The Sales Hourglass Part 2

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Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.

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Hi! Jacob from businessDEPOThere. Talking more about sales, a critical topic many business owners asked me about. The last video, we went through the different levels of the sales hourglass—how to move contacts down to become clients, and then how to leverage your clients to create more revenue from them and from their communities and networks. But that can be a whole lot of work, particularly if you’re a small business. So today, we’re talking about the three key measurements that you need to know to get started on sales. All these others will help make your life easier, but if you just focus on these three, you can have some amazing wins.

Number one is understanding the number of contacts that you have coming into the top of your hourglass each month. Now depending on your business model, that might be thousands of people who are signing up for your newsletter, or it might be two or three people who are having a coffee with you to talk about your consultancy. The actual volume is less important than understanding what that number is for you.

From there, you want to measure the conversion rate from those contacts to people who are engaged; people who have actively asked you to give them a proposal about how you can help them. That might be nine or ten out of ten contacts that come in want a proposal from you, maybe it’s one out of ten. Again, at this stage, we’re not looking for good or bad, we just want to know what your figures are.

The third is then the conversion rate from that engaged prospect into people who buy, who become a client or customer of your business. You can keep track of those, you can then start to identify where there are key opportunities to improve those numbers. For example, if for every ten contacts you have come in, nine of them get engaged to want a proposal but only one of them becomes a client, you know you need to focus more on your sales skills. You’re sitting in front of somebody, how do you convert them? Conversely, if you’ve got ten contacts who come in, only one ask for a proposal but a hundred percent of the people who get a proposal by, your scale sales skills are probably great but obviously somewhere your brand promise is not engaging with those people who come on board.

Ultimately, if the number of clients that you’re developing is not sufficient for your business to grow, then you need to work out how you get more people into the top of the funnel, and how you engage with them faster and how you make sure that people who are engaged by what it is that you’re selling. Focusing on those three numbers can make a real difference to the revenue top line and most important bottom line for your people.

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