So, in the last sales post, I talked about how I helped my friend Gary Indiana improve his sales by strengthening the weakest links in his sales system. By simply getting him some help with confirming his appointments, we improved the number of sales he could close any given month.
Sound too good to be true? It’s totally not. Conventional wisdom says that the “sale” is all about the moment when you ask someone to buy, when in fact, it’s an entire process leading up to that moment.
The moment they say yes is just gravy.
What’s awesome is that you can use the same magic (OK, not even a little bit) I used with Gary to create and improve your own sales systems to close more sales with very little effort.
1. Set your revenue goal
First, to improve your sales, you must have a goal. It’s not enough to say you just want to “sell more;” you actually have to know what numbers you’d like to hit.
Don’t get freaked out here. I find a lot of people are nervous about putting a number value to their revenue goals, so let’s approach it logically.
The very first thing to ask yourself is what do you actually need to make your life work? I’m talking about, how much does your business have to make to keep you fed, clothed, and living in the style to which you are accustomed.
Quite simply, you attach income to your business. You can download my Profit Clarity Blueprint to go deep into that process for yourself, but suffice it to say, your business needs a revenue goal grounded in your own personal reality, and your prices need to support that.
Very basically, you take the total amount you want to earn, and divide it by your price point. That is your personal sales target. Divide by 12 and you’ve got how many sales you need to make each month to earn what you need to earn.
Of course, you can go bigger. Double your salary. Save for a new house. Take a fancy vacation to Fiji. Whatever floats your boat. But whatever that revenue goal is, you work backwards from there to determine how many sales you need.
2. Fill out your ratios
The next step is to take your sales goal and work backwards to fill out your ratios. Let’s use my client Maria as an example. To meet her revenue goals, she needs to make 6 sales each month.
Sales ratio (How many people you have meetings with actually buy?) – 60%
To get 6 people to purchase services, she needs to have consults with 10 people per month.
Hold ratio (How many meetings or consults you hold?) – 80%
To hold 10 consults per month, she needs to schedule 13 consults per month.
Schedule Ratio (How many people you talk to schedule a meeting?) – 50%
To schedule 13 consults, she needs to get 26 people to complete a prospect intake.
Talk To (Of your total leads, how many do you actually reach?) – 33%
To get 26 people to complete a prospect intake, she needs 75 people to be interested.
Total New Traffic Needed – 75 new, warm bodies each month.
Now these are Maria’s initial ratios, but the more she refines her system (which we’ll talk about next), the more effective she will get at converting.
We’re saying that she needs 75 new people each month to market to, 900 people per year. Now that, in the grand scheme of things, is pretty doable.
Maria thought so too. With her public speaking, her online outreach, even Facebook ads, she felt she could very easily get 900 new people into her funnel every year.
I’ve created a free ebook with this worksheet you can download to work out your own ratios and design your own sales system. Click here to download.
3. Improving your sales system
Even for non-number-lovers, when you start to look at the numbers, it becomes crystal clear where someone’s system is breaking down.
Once you have your ratios, you can see which are low, and where you can improve. For example, Maria’s lowest ratio was her talk-to ratio. To increase the number of sales she makes each month, all she has to do is increase the number of people she actually talks to.
But HOW do you improve those numbers — and your sales system?
- Goal reality check. Given what you want to have happen financially and for your business, what is the goal reality of all these different funnel points? This helps you create targets to reach on a weekly or monthly basis. For Maria, 75 prospects a month was no problem, but for someone else that might be a BIG problem.
- Follow the prospect path. What I mean by this is you need to look at your website with absolute fresh eyes and say, “Okay, when somebody lands on my website what is the logical progression to get them to an intake form or get them to a conversation with me?” (if that’s your goal; your goal might be different). And for extra credit, you can look at your email opt-ins. So if somebody is moving along your website, how do you get them to opt in, what does that look like, and what does your autoresponder series look like to get them to a one-on-one appointment or a sale?
- Automate and use technology. Every process point in my own sales process is either handled by a team member, a standard email template, or technology. Just some examples:
- Prospect intake – Wufoo Forms
- Scheduling – Schedule Once
- Email Templates – Canned Responses (Gmail)
Automation is a great way to improve your hold and talk-to ratios. Remember, Gary’s sales went up when we just had someone confirm his appointments for him. Automation is an excellent way to improve your overall sales.
- Follow Up. When I hired my first teammate, my conversion went up by 20%. I wasn’t getting better at sales, she was simply following up more with everyone with whom I held consults, and so my ratio got much better.
For many years, I did everything myself, so I built in efficiencies. Now that I have a team, those efficiencies are managed by them. I do nothing except market and talk to qualified prospects. Oh, and actually deliver my services!
If you want to read in more detail about my Sales System and the key points of each, you can download my free ebook Create Your Own Sales System and get updates about stuff I am working on for entrepreneurs.