If there’s a universal truth in sales, it’s that the start of a new year means everything starts over. Whether you had a terrific year or not, whether you create your own goals or they’re handed down, we’re all in the same boat. We’re facing new revenue goals next year, and I’ll bet yours are higher than last year’s.
Freaking out? You’re not alone.
Take a deep breath. We’ve helped hundreds of sellers reach seemingly unachievable goals by breaking them down into achievable bites. This is my secret to consistent success. Here’s how you do it.
1. Start by accounting for business you know you can get without doing anything new. Do you have closed business that’s still clearing accounting? Count that. Opportunities you started last year that haven’t closed yet? Count that.
Do you have clients who will renew contracts or need more of your services this year?
Look at the prospects in your pipeline. Consider your typical closing conversion ratio and do some quick math to see how much revenue you can expect.
2. Determine how many leads you need to close the quota gap. Now that you’ve counted all that revenue you can rely on, it may be fewer leads than you think. That’s great news!
To figure it out, divide the remaining revenue goal (your quota gap) by your average sale size; then divide by your conversion rate. Easier still, use our free Quota Gap Calculator to quickly calculate the leads you need.
3. Next, break down that number into the number of leads you need each month. But don’t make the mistake of simply dividing by twelve, unless you have a very short sales cycle.
Suppose, for example, you have a 3-month sales cycle. You’ll need all your new leads by the end of September to close business this year. That gives you nine months to make your lead generation goal.
Is your business cyclical? Do some months produce more leads than others? Factor that in as well.
4. Once you know how many leads you need each month, you’re ready to plan the activities to generate them. How many calls do you need to make each month? How many per week? How many personal emails or campaigns?
How about hosting events, blogging, attending networking events, asking for referrals or other ideas?
Focus on the activities that work best for you.
Just because social media is all the rage, for example, doesn’t mean that’s a good strategy for you. If you’re not a fluent Tweeter or facile Facebook fan – or more importantly, if your prospects aren’t – don’t make that a cornerstone of your plan.
Are you especially good at personal phone calls or hosting webinars? Focus on your tried and true lead generation strategies and combine them with something new to expand your base of lead sources.
5. Finally, as you’re planning your lead generation activities, keep in mind you still need time for your regular selling functions. Do block out chunks of time for prospecting and generating leads, but reserve the remainder for nurturing relationships and closing sales.
About the author
Kendra Lee is a top IT seller, sales advisor and business owner who knows…