Do the Math

We've all heard the common expression used to inform someone he has come to the wrong conclusion. Do the math implies that the facts and figures don't add up. At the heart of this saying is that by looking at the facts again, the correct conclusion will be reached.

Unfortunately, many people do not enjoy the math, so they tend not to do it. The resulting decisions are derived from guesswork. If the guess is faulty, so is all that follows.

Years ago, we were having the carpets in the house cleaned. At one point, I asked the man doing the work,"How often should we vacuum to best preserve the carpet?"

He answered, "The number of people living in the house plus one is the number of times you should vacuum every week."

Years later, I was looking for a HD TV. I asked the salesman for his advice on the best size television I should buy.

He asked, "How far back are you sitting? The distance to the TV should be 1.5 to 3.0 times the diagonal of the picture."

We shouldn't be surprised there are equations for these and other household activities. Math is the core of optimizing everything. And yet, many sales organizations haven't developed the process and measure to optimize the productivity of the sales team. Since they don't have the needed measures, they guess.

Without implementing a standardized sales process with the needed measures, there is no data to do the math. Sales leaders can't understand and define the problem. Therefore, guessing is the only option they have.

Your sales process consists of multiple sub-processes. One of these sub-processes is your system's bottleneck. This bottleneck or constraint is your sales organization's problem. If, for example, your bottleneck is at the 2nd sub-process and you improve the 5th, you aren't going to see improved outcomes. The sales bottleneck still exists.

You must first identify the constraint and then improve it. Nothing else will help your team improve sales.

I am often asked, "We have hired sales consultants before and we didn't see any significant improvement. Why should we go with you?"

My response is simple and to the point, "Where was your sales bottleneck?"

After a few moments of silence I say, "If I put new tires on a car with a transmission problem, I shouldn't expect it to run better. Although, it does have new tires. You put new tires on a sales process with transmission problems."

If you want to drive more sales, first do the math. Identify your problem through a standardized process, metrics, and in depth analysis. Then come up with a plan to target your constraint. Then and only then can you be assured to sell more.

#salesprocess #salesmeasures #leadership #TOC

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