How to Outsell Absolutely Everyone

Last Updated Jul 8, 2009 3:37 PM EDT

Want to outsell everybody else? The best way to do this is to geometrically increase your sales performance. Here are key four strategies that, each by itself, incrementally increases your sales performance. When combined, though, they multiply to geometrically increase your sales performance, even if you make only small changes in each area. Here are the strategies:
  • STRATEGY #1: Increase the average quality of your leads. If your leads come from marketing, communicate clearly, based upon your own experience in the field, who's interested and who's buying. Provide specific details, including job title, industry, typical organizational structure, etc. Bring some sample customers in to meet the marketing group so they understand the target better. Don't have a marketing group? Do the same thing, but apply the knowledge to your own lead generation efforts.
  • STRATEGY #2: Increase your conversion rate. Make sure that you're talking to the REAL decision-makers, and not just the influencers and sideliners. When you meet a decision-maker, stay in regular communication throughout the sales cycle. Don't let long periods of time go buy where you don't know what's going on, or what's changing inside the account. And don't the competition. Find out who the other guys are calling on, and how they're approaching the account. Then figure out how to outflank them.
  • STRATEGY #3: Increase your average dollar value. While it may take more effort to cut a $1 million deal, it's less than ten times as much effort as cutting ten $100,000 deals. The more money that you can make on any one sales opportunity, the more money you'll make overall. To keep the numbers high, alway remain aware of new opportunities in an account. Use discounts sparingly or not at all, except when they're bundled into a larger deal. Find more ways to help the customer, today and in the future.
  • STRATEGY #4: Decrease your effort required to close. Find out the customer's "compelling event" which will actually trigger the buying process and time your selling effort to match. For example, a prospect might have budget in the current quarter, making the "compelling event" the end of the quarter. Similarly, a prospect might be waiting for an order from its own customer before making a new purchase. Schedule your activities backwards from the event and you'll spend the least amount of time developing the opportunity.
For example, suppose you increase the quality of your leads by 25 percent. If nothing else changes, you'll close exactly 25 percent more business. The same thing if you increase the average dollar value by 25 percent, but don't change anything else.

However, if you increase all four areas at the same time by just 25 percent, you'll actually book almost 150 percent more business. Check it out:

  • $100,000 -- Example: your current average sales per quarter.
  • $125,000 -- Your quality leads close 25 percent more often.
  • $156,250 -- You convert 25 percent more of those quality leads.
  • $195,313 -- Those quality leads buy 25 percent more from you.
  • $244,141 -- You can develop 25 percent more of those leads.
So you're now pushing $1 million a year in bookings, all by making relatively minor incremental improvements in day-to-day activities that you were doing anyway.

Sound too difficult? Fine. I'll set the bar lower. Improve all four items by just 10 percent, you'll book $146,000 a quarter. Hey, you can manage 10 measly percent more effort, can't you???

Sound way too easy? Great! Here's a new goal for you. Improve all four items by 50 percent and you'll be booking over $500,000 a quarter!!!

In other words, you'll be putting in only half again as much effort, but you'll achieve five times the results.
Pretty cool, eh?

The above is based on a conversation with Donal Daly, CEO of The TAS Group, an organization works on sales methodologies. If you ever get a chance to talk with him, take it. He's one of the wittiest (and quick witted) guys in the business world.