There are many elements that go into sales and to list them all would be overwhelming. That’s one of the reasons why so many of us struggle in our sales careers because we are all over the place looking for answers. The unfortunate thing is that is what we are taught by our managers, experts, consultants, co-workers, blog posts, etc. We search for the latest and greatest solution for what are really some of the oldest problems that salespeople have and it all orbits around getting results.
We all have that moment where we quietly wonder, “What in the world is wrong with me? I’m trying everything and none of it is working”. There is a simple solution to almost all of your sales problems and it is based on the Sales Equation: Pipeline + Sales Activities = Results. That’s it. Naturally you will ask, “What about marketing, messaging, strategy, leadership, pricing, and so on?” Yes, these items are also important, but they are not often the core issue with your sales success. Here are 5 ways to use the Sales Equation to your advantage.
- Make the pipeline crucial – The first thing I examine when helping someone with their sales is their pipeline; the list of prospective clients they are working on. It is surprising how this is often non-existent, not current or lacking in quality. Without a good pipeline you cannot get results. You must always be hunting.
- Examine the activities – Let’s say you have a great sales pipeline, but it isn’t producing. You must track and examine your sales activities. This is where you will most often find your defect. Activities such as meetings, phone calls and emails are crucial to cultivating your pipeline. If your pipeline is good, chances are there is either not enough activity, the wrong mix of activities or not enough touch points in your activities sequence (you are giving up too soon).
- Experiment with the other variables – If your pipeline is strong and sales activities are high, now you can start to tweak your messaging, strategy, promotion, etc. Any sales person with a good list and determination can be successful without the other elements of marketing, although he will perform much better when it is aligned with his plan.
- Stay focused on the Sales Equation – You don’t get what you expect, you get what you inspect. Review your pipeline and activities frequently and your results will drastically improve. If you focus too much time on the other variables, the important sales activities tend to be delayed along with their results.
- Put it to the test – If you are not convinced, examine your own pipeline and activities, or that of your team, and match it with the results (or lack of). Does it add up? It should. Any time you suspect you have a sales problem, always put your problem to the test of the sales equation and you will usually find your answer there.