ACTG Sales Management Blog

Sales & Sales Management Expertise Blog  

The Data Driven Sales Executive

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Jul 15, 2021

Data Driven Sales Approach

In our business, one of the greatest sales challenges that most companies face is how to properly implement a data-driven sales approach. Some companies chase a bunch of data without any regard for the story that the data tells. Others struggle when they launch sales coaching without any data at all.

All of that leads us to what we call the “pull-through rate.”

mick-haupt-_9VhGM5inGE-unsplash

One of my most treasured memories of my younger days was buying and trading baseball cards. Perhaps I am being a bit too nostalgic, but those days were good days, and growing up in Cincinnati during the 1970’s I was a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds and the Big Red Machine.

I particularly remember studying the back of each baseball card because it told the story of each player. And I can still recall the quote “everybody plays to the back of their baseball card” which is a reminder that year over year statistics can be used to forecast future performance.

In our business, one of the greatest sales challenges that most companies face is how to properly implement a data-driven sales approach. Some companies just chase a bunch of data without any regard for the story that the data tells. Other companies struggle when they launch sales coaching without any data at all which means they are simply guessing on both whether their people can improve and what it will take to cause that improvement.

Pull-Through Rate

All of that leads us to what we call the “pull-through rate.” Let’s start with not getting this confused with your hit ratio or close ratio. Both a hit ratio or a close-ratio are computed in the same way by dividing the number of wins by the number of presentations or pitches. That means a company that delivers 100 presentations and wins 30 new clients has a hit ratio of 30%.

What is Pull-Through Rate?

A pull-through rate is a different deal altogether. It is calculated by comparing the relationship between first-time or initial sales calls and the number of wins. For example, a salesperson who has 200 first-time sales appointments and who winds up with 30 new clients has a pull-through rate of 15%. For years Anthony Cole Training Group has taught that most prospects are not qualified to do business with you and the numbers across the country support that conclusion. In fact, our own pull-through analysis supports that conclusion as our pull-through rate runs around 20%. Nearly 80% of all the firms we have initial conversations with never become a client of our firm.

Pull-Through Rate Example

Finally, one of the most interesting parts of the pull-through calculation is that it allows your sales team to “dollarize” each sales call. For example, if your average sale is $50,000…and your pull-through rate is 15% then every time your team goes on that first initial call they are in theory making $7,500 every single time they run a sales call.

Conclusion

I still have my baseball cards (at least the ones my mom did not throw away). And the back of each card still has the statistics that tell a story. What does the back of your salesperson’s card look like? Do you like the story it is telling you?

Topics: unique selling approach, Sales Coaching, increase sales, sales challenges

How to Capture the Attention of Your Market

Posted by Tony Cole on Wed, Oct 21, 2020

In today’s world of marketing and sales, a significant key to generating leads is a company’s ability to get potential buyers to find them.  There is an entire industry dedicated to inbound marketing and social media management with companies such as HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot.

If you go to their sites you will find an endless number of free products and services that help drive potential buyers to your website, your blog, and any social networks you might be using.  My good friend Pete Caputo at Databox also has a company which provides a dashboard that helps you make sense of all the data collected.  All of this is important but the systems and processes don’t stand-alone when it comes to driving internet traffic toward your online resources.

Powerful messaging is still needed; Messaging that captures the attention of the market.  Messaging that helps the market become aware of one or two things:

  • A problem or potential problem they were unaware of, or
  • A growth opportunity or positive outcome that is available.

Blue Lines General Greeting Liberation Day Email Header (3)

Mark Roberge, in his book The Sales Acceleration Formula, describes this first step in a prospect’s buying process as the Awareness Stage.  Effective marketing helps create awareness.  But there are many stimuli, which aren’t internet-based, that would cause someone to buy, change behavior or take action:

  • A friend suffers severe water damage in their 25-year-old home, hires a company to repair the damage and relates the story to you– you call the company to inspect your basement to head off potential problems.
  • A co-worker talks about completing a financial plan that will help them secure their future – you want to know who they are working with and you call that advisor to set up an appointment.

These “leads” for the movie, the basement sealant company and the financial advisor take place because of great reviews by current clients.  These informal introductions/referrals have always been, and probably always will be the best way to get GREAT leads.  But what else should you be doing, must you be doing to generate leads that don’t come from personal introductions and referrals?

You must have your own message that stands alone; a message that when read, heard or seen causes awareness that takes a buyer from passive to active. The question becomes – “What must that message say to procure this transition?”

Let me start with something that George Emmons, former president at Key Community Bank, described as a ‘blinding glimpse of the obvious’.

There isn’t a single marketing message that will tell a prospective new buyer:

  • The company’s products are very expensive,
  • Should you need support after purchasing, the support will be poor,
  • Should the product fail to perform or should it break, there is no guarantee,
  • The people you will be talking to are not competent, are biased in the approach and do not have experience

No one communicates to the market place the negative aspects of their products. Everyone has:

  • Top of the line products,
  • Great pricing,
  • Unparalleled service,
  • Guaranteed or your money back,
  • Professional and courteous sales associates who care only about you and your family

With that as the back drop, the question becomes “What is the one thing I can do to get the market’s attention?”

The answer? “Deliver a message that doesn’t look, act or sound like everyone else’s message.  Communicate in such a way so that people instantly think ‘This is different’.”

  • The elevator pitch
  • The value proposition
  • The 30-second commercial
  • The Unique Sales Approach
  • The brand promise

The message has many names, but it should communicate, in a brief, appealing and effective manner, how the company and product will work for the end user.

Apple – “We make great computers. They are beautifully designed and easy to use.”

The Late John Savage (Insurance professional) – “I deliver buckets of money when people need it the most.” 

Geico – “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.” 

Anthony Cole Training Group – “We help organizations close their sales opportunity gap.”

Your compelling message should elicit one of the three following responses.

  • “Tell me more.”
  • “How do you do that?”
  • “That’s me (us). How can I fix it?”

The best way to create a powerful message is to listen to your message as if you are a prospective buyer.  When you deliver your message to you, do you look, act or sound like everyone else?   If so –change your message.

You want it to cause people to react— “Tell me more.” “How do you do that?” “That’s our problem. How can we fix it?”

If your message is not having this effect, change the message.

Need Help?  Check Out Our  Sales Growth Coaching Program!

Topics: unique selling approach, sales presentations, sales differences, be unique

How to Attract New Leads with an Effective Marketing Message

Posted by Tony Cole on Wed, Nov 01, 2017

In today’s world of marketing and sales, a significant key to unlimited leads is a company’s ability to get potential buyers to find them.  There is an entire industry dedicated to inbound marketing and one of the leaders in the industry is HubSpot. 

If you go to their site you will find an endless number of ‘free’ products and services to use to help you drive potential buyers to your site, your blog, and the variety of social networks you might be using.  My good friend Pete Caputo also has a company, Databox, that provides a dashboard to help you make sense of all your data.  All of this is important but the systems and processes don’t stand-alone when it comes to having impact on internet traffic to your company.

What is still needed is powerful messaging.  Messaging that captures the attention of the market.  Messaging that helps the market become aware of one of two things:

  • A problem or potential problem they where unaware of
  • A growth opportunity or positive outcome that is available

Mark Roberge, in his book The Sales Acceleration Formula, describes this first step in the prospects buying process as the ‘awareness stage’.  Effective marketing helps create that awareness.  But there are multiple stimuli that could cause someone to buy, change behavior or take action:

  1. A neighbor raves about a new movie – you go see the movie
  2. A friend suffers severe water damage in their 25-year-old home, hires a company to repair the damage and relates the story to you– you call the company to inspect your basement to head off potential problems.
  3. A co-worker talks about completing a financial plan that will help them secure their future – you want to know who they are working with and you call that advisor to set up an appointment.

These leads for the movie, the basement sealant company and the financial advisor take place as a result of great reviews by current clients.  This informal introction has been, is today and probably will always be the best way to get GREAT leads.  But what else should you be doing, must you be doing to generate leads that don’t come from introductions and referrals?

You must have your own message that stands alone; a message that when read, heard or seen causes the awareness that takes a buyer from passive to active. The question becomes – “What must that message say to procure this transition?”

Let me start with something that George Emmons, former president at Key Community Bank, described as a ‘blinding glimpse of the obvious’.

There isn’t a single marketing message that will tell a prospective new buyer:

  • The company’s products are very expensive,
  • Should you need support after purchasing, the support will be poor,
  • Should the product fail to perform or should it break, there is no guarantee,
  • The people you will be talking to are not competent, are biased in the approach and do not have experience

When I have this discussion in my keynotes and training programs everyone starts to chuckle and at least smile because they all know it to be true.

No one communicates to the market place the negative aspects of their products. Everyone has:

  • Top of the line products,
  • Great pricing,
  • Un-paralleled service,
  • Guaranteed or your money back,
  • A professional and courteous sales associates who cares only about you and your family

With that as the back drop the question can become “What is the one thing I can do to get the market’s attention?” 

The answer? “Deliver a message that doesn’t look, act or sound like everyone else’s message.  Communicate in such a way so that people instantly think ‘This is different’.”

  • The elevator pitch
  • The value proposition
  • The 30-second commercial
  • The unique sales approach
  • The brand promise

The message has many names, but it should communicate, in a brief, appealing and effective manner, how the company and product will work for the end user.

Apple – “We make great computers. They are beautifully designed and easy to use.”

The Late John Savage (Insurance professional) – “I deliver buckets of money when people need it the most”.

Geico – “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.”

Anthony Cole Training Group – “We provide answers to the most common business question – How do we grow sales?”

Your compelling message should elicit one of the three following responses.

“Tell me more.”

“How do you do that?”

“That’s me (us). How can I fix it?”

The best way to create a powerful message is to listen to your message as a prospective buyer.  When you deliver your message to you, do you look, act or sound like everyone else?   If so –change the message.  You want it to cause people to react—“Tell me more.” “How do you do that?” “That’s our problem. How can I fix it?”

If your message is not having this effect, change it. 

If you’d like more information, send me a text or call at 513-226-3913 – Provide your name and refer to USA (Unique Selling Approach). I’ll be happy to help.

Sign up for How to  Create, Cultivate & Convert Sales Leads  Live Broadcast!

Topics: unique selling approach, increase sales leads,

    Follow #ACTG

     

    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.

     

    Subscribe Here

    Most Read

    Recent Blogs