If you’re reading this you are probably involved in sales in some form another, so which is it? Which camp are you in? When it comes to the number of calls, the number of appointments or the number of quotations you give? Is it better to do fewer but of better quality, or is sheer quantity the key to success?
I’ve been involved in sales and sales management for over 35 years and this question has been a hot topic throughout. In the typical sales team meeting in the 1980s the activity level key performance indicators (KPIs) of the individuals would be discussed. Today we still have exactly the same conversation! Usually it is the sales manager asking for a greater volume of activity and the sales people counter arguing with the quality over quantity argument!
Having observed trained and coached hundreds of sales people over the years, in many different industries and at all levels from junior sales people to sales directors. I have only EVER heard the quality is better than quantity argument from sales people or teams with LOW activity levels!
My argument is that quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive, why can’t you have BOTH? Sales people that consistently deliver both high quality and high quantity of sales activities will always out perform colleagues that either do a high volume of low quality activities AND those that do a lower volume of high quality activities.
For reasons that will become obvious as you read on, the only ‘valid excuse’ for not doing both is if you are new or inexperienced in your sales role.
Look at the diagram. This graph is measuring on the vertical axis ‘Attitude and Motivation’ and on the horizontal axis ‘Skill and Experience’. Sales people with low levels of both will be in the bottom left box and will produce low volumes of low quality activity. I have a word for people consistently in this quadrant; it is ‘Fired’.
Sales people who have lots of energy, motivation and a positive attitude but perhaps lack industry experience and/or are newer to sales, will typically be in the top left hand quadrant. They will do a high volume of activities but the quality of their efforts is lower.
Highly experienced sales people who know their industry, clients and sales processes inside out can often become blasé. They reach target with ease and can get away with a lower volume of activity that is of a high quality. They would be in the bottom right hand quadrant.
Sales superstars have the energy and motivation to maintain high activity levels and do them with high skill and experience. They are consistently in the top right hand quadrant month after month, year after year! They never become complacent or take the ‘easy ride’ option!
So, be honest with yourself, are you in that bottom right hand quadrant. Are you doing high quality work but not enough of it? Be warned, every sales manager and director I meet can plot his/her people on to this graph with ease.
They know where you are, even if you don’t!
Thank you for reading!
Stuart Allen ~ MD of The Sales Performance Company Ltd
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