Leading Sales Indicators Will Save Your Future
Too often September rolls around and organizations are frantically preparing for a 4Q push. They take their numbers from the first nine months of the year and, as if it is a bit of surprise, review the numbers in detail for the first time. Sure, they’ve kept an eye on the numbers for the past nine months, but as every month passes it is too late to fix what’s already gone wrong. Now it’s time to change the game.What management must understand is this: we have to manage behavior to manage the future. When we manage results, we manage the past. Once the results are in, it’s already too late. If you have accurate pipelines (which 80% of traditional salespeople don’t!) it becomes easier to predict business. Match pipeline activity with leading indicators and you won’t be caught off-guard.
Leading sales indicators could be as simple as the number of demos provided to prospects, number of qualified quotes given, number of new first-time meetings, number of trials and assessments sold, and number of referrals received. Each business is different – if you had to keep your eye on 3 “gauges” that happen before the sale that would help you predict future results, what would they be?
Don’t get caught off-guard, and worse yet, don’t allow your salespeople to go through their entire year being reactive and hoping to make up a deficit in the fourth quarter. By determining the three indicators that work for your business, you’re taking a very simple first step to providing clarity to help achieve this year’s goals.