You would not believe how many sales folks I have hired in the early part of my career for hospice and home care positions that were BOOMS!!! I mean BIG BOOMS!! In 2001, for one hospice I was helping execute a growth strategy, we hired 4 sales people who within 4 months left the organization as they just weren’t a fit. But you learn from your mistakes and make adjustments. Lessons learned were past sales experiences and performance is key. Just because someone tells you they have tons of “relationships” in the community doesn’t mean they will be good sales people and drive business.
Once you do find the right sales person you need to provide the right structures and processes to be successful to drive positive outcomes. I have developed this model.
- Daily Visits: each sales person needs to make at least 10-account visits per day or 50 per week. You need to give yourself an opportunity to have as many quality interactions per day as possible. Sales is a “contact sport” and is still a numbers games!! Need those “happy feet on the street”!!
- A Third/A third/A third: out of the 50 visits per week the ideal balance is this…. 17 (33%) visits to “A” accounts and those accounts that are referring or which you feel REALLY good about. 17 visits to accounts that you are working to get to an “A” account or where you are working toward making 7 visits (see below-Approach) and 17 to new business. New business is the life blood of any company. To accomplish this, you need to Weed Your Garden (see below-Weeding Your Garden!)
- Approach: if you are not going to make 7 strategic visits to an account, don’t make the first one!! On average it takes 7 visits/interactions with a referral source to generate traction and obtain referrals.
- Weeding Your Garden: to accomplish the production needed from each sale person, they need to “Weed There Garden” on an ongoing bases. After 7 visits your sales staff needs to determine if the time and energy they are putting into an account will yield anything. Doing more than 7 visits without a hope of getting a referral is “sucking” fertilize (time/energy) out of there garden and you are in fact fertilizing “weeds” in that garden. Putting your talents to work on new business is key to grow!!
Obviously, there are other components such as sales training, a quality CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, etc. that go into a high performing sale team. We will cover these topics in future posts.