Sales: The Numbers Never Lie

June 3rd, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

When I was playing football I had a coach that had a saying, “The eye in the sky never lies.” The source of the saying was based on the fact that we filmed everything pertaining to our team including drills, scrimmages, and games. The coach would ask you how you did in a drill or a play and if you got beat by your opponent or did not own up to it, you would see it on the film session. The film session seemed tedious at the time, but the goal was to make you a better player allowing you to work on the details that often made the difference between winning and losing.

I use a saying when I work with sales teams, “the numbers never lie.” In the sales profession we do not have the ability to film all of our sales calls or interactions with our customers; as a result, we need to look to other sources of information to improve our sales ability and probability to close deals. The sales profession is all about the numbers and the numbers can tell us a story about our own performance and/or our customers. The following are some examples of numbers that can be used as tools to set sales goals or understand our customers better:

Number Setting: Sales Goals

Market Opportunity: In-depth market segmentations and identification of high potential market segments.

Market Penetration: A measure of the amount of sales or adoption of a product or service compared to the total theoretical market for that product or service. The amount of sales or adoption can be an individual company’s sale or industry while the theoretical market can be the total population or an estimate of total potential consumers for the product.

Sales Opportunity: The sale of an individual product or group of products. The sum of the sales opportunities can make up the market opportunity.

Number Setting: Customers

Return on Investment (ROI): A measurement calculated to evaluate the financial return on a particular investment during a specified period of time.

Net Present Value (NPV): It is a standard method for using the time value of money to appraise long-term projects. Used for capital budgeting, and widely throughout economics, it measures the excess or shortfall of cash flows, in present value terms, once financing charges are met.

So while out there in the field, make sure your numbers count!

Topics: Sales Consulting