December '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 2 | PRINTWEAR D EC E M B E R 20 1 4 firm that the average technical sales rep has to make 25 to 40 sales calls for every new account closed? Even the top sales pro must make 12 to 18 sales calls for each new piece of business. This is an important metric. You might have sales reps on your team who are excellent networkers and door openers but awful closers. If so, either help them shorten the sales cycle or move them into a different role, so they can open doors for your closers. Either way, tracking this metric is key. Quota fulfillment: Monthly and quar- terly sales quotas give salespeople a tangible goal. The ability to consistently meet and exceed a quota is often a sign of a motivat- ed salesperson. Factors to consider when establishing quotas include your company's overall revenue goals, the historical revenue generation of each sales territory, the past performance of each member of your sales team, and whether you plan to increase or decrease sales staff and resources. Customer retention and care: Some salespeople are highly adept at getting the top sales reps use LinkedIn, and there is a direct correlation between reps who are social media enthusiasts and revenue. What's unclear is how fre- quent such contact, and what types of posts and efforts, make a difference. Because there are few key performance indicator guidelines in place for mea- suring social microstrategies, you have to rely on your own instincts to define how and how often your reps make connections with this budding mar- keting vehicle. Lead response time: When it comes to lead response, speed is essential to increasing sales reps' odds of success. Prospects often equate a respon- sive company with a great company. Harvard Business Review's study on response times for inbound inqui- ries showed that sales reps who con- tacted leads within one hour were seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a decision maker, and other studies have affirmed these findings. Digging deeper into the study reveals some unsettling facts about the gap between respon- sive and apathetic sales teams. Although 37 percent responded to a lead within an hour and 16 percent responded within one to 24 hours, 24 percent took more than a full business day and 23 percent didn't respond at all. The average lead response time of companies that responded within 30 days was 42 hours. The question is not only when to respond but who and how one should respond. There's no substitute for a personal phone call or visit by an actual sales rep—as opposed to an email, snail mail, or other electronic response. That's what makes this key performance indicator worth measuring. Rate of follow-up contact: Persistence pays off. A National Sales Executive Association survey found that 48 percent of sales reps never follow up with leads a second time. This is significant because the same study showed that 10 percent of sales are closed on the fourth contact, and 80 percent are made on the fifth to 12th contact. As a sales manager, you may want to look at every lead record over time to see the multiple leads and calls logged against it. Usage rate of marketing collateral: Think about the best sales follow-up contact you've ever experienced as a shopper. Effective reps try to bring something to the conversation that reinterests and re-engages. That often requires links to a promotion, whitepaper, new pricing page, or even a study validating the product. As a sales pro, marketer, and trainer, I can confi- dently say that much of the content created for sales-enablement purposes goes unused. This is surprising because the right marketing content can provide tremendous value to reps. The goal of this metric is to ensure that reps are embedding links to content in follow-up emails that are tailored to their leads. Close ratio: In a given six-month period, how many wins—closed accounts—do your reps earn for the total number of sales calls completed? Did you know that many studies con- Your Personal Business Trainer | | | | continued on page 111

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