As I meet CEOs from around the globe, one of the first discussions we have is about their revenue goals. After they share their goals, my response is simple and to the point, “What’s your plan for getting there?”
Unfortunately, most of the time I hear elaborate plans filled with empty metrics.
The bones of a good plan include knowing:
- Where you are
- Where you want to be
- How you’re doing
You need a plan and a way of charting your progress.
Take running for example. I’m actually training for a ½ marathon myself right now. To run a first ½ marathon, one needs a plan if you want to a) finish and b) finish with a smile on your face.
Sounds painfully simple, right?
But because my biggest pet peeve is classroom theory, I’m going to take a deeper dive and explain how to set up your own qualified opportunity plan within the next few minutes.
Know Your Metrics, Know Your Revenue
By knowing the correct metrics to follow, you only track what you need to grow your business – daily, weekly, and monthly. Without proper tracking of key vitals of your sales process, you’re flying blind. Bound to stall out and end up in the same position of a less-than-stellar quarter, again.
Surprisingly, although the metrics below are (I hope) intuitive, not all are your standard out-of-the-box CRM metrics:
Conversion rate of opportunities you generate from the list of people you’ve marketed to (# of opportunities divided by # people you e-mailed or phoned)
# of qualified opportunities per month
Closed opportunity rate (# opportunities divided by # closed accounts)
Average deal size
- Pipeline lag time (how long accounts, on average, sit in the pipeline from a cold status through opportunity creation)
Building Sales Opportunities In A Hurry
To create new opportunities you need a blend of cold and warm contacts in your sales pipeline. The combination of:
- Laser-focused, targeted e-mail messages to cold contacts followed by
- Value-driven phone conversations
Always builds sales opportunities in a hurry.
Follow this simple formula:
1. Get to know who your target market buyer really is. Before you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, you must know your prospect’s innermost desires:
What are their hopes, fears, loves, hates?
What do they read, look at, think about, watch?
What sorts of friends do they have?
- How do they dress, behave, speak? Using what sort of language?
Know what their biggest fears and frustrations are. What agitates them most? Lack of business? Too much to do? What causes them stress?
2. Once you truly understand your prospect, create a series of e-mail messages to start conversations. For help on constructing your first set of messages, be sure to read my post on “3 Ready-To-Use Cold Email Templates” and “An Alternative to the Short & Sweet Cold E-mail”.
3. Supplement cold e-mails with a healthy blend of physical phone calling. Even in our Internet age, at the end of the day you’re still dealing with people. Your prospects have emotions and desires, just like you. They want to be interacted with and treated well. Follow up on these cold contacts with conversation that benefits them and you’ll see new sales opportunities and relationships appear almost out of thin air.
Hold Your Feet To The Fire
After you create your plan, set accountability measures in place to follow it. I can’t stress this enough. I’ve seen sales teams spend hours, days, or even weeks creating a rock solid plan for success. Only to throw it by the wayside when fires come up throughout the week.
Months pass, the next quarter arrives and they fall short again. All because they do not make the commitment to follow the plan.
Please make time to set up your plan. Then set up standards and measures you refer to daily, weekly, and monthly.
Here’s to your best ever Q2,
PS – Have a question or comment? Leave one below!