Relationship Selling Metrics: Face-to-Face & Write-Ups

Relationship Selling Metrics: Face-to-Face & Write-Ups

Guest writer Floyd Jerkins continues his series on Relationship Selling Metrics by looking at the numbers in face-to-face sales and also in your tracking of your sales with write-ups, and a careful system of staying organized.

Operating a business requires a basic understanding of financial management. Knowing the numbers is important in making good decisions. If your expenses are too high or sales are dropping off you make changes. Do you know how many customers your sales team talks to every week? Many organizations don’t know the answer and are leaving thousands of dollars on the table for a competitor to get.

Ok, let me do a reality check. There are issues with starting to measure a sales team’s effectiveness. Typically, the measurements start with sales volume and other financial metrics. Make no mistake about it; I am a proponent of these. The challenge is to identify where the sales process can be improved before the close of the sale. When you can enhance salespeople’s actions from the start to the end of the sale, the closing ratio goes up significantly.

By now in your business life cycle, you have some sort of a CRM in place. Various tools on the market are either simple or as complex as you want. Getting your sales team to log each sales action properly is yet another challenge and a whole article all to itself. So, with my disclaimers in place, let’s explore.

Measuring a salesperson’s success by the total revenue they generate is only one part of the equation. If a salesperson is selling 5 million a year, but leaving 5 million on the table, really, how good are they?

First, to be successful in sales, you have to talk to a lot of people. You also have to give a price to make a sale. Simple, right? Here is my rationale for a few sales performance metrics to get us started. Each CRM, as well as your organization, may call them something different, so please read between the lines if you will.

  • Face-to-Face Contacts- This category measures how many face-to-face contacts a salesperson encounters on a day, week, and month. This could be a new prospect who has never been to your store or a previous owner who’s bought from you before or even a referral.
  • Sold- Meaning the product is sold and delivered. Paperwork is done, financing is approved, and the checks have cleared.
  • Write Up- Meaning that the salesperson quoted a price and then wrote the order. This doesn’t mean it’s closed, just that a written order was initiated.

Sample Questions About Performance

What percent of Face-to-face to Sold do you think is a good number? 

In the article, Relationship Selling- How to Measure Sales Success, I outline the basics of measuring the types of customers most businesses have. The average closing ratio, many say is 20%. I think that’s a weak number and here’s why.

Long-standing businesses have repeat customers. What if your sales team has 100 Face-to-Face contacts in a month that are repeat customers? Do you think closing 20% is acceptable? I don’t. The salespersons selling process needs to be revised because they cost the business thousands of dollars. Factor in your marketing investment to get an ROI that’s not impressive.

Take each “unit” the salesperson sells and divide that by the total number of face-to-face contacts in a given time period. If you establish a salesperson has a 20% closing ratio, what if they could improve that 5%? A 5% increase would increase the “unit” sales. This is a “natural” increase to make more sales. It doesn’t cost you anything if you help your salesperson improve their effectiveness.

Your business should be closing at least 40% to 60% of your repeat customers. Without measuring, you have wishful thinking. 

What percent of Write-Ups to Face-to-Face contacts is a good number for an experienced salesperson?

Typically, a salesperson will share a price with a customer before they even qualify what the customer wants. This is generally because that’s one of the first questions a customer asks, “How much is it?” Salespeople feel obligated to answer every question vs. learning to control the sale through questions.

The rule of high volume and high margin sales is never price before you establish value. 

A salesperson who verbally prices, especially if they don’t establish value before pricing, will have a lower closing ratio compared to a salesperson who makes written quotes every time they price. Increase the number of professional write-ups, and you will close more sales. 

80% of all pricing should be in writing. 

How effective is an experienced salesperson that sells 30% of their previous customers? 

Let’s say you are measuring the type of customers your sales team is talking with. You know the % of each category. Every time a salesperson prices a customer and a sale is not made right then, the customer leaves the business.

Statistically, I know that most salespeople are not good with follow up. Nearly 7 out of 10 don’t follow up within 24 hours after they price a customer who doesn’t immediately buy. Part of this is because sales managers often focus their team in the wrong direction due to various financial or inventory pressures. The other part is they lack a system as well as the verbal strategies to service the customer. Many salespeople are great at selling the sales manager on why they shouldn’t call back, or they wait on the customer to “get back to them” as they artificially promised.

If this experienced salesperson is only selling 3 out of 10 customers, what is happening to the other 7? If you have a sales team of 10 with a 30% ratio, look how much is being lost due to an inefficient sales process.

Measuring allows you to know the realities of how to improve your sales team’s behaviors and maximize your marketing budget. 

Measuring tells you exactly where to influence the behaviors of your salesperson and sales team. 

Learning to be Effective Starts with Performance Sales Metrics

Talking to a measured number of prospects in a given period of time is just part of being successful in sales. There are only so many selling hours in a day, week, and month. Learning how to be effective with each contact starts the journey of successful time management.

By establishing value and knowing how to communicate that to a prospect, the closing ratio goes up dramatically, but so do the margins. A sales-driven organization takes time, energy, and the correct vision to have a highly competent team.

What are the performance sales metrics for your sales team? 

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The Digital Dealership: Metrics Are NOT Integrated Data

The Digital Dealership: Metrics Are NOT Integrated Data

Guest writer Mets Kramer debriefs us on this year’s AED Summit, and continues to explore the Digital Dealership with a look at how metrics are not integrated data.

This year I attended the AED Summit and again spoke on the Topic of the Digital Dealership.  Before going, I wrote in my last blog that I wanted to look at the impact of two influences on the equipment industry in my presentation. These influences are changing the landscape of the industry and all dealers need to plan for these changes. 

  1. The first was the changing customer expectation of being able to work and communicate with their dealer through digital channels.  This expectation has customers wanting to use websites, text messages, chat and others means to communicate, and the use of phone is almost dead. 
  2. The second topic was the use of information in the dealership, specifically integration.  

Information use at dealerships has been a long-standing topic of conversation, from print out reports to the use of metrics. Dealers collect lots of transactional data and turn it into reports and metrics. These metrics are presented to dealership team members who are supposed to use it to improve their performance and that of the dealership.  Frankly, this is not an effective way to drive performance improvement in organizations.  

Even fewer dealership goes beyond metrics and reports by turning information into triggers (You can read more about triggers here). Triggers capture the information gathered in reports and metrics and create action.  They either feed information into the right place for a person to take action, our automatically update systems.  

But there is so much more data available outside our transactional systems…

At the AED Summit this year I had the pleasure of walking around the CONDEX and seeing how many information providers we have in the industry. Many companies collect information from the market and even from dealers to create large and valuable datasets for dealers to use in their business. These datasets include market sales pricing, rental rates, operating costs, auction values, finance costs and much more. This data can predict market trends create heat maps and guide decisions. During one of my many conversations with one of the companies we started reviewing their website. They told me dealers who subscribe come to their website to review data. So, I asked if anyone integrated the data. I was stunned to learn that not a single dealership customer, of theirs, pulled the data back into the dealership DMS or CRM.  

Market data and other sources of data have very limited value if they require you to log into a site and do manual searches or reviews. This way, the data’s value is defined only by the provider’s vision and presentation. Also, you can’t rethink what the data means and apply the analysis of the data to your day-to-day business operations or put it in the hands of people that it matters to.   

In this case, the companies I talked to all have APIs available for integration. This means your existing systems can call a lot of data or a small amount of information and inject it into the right place.   

Here’s an example, in this screenshot from a DMS, we have a function used for setting the advertised price on machines going to the dealer’s websites or to some of the machinery advertising sites: DMS Mets Kramer Screenshot

By injecting live market pricing data into the screens, used by people in their daily activities, your team members can make better decisions. They are rewarded with better performance from their activities. The work required to get this integrated is usually small and is quickly paid back by the time saved looking this same data up on another website. Then the performance increases gained by being more accurate with your pricing is all profit.   

Numerous other opportunities exist in our daily activities at the dealership. For example, market rental rates integration with the functions where users review and set Rental Rates in your platform. Even better, integrated where sales reps log their won and lost rental opportunities.  What about Engagement data from email campaigns? Like data on opened campaigns integrated into your CRM so sales reps can see what their customers are viewing and interested in before they talk to the customer.  

Today’s market leading dealership need to learn how to make use of the vast amount of information available to them. This information is more than nice to have or part of a quarterly review exercise. Leading dealers will optimize all their interactions and engagements by using the information available to them. These dealerships will be Digital Dealers, understanding the value of information, and in so doing get the most out of the huge amount of capital invested in their bricks and mortar operations.  

Are you using the information you have available? Do you have an idea to explore?   Connect with me on your preferred digital channel, even the phone.

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