consider:
1 Closing Ratio
How many prospects do you need to ask to buy your product or service before making a sale? This is a critical ratio to know. It will allow you to figure out, what type of weekly activity you need to close enough sales to reach your revenue goal.
2 Time Lag
What type of sales cycle do you have? Is it short (30-45 days) or long (2-12 months). Knowing this number will tell you how many potential sales you need to be working on at any one time.
3 Outreach attempts to appointments
How many prospects do you need to connect with before one agrees to see you? I have found all too often that most people don’t know the work, time and effort that is required to produce the results they want.
4 Appointments to active sales pipeline
How effective are you once you meet with a prospect? Knowing this ratio not only helps to determine the work effort that’s required as in the previous ratio, it also helps you to determine how effective your technique is to move from lead to prospect to client.
5 Repeat sales to new sales
In my coaching practice I have seen far too many people go back to the well too many times. Sure, it’s so much easier to work with existing clients than to find new ones, however this practice leads to what the late Al Granum called “Premature retrogression”. What the heck is that? Premature retrogression is when by only working with existing clients, your book of active clients (an active client is one that will buy from you again) will diminish.
Some clients become saturated and won’t buy from you again. Others will move on for different reasons. Once your active client list becomes too small, it has the same effect as starting your practice from scratch. Keeping track of your brand-new prospects and clients is essential to your long-term success.
6 Mix of business
We’ve all heard the expression, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”. If you are a wealth advisor, your advice your clients is to diversify their portfolios. You should try to do the same with your product portfolio. Of course, you may have a strong focus in one area, but be aware that sometimes there are external circumstances that might make that singular focus unsustainable.
In addition to knowing your leading and lagging indicators, there are six critical prerequisites* for achieving success in sales. They are:
1. An unwavering commitment to your career mission that is in line with your personal values.
2. A vision that provides a detailed mental picture of the future you want to create for your career as you pursue your mission.
3. Clearly-defined goals in which you specify what you need to achieve to make your vision a reality.
4. Mastery of the sales success factors, or the behaviors, motives, attitudes, traits, and self-concepts that contribute to superior performance.
5. Action plans that provide road maps for accessing people and resources and for using the sales success factors to achieve your goals.
6. A way to maintain progress on the journey until your vision of success becomes reality.
*(taken from my book, “What Every Great Salesperson Knows, A No-nonsense Guide to Sales Success”. For a free PDF copy of the book, visit www.polarisone.com)
In summary, to help to guarantee your success, determine what are the critical leading indicators you need to know that will help you to predict the results you desire. Once you know what they are, be diligent in both tracking them and evaluating them.
Next, create action plans that describe exactly what you need to do each day and how they need to be accomplished to achieve your goals.
Finally, hold yourself accountable or find an accountability partner to keep you on track.
Good luck on your journey to success.