I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life, and (most importantly) your sales thought process right now.
 

Dear Jeffrey,

What is your opinion of tracking daily sales dollars versus activities that will result in revenue? Does it really matter if Monday’s sales dollars are lower as long as the month pans out in regard to your goals? My thought is “Who cares which day the dollars get posted as long as they do get posted.” 

Ocha



Ocha, 

So I’m assuming your boss is making you do this and he or she is paranoid you won’t make your number by the end of the month. Tracking the daily sales dollars and the daily sales activities is stupid. What you need to do is track the sales cycle and know where you are with respect to that sales cycle and what your expected revenues are. Because if your expected revenues are underneath your daily dollars, but your daily dollars are over your goal, you think you’re doing well, when in fact, you could be achieving 20, 30 40, 50 percent MORE sales by making certain you’re looking at your target dollars. Received dollars are real easy to record, but if you’re a salesperson and your boss needs to know what activity you’re doing every day – you’re doing it all backwards and you’ve got the wrong boss. What you need to do is look at the sales cycle and parenthetically look at the dollars, but they have to be compared to what you projected those dollars to be. 

Best regards, Jeffrey


Dear Jeffrey, 

I have a regional billboard company with two years of experience. For the smaller, greener, and less connected salespeople of the world, how do you keep a strategy in mind at all times to help land clients such as AT&T, Best Buy, or Taco Bell? 

Stuart



Stuart, 

You’re not going to land those people without years worth of trying, banging your head against the wall, seeing their ad agency, and doing all kinds of other stuff. UNLESS somebody in your family, your circle of friends, or your circle of influence knows someone up high at those big companies. If they do, and you can be introduced, you can get in the door. And if you can get in the door with some kind of impact, you’re going to win. But here’s the secret: don’t just be selling them a billboard. Give them a design that helps them get a response. And maybe you could even arrange with your company to give it away for 30 days to measure that response and go from there. Go in with something already finished so people can look at it, like it, invite other people in to see it, and ultimately buy it. 

Best regards, Jeffrey


Dear Jeffrey, 

You are pretty critical of CRM (customer relationship management) systems. They are here to stay, so how do you suggest we make them less threatening and more useful to the sales rep? How do you suggest someone shows the value of CRM to the sales users? 

Mike



Mike, 

Make the CRM applicable to the sales cycle, not just what they did on Tuesday. Don’t count the number of cold calls. Rather, study the sale from the beginning to the end and coach on that. That will actually help the people using it. 
 
Keep in mind salespeople just want to make a sale. They got into sales so they wouldn’t have to be accountable. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not responsible. And it’s the manager’s or the leader’s responsibility to help them be responsible for themselves. 

Best regards, Jeffrey