Good prospecting for great success – Part 1

Too often, I hear sales people and managers who miss sales targets, either complain that the targets are too high or blame the markets. My belief is that we over estimate market forces and underestimate our ability to affect results.

The first and foremost element in our control is prospecting activity. Here are some essential principles for prospecting:

  1. It must be a priority
  2. It must be targeted
  3. It must be at a pre-determined level
  4. It must be recorded and measured

Here is a step-by-step approach to determine the level of prospecting required for yourself (business unit or individual level). Lets assume that you run a digital print shop that needs to achieve $100,000 in sales this month. How much prospecting is required?

  • A: Monthly sales target – $100,000
  • B: Average invoice/order value – $2,000
  • C: Number of average orders required to reach target (A/B) – 50
  • D: Prospect (quotation) conversion to sale ratio – 4:1
  • E: Number of prospects required (DxC) – 200
  • F: Suspect (target) conversion to prospect ratio – 1:5
  • G: Number of suspects to be targeted at 20% conversion rate (ExF) – 1000

Note that the above figure is to generate 100% new business. Next week, we will take a look at tips on improving at critical stages in this approach.

Don’t be daunted by the 1000 suspects that need to be targeted each month. This can be broken down into manageable chunks of 50 suspects to be targeted a day. This is what good prospecting looks like and it is a precursor to great success.

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