A good hitter knows he has to get more hits to be great. A great hitter knows she has to get more at bats to get to the Hall of Fame.In the wake of the fading scars from the recent recession, most companies have turned their focus to revenue enhancement, a fancy term for “get more sales”. What are the key metrics that will help you drive that achievement?
What could be easier than to focus on top line growth?
There is probably no clearer metric to measure and analyze. Check the ledger: sales are up or they’re not.
But, where do sales come from? From Prospects who become customers … so if you’re not tracking how you’re developing Prospects, and treating them as importantly as customers, your sales are unlikely to grow much.
Here’s the real key to getting more sales
Get more at bats.
If you need more customers, find more prospects. If you own stores, figure out how to get more people through the door.
If you don’t have enough prospects, find more suspects. If you sell services, talk to more people.
Sales result from developing Suspects … nurturing them to become Prospects … all the while recognizing most of them never become customers … but without them, there will be no new customers at all.
“At Bats” are not the same as “Plate Appearances”
Baseball distinguishes between “plate appearances” and “at bats”.
Just showing up at the plate isn’t enough.
Throw out the stuff that doesn’t count – the walks, hit by a pitch, sacrifice flies – the ambiguous marketing schemes and sales gimmicks.
“A player is not credited with an at-bat when he walks, reaches on interference or obstruction, hits a sacrifice fly or bunt, or is hit by a pitch that entitles him to first.”
Get more at bats
This simple, uncomplicated mantra is really all you need to create sales growth.
Do it in all aspects of your customer relationship.
Create more chances to succeed.
Create more opportunities to serve.
How do I measure it?
Most companies do a poor job of tracking Suspects and Prospects, in large part because they believe the process is too vague and subjective or requires more disciplined reporting that they would be to create.
Even worse, they have no organized sales funnel to help Suspects and Prospects move toward becoming customers, so they figure, why bother?
Try this simple metrics.
Here are a few new metrics you should add to measure the success of your sales funnel.
Without them, your so-called “revenue enhancement” efforts will be a hit or miss proposition and you’ll never really understand why sales aren’t growing.
- How many new Suspects entered the pipeline?
- How did they get there? Which channels are working? Which ones aren’t?
- What information has been shared with them? Are they interested or ignoring it?
- How many new Suspects have been identified compared to the previous period?
- How many Prospects are you nurturing?
- What information has been shared with them? What indications of interest have they shown?
- How many new Prospects have been identified compared to the previous period?
- How much have sales increased?
- How much of the increase came from newly created Prospects?
- How does that compare to the same metric in the previous period?
It will take a little work to set these up, and some of it may be a bit more subjective than you’d like, but don’t ignore it.
The most important element is to be consistent. Measure it the same way every period so, at a minimum, you’ll be able to see if you’re making progress. At the same time, keep working on finding better ways to measure your results without overburdening your team with time-consuming reporting requirements.
That will get you going in the right direction.
This is the key to growing sales
You won’t find many Prospects without Suspects.
Focus on reaching out and touching more Suspects.
You’ll rarely get Customers without Prospects.
Nurture the Prospects so they become Customers.
Get more at bats
In today’s competitive environment – and it’s baseball season after all – this mantra will keep everyone’s eyes on the ball.
Make getting more at bats the cornerstone of your sales strategy.
It’s the only thing that really works.