What changes in your organisation would create the greatest advantage for you?


The cost of getting the selection wrong could be as high as seven times the annual salary, if not more

Coach or Train

What skills do your people need to make the greatest sustainable improvement?

Turning Sales Targets into Activity

Most salespeople are set sales targets. Such targets are typically set out as end results like, turnover, market share, profitability, number of new accounts or renewal of existing contracts.

Quite often a focus on the end goal is not enough to succeed. To succeed in sales, you need to plan.  In order to plan, you need to understand at least three things; the end goal, the methods, tactics or strategy you are going to use to get there and the activities you have to perform, in the right way often enough to hit your end goal.


Lead and Lag Measures

If you want to lose weight, popping on the scales each week to check your weight is not enough to cause weight loss for most people. That measure – your weight is a Lag Measure; it lags behind the activities or behaviours that make the result change. To lose weight you either have to increase our activity levels to burn off more calories or you have to eat less calories in the first place. Ideally a combination of both.

The target is a lag measure. It is less clear what you can do, as an activity, to make progress. What is the lead measure(s). These will be actions you can take each day or week, like picking up the telephone and making x number of calls. Like x number of appointments or presentations.

By knowing exactly how many times you have to pick up the telephone you can almost guarantee that you will beat your sales target let alone hit it.


Breaking big goals down

It is a vital exercise to break bigger targets down into meaningful and manageable chunks. Say you have an annual New Business Target of £400,000. If you knew that the typical or average sales value was £2,500 and typically a new customer ordered twice in their first year you know that each new clients is worth £5,000 toward your target and as such you need to find 80 of them.

Annual New Business Target: £400,000

§  Average sales value: £2,500

§  Frequency of order: Twice per year

§  A new client is therefore, on average, worth £5,000 per year


Number of New Clients required: 80 per annum

§  Number of working weeks: 40

§  New Clients per week: 2


Work out your key activities and conversion ratios

What are the critical steps in your typical sales process? Dials, Speak Tos, Appointment, Quotes, Presentations; write them each down

It is really important to measure your key activity, how often you do them and the results you get from each. By measuring activity and results over a three to six-month period you can predict your future results very accurately

If you make 100 cold calls and, as a result, gain 10 appointments the key ratio of Calls to Appointments is 10:1 What this means is that if you need to book 6 appointments in the future it means you have to simply talk to 60 prospects on the phone.

So work backwards along your sales process

§  Appointments to New Client sales = 3:1

o   Number of new appointments required per week = 6

§  Speak Tos to Appointments made = 5:1

o   Number of Speak Tos per week = 30

§  Dials to Speak Tos = 7:1

o   Number of Dials required per week = 210 or 42 per day


You can replace the sales step of “Appointments” with the relevant next step that is typical for your business, be it Quotations or Trails, and if required you can add in extra key steps with their own conversion ratio.


Hit the activity leads measures and you hit your lag goals

You now know exactly how many times you have to pick up the phone in order to achieve your main sales target. In all probability you will beat your main goal by ensuring you do the right activities, well enough and often enough. Just knowing the tasks that are required can change your confidence levels and your commitment to the goal. And as you probably already know Attitude determines Altitude. Lift one and you lift the other.

This tells you what you have to do each day and each week to succeed. You’ve designed the ideal day and ideal week. You can easily monitor your own activity levels and easily tell if today has been a good and productive day. So long as you’ve hit your activity levels, even if a sale has not been made that day or week, they will come overtime so long as you do the right thing, well enough, often enough – period.


Do one more thing

If you really want to blow the targets away – simply do one more of each activity, each day or week that you can. That thin slice of extra effort will quickly add up to an avalanche of extra results.


If you want to learn more about improving your sales activities and performance – contact me here.



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