Many days ago, I was involved in a large vending business enterprise, trying to set the amount of phone calls an individual sales rep had to do, to be sure achieving his sales quota. We started to define the steps necessary to perform; from the cold call to the signed order – the sales process.
In each of these steps we counted the numbers – how many cold calls that turned into a sales meeting, how many sales meetings were followed by the submission of a quote and how many quotes were won or lost. The sales managers used the numbers to coach the sales reps to achieve a little better next week, the week after and so on. Still on an individual basis – an operational level.
The sales manager got a nice tool for coaching; he shaped his own OPI (Operational Performance Indicator, see a recent blog post), for every single sales rep matching the sales budget for that rep.
Connecting strategic and operational goals
I was wondering if I could use the same technique, but on a strategic level.
On a strategic level you are dealing with the entire sales organization, so you have to work with averages and use the strategic numbers; naturally the number of orders and the total revenue. By having the number of sales reps, I easily calculated the average order as well as the number of orders and budget per sales rep; that’s typical KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). With these figures on hand it was not a big thing to see what had to be done to achieve the strategic goals.
But my ambition was to connect these strategic goals to the OPI’s defined above, to be able to coach on an operational level, from one week to another. So a slight deviation in a specific week could be handled as an early warning and corrected in an easy way by coaching from sales manager to sales rep.
To get the connection between the strategic goals and the operational, I set up a simple excel calculation, where I started to go backwards from the number of orders needed for each sales rep every week. With a little investigation I was also able to define hitrates between all steps in the sales process and the mission was completed.
Changing the overall strategic goals had an impact on the operational numbers, for example a strategic growth scenario would increase the number of sales meetings to perform.
The news is that we from today, the 17th of December 2012, are launching exactly this as an App, available for iPad and iPhone at http://itun.es/se/-x4oH.i (soon for Windows 8 Tablets as well). The tool will also be accessible on our web www.salesscenario.com/tool
Even if the tool still would be very usable for sales manager’s coaching, it’s designed to be used as a sales scenario tool in the management group meetings. Typically you would be able to run different strategic sales scenarios to see how these will affect your sales process activities and provide a discussion platform in this group.
The app won’t tell you what to do; since it’s your business, but it will help you to define your questions so you may be able to look in the right direction. The ambition is also to provide you with the easiest answers – but when it becomes more complicated, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The results from app is in no way the complete truth, it’s a simple tool to compare different sales scenario approaches as best case or worst case, growth or down-turning economy; based on your perspective, how you see your business and your available options.
Making an app is a new way of sharing our experience in this area of Sales and Supply. If you like it or not, feel free to comment. If it turns out positive, we may continue our development. If that’s a promise or threat, it’s up to you all to decide 😉
The app is free, it’s our Christmas gift from all of us to all of you.
www.salesscenario.com/tool (on our web)