Red Zebra Business Centre -Management Memos
September, 2007. Making Measurably More In Your Business Since 1985!


When you consider the cost of sales leads, (see main article), looking after each lead, then following every one to the end to get a sale, makes a lot of sense.

A client who sells big ticket items, with a retail price up to $80,000 or more, had a significant problem getting sales staff to keep records of people visiting the showroom to browse. Obviously, a showroom visitor is pretty close to being a qualified sales lead.!

Now we have the perfect solution!

With proper sales targets, each sales person knows how many  leads they have to enter into the computer each day, and the total value of the sales leads they have to achieve every month. It is part of their performance appraisal, and if they don't get the sales leads, they don't get to keep their job.

That's good sales management, but the key is having the right software.

'Lead Tracker' is a software program built in Sydney by BizTech Software, and configured by The Red Zebra to meet these specific sales management needs of small  businesses.

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increasing salesMAKE MORE SALES


More sales can be yours, and usually quite easily. All it needs is the desire to do better, and the willingness to do what's necessary. 

The trick is, are you really determined do what's needed?

While the idea of 'getting more sales' is a simple one, and certainly very desirable, actually getting sales growth often seems tough to achieve. There are lots of outside influences that just overwhelm the things we do from day to day to make sales grow.

If you depend on water and there is a drought, sales will be very seriously affected. If you depend on sun, and there are not many hot days, sales will be down. There is not much we can do about those major factors. At the other end of the spectrum there are those stores that are in a growth region, and sales just keep growing, almost regardless of anything that happens in the store.

For most, annual growth of 10% seems reasonable. It definitely isn't. That is hardly more than natural economic growth plus inflation. Getting 20%, 30% or 40% is real growth. You can achieve that - every one can.

The key is to believe that you can make a difference. Then go and do it!

Sales Leads and Enquiries Cost Money - Work Them Hard!

Spending time and effortEvery phone call, and every shop visitor has cost an absolute bomb!

A few years ago, we had a client who ran an ad in the most popular morning metro newspaper, and at a cost of about $2,000, got 100 sales leads.  $20 a lead is quite cheap lead generation. Not surprisingly, those leads were not very good, and the sales achieved from that merchandising offer were very poor. The same client then ran another merchandising offer, and for a similar $2000 ad, got only ten leads. It doesn't take an Einstein to work out that those sales leads each cost $200 to get, and that looked pretty damn expensive.

There was a lot of criticism of the campaign that got only ten leads for $2,000. But look! The sales value from that campaign was eight times as big, and the gross profit generated was thirteen times bigger! Much more successful, much more profitable.

How? Simple. By recognising that each prospect that contacted the client had already cost the firm $200, even if they did not buy a thing, each sales person knew how much time and effort they should put in to get the full $200 value from that sales lead.  The way most sales staff handle prospects suggests they don't understand how much it has cost to get those people to contact us.

Do your sales staff know how much it has cost you to get a prospective customer to call in or phone? How will you tell your long serving, dedicated, and loyal staff that they are not handling leads and enquiries well enough, and how will you train them to do better? You can, you know!

[Don't forget: If you are running a retail store, just getting someone to come through the door and browse costs you between $200 and $500 for most businesses - even without advertising. For many, their only salvation is repeat customers.]

Measure the Success Rate

Measure how many people contact you each dayWhen you consider asking those good staff people to do better, you really need to know what 'better' really means, and how much better they need to be.

Recently, a client staff member was being helped to improve her sales performance, because it was 'curtains' for her if she didn't. Her first response was to ask the firm needed to do more advertising. She simply did not realise that with the number of store visitors each day, she had more than enough leads to treble her sales budget! She clearly had no idea of her sales effectiveness.

So, before you can increase your sales effectiveness, you need to know how effective your staff already is! You need to know the number of 'doors' each day (how many people walk in), or the number of phone leads, and usually both. You need to know the average number of daily sales (you are achieving better than 65% conversion aren't you?), and the average sale value. You need to know which staff are making those sales too!

What method will you use to count the number of contacts on a daily basis, the number of transactions, and the average sales value, so you actually measure your sales achievements?

Set Performance Targets, and then Manage to Them

set performance targets

One major reason for seeing little sales growth is a lack of visible, well accepted, and achievable performance targets for every selling staff member. Such targets have to be set, and then managed. Neither setting the targets, nor managing to them is hard, but it does take care, skill and experience.

Setting a target too high is a recipe for disaster. Setting one too low is a recipe for failure. Setting any target and then not managing to it, is a failure of management that demoralizes the whole team.

When sales staff know what sales level they have to achieve, each day, each week, each month, they will increase their performance to match your expectation.

How will you determine the sales growth you need?  How will you determine the sales goals to apply to different people in different departments with different levels of skill? How will you make time to set and review these targets? Quite an issue, isn't it? Not surprisingly, help is available.

In the end, achieving sales growth comes down to applying good management. What sales growth is right for you? Of course, that depends. Just remember that while the majority of people are satisfied with 10%, it's the winners who demand much better than that. It's the winners who know they can make a difference, and then get the resources to go an do it.

 If you'd like to find out more, talk to us, or ask us a question here! Remember, there's no charge or obligation, and you get a whole hour's consultation free. This same offer also applies in New Zealand.