I’ve not read the book Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It’s a catchy title and I’m sure a good read. If you are looking for a solution on how to keep from chasing every chicken you see then I’m sure there is good information to be gleaned from the book. But if you are a sales manager responsible for developing your people and for driving sales growth this is awful advice.
I subscribe to the theory that the ‘Devil Is In Detail$. I purposely made the last word tiny to see if you caught the $ in the word detail$. Not that it matters but here is what I found when I ‘googled’ Wikipedia:
Origin: The idiom "God is in the detail;" has been attributed to a number of different individuals, most notably to German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) by The New York Times in Mies' 1969 obituary; however, it is generally accepted not to have originated with him. The expression also appears to have been a favorite of German art historian Aby Warburg (1866–1929), though Warburg's biographer, E.M. Gombrich, is likewise uncertain if it originated with Warburg. An earlier form "Le bon Dieu est dans le détail" (the good God is in the detail) is generally attributed to Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880). Bartlett's Familiar Quotations lists the saying's author as anonymous. Google Ngram Viewer reveals that the phrase "the devil is in the details" does not appear in its digitalized collection before c. 1975. The phrase first appears in the collection digitalized by Google Books in 1965; in 1969, it is referred to as an existing proverb.
What does this have to do with you and the title of this short article? Everything. Take a look at the following Success Formula designed to help an individual sales person figure out what they need to be doing day in and day out to be successful.
This sales person is using personal income as their metric for success. Their success standard is $58,800.00. In order to do that they must perform the formula as it is expressed here starting with averaging 20 dials per week to perspective buyers. (Do NOT get hung up on ‘this is cold calling and I do not cold call. Regardless of how your leads are generated you must do something proactively to reach out to them either by phone, text, email or other methods of initial contact. For illustrative purposes I’ve used the word dials)
Here are the details: The data tells us that this sales person must have a certain level of effort – the 20 dials a week (average) and a level of effectiveness – the conversion ratio from one step to the next. What I am demonstrating is what happens if instead of performing to plan in effort and effectiveness this sales person is off of target by just 1%. As you can see that in each individual step a drop in performance of just 1% has a negative cumulative impact of 7%. So what?
It may not appear to be much but here are a couple of things to think about.
- Suppose the number was 10 x greater and now the miss was over $30,000.00 instead of $3,000.00
- Suppose you had a team of 10 producers and 7 of them missed the mark by $30,000.00 in personal income. Their commission payout is 33%. That means each individual is missing a sales goal of $100,000.00 and you have 7 people missing the mark. Where is the $700,000.00 of sales going to come from?
- Suppose the miss on effort is 5% and the miss on average size account is 5% and the miss on submissions to approvals (for those of you that have a product that requires underwriting or approval) is off 10% but all the other conversion ratios are met at 100%.
Look at that impact! This is the scenario that is more likely to happen. We know this because we have evaluated dozens of sales organizations and the company we use to evaluate sales organizations has evaluated literally thousands of sales organizations and one finding that always jumps out from the findings is that less than 10% of the sales people evaluated are using a consistent sales process. FYI we work with mostly successful companies that are trying to figure out how to be more successful, how to eliminate the variability in performance or how to maximize potential of the sales team. We don't commonly work with sales teams that are broken so don't mis-interrpret this as something that only applies to companies that are failing to grow sales!
It is a staggering percentage that is less than 10% of all sales people across all industry segments use an effective sales process. How can this be given the billions of dollars spent on sales training and sales enablement tools like SalesForce.com? It happens for several reasons but the one I’m talking about today is: Sweat the small stuff. IT MATTERS
Additional resources – Free Download – Success Formula
Grade your sales process – Free Sales Process Grader
How good is my sales team? – Free Sales Achievement Grader
If you could use some help now – text me at 513 226 3913, subject help sales process, your name.