When it comes to selling, there are many skills that contribute to success.
There are countless tips, tactics, scripts and strategies that can help you connect with and convert your leads.
But one of the most overlooked and easy to act on is simply, accountability. By defining metrics that result in success, and using them to guide your daily, weekly, and monthly output, you inevitably make your goals more attainable.
In this article, we'll talk about why accountability is so important, and how to implement it effectively within your process and organization.
Accountability and Activity Tracking
There is a common saying by people who are successful in sales, “You get what you measure!”
Sales is a competitive industry, just like sports. Now, imagine talking with a person who wants to join your track team.
“What are your best times for the mile?”
“I don’t know”.
“How many hours do you train each week?”
“I’m not sure.”
How far do you run each week?”
“I really don’t keep track of that.”
Would you welcome this person to your team?
Do you think they could be counted on to help you win at a competitive track meet?
That’s the problem we have so often in sales. We’re not accountable, and don’t track the activities that will lead to our short-term, and even more important, our long-term success.
What Activities Are We Talking About?
To be successful in sales you need a pipeline.
- Generating leads
- Prioritizing the leads
- Contacting them (again and again until you reach them)
- Following up (again and again as needed)
- Setting and holding appointments
- Handling concerns/objections
- Opening and closing the sale
If you don’t have a way to efficiently contact your leads multiple times they will be like sludge - not running water - through your pipeline.
There are a variety of studies and opinions on this matter, but my own experience, as well as that of our clients, is that on average, 80% of sales are made after the 5th contact.
In other words, the most important sales activities we do involve introducing ourselves and building a trusting relationship with our prospects / future clients.
That takes commitment, time-blocking, script practicing and consistent follow up!
Why Tracking & Accountability Matter
It turns out, if you hold yourself accountable and track your activities, you will make a lot more money.
A University did a study of 250 people.
One group went through the week just “thinking about their weekly activity goals.”
A second group:
1) Wrote down their weekly goals
2) Tracked them daily through the week
3) Had a weekly results accountability report
4) Shared that report with others.
How much more productive do you think that the second group was compared with the first?
They were, in fact, 80% more productive! We’ve done our own studies on income production in sales and found that sales agents who do not track their numbers make about $60,000 per year. But those who consistently do all 4 accountability and tracking activities above can average close to $150,000 per year.
Metrics Are Key
Metrics are powerful ways to analyze the activity numbers you produce!
One of the key results you should be looking at are: Conversion Ratios.
There are really only 2 factors that determine how successful you will be in sales:
- How much contacting you do
- How effective you are at the contacting you do
In other words, if you contact a lot of people but can’t build trust and set any appointments, your sales will be zero.
And if you are the "World’s Best Salesperson" and closer, but never talk to anybody, your sales will also be zero.
In the sections above we focused on the first of these factors. Now, let’s talk about the second one.
The best Conversion Ratios cover the “Waterfall Effect” of your pipeline.
That is, how effective are you in moving prospects through your pipeline from:
1) # of Contact Attempts, to
2) Actual Conversations, to
3) Appointments Set, to
4) Sales Made
Using Tracking and Metrics to Create More Sales
Remember there are only 2 factors that determine success in sales.
With accountability and weekly goal tracking, you can see how much contacting is getting done!
The best way to view this is with a Scoreboard.
You want an Activity Scoreboard that compares the actual amount of contacting each week to the weekly goals for each activity - for every person. This lets you view for the week, multiple weeks, months or YTD, what activity levels are needed to produce the income you want, and what activity goals are not being met and lowering the resulting sales.
Conversion Ratio Scoreboard
You can also have a Conversion Ratio Scoreboard. This can show you, for example:
- The number of contact attempts needed for 1 conversation
- The number of conversations needed to set 1 appointment
- The number of appointments to make 1 sale
- And so forth
Individuals, Teams, Groups and Enterprises
Imagine then training, managing or coaching a group of sales agents.
You'll want them to:
1) Write down their weekly goals
2) Track them daily through the week
3) View a weekly results accountability report
4) Share that report with others
We know that most of us in sales are not employable in a normal, paid salary environment . . . “squirrel” . . . but we’re also liable to go off track unless we have structure that focuses our unique abilities on the activities that matter and produce results.
That’s why doing these 4 things above result in 80% more productivity, or perhaps more than a doubling of income.
If you’re an individual, track what you do either on paper, a spreadsheet, or with a software product.
For teams, groups, and enterprises, tracking and utilizing multiple salesperson activity levels and conversion ratio metrics can be a challenge.
At KDNA or KnowledgeDNA, that’s what we’ve been doing for over 10 years.
For more information, visit our website at: www.kdna.com
We’d be happy to have a conversation with you and answer any questions that you have.
Steve Strickholm and his team at KDNA/KnowledgeDNA have worked with over 50,000 Sales Agents, 1,000 Managers and 500 Teams over the past 10 years.
Their clients have included some of the largest coaching companies in the real estate industry, along with major players in real estate, mortgage and title insurance. They are expanding into other sales industries as well.
Steve has an unusual background. Before founding KDNA/KnowledgeDNA, he worked for 20 years with his Psychology License helping young adults with life-long disabilities (mental retardation, major mental illness) to find and keep jobs and housing in the community. During that time he also received his Real Estate License and Insurance Brokers License and went on to build the fastest growing Insurance Agency for Blue Cross Health Insurance in central California.
KDNA combines Strickholm's background in psychology and technology – to create a unique set of tools that leverages both individual and group talents to reach previously unobtainable goals and results.