In his book, The Winner Within, Pat Riley details the principles behind the Los Angeles Lakers famous Three-Peat that occurred between 1986 and 1988. Knowing that getting one championship is tough, but going for two in a row and then a third, even some of the greatest teams in the NBA would have difficulty maintaining their focus. So he issued a challenge to his players to improve their results in five key areas by just 1%. By constantly looking for ways to improve in each of these areas, he believed the team would develop and experience exponential growth.
Reflecting back on it in his book, he writes, “As we saw it, one percent improvement, a one percent improvement in five areas for twelve players gave us a 60 percent increment.” His players bought into it and, as a result, his team experienced success at a level that hadn’t happened in a very long time in the NBA.
What’s Your Number?
Sales champions understand their numbers. They regularly track the number of prospecting calls they make on a daily and weekly basis. They know how many prospecting calls they need to make to set a meeting with a potential prospect. From there, they understand how many meetings turn into presentations. And, of course, they know how many presentations convert into orders.
Knowing your number is critical to your success. When you know your number, sales forecasting becomes a very predictive process. You know that continuing to perform at a certain level will help you achieve a certain result.
When you know your number, it also provides you with the ability to created improved performance. When Pat Riley was preparing to introduce his idea to the team, he first identified the five critical areas that lead to success and then measured every single player on his roster based on the previous season’s results. Having a starting point focused on important areas provides a way to create and generate improved outcomes.
If you know that you want to earn $100,000 this year and you know that your average sale equals $1,500 in commission, you have some of the starting data you need to create a roadmap for success.
What are some of the other information you would need to know?
- How many orders do you sell each month to earn the average $1,500 per order commission?
- How many presentations do you need to make to get each sale?
- How many appointments will you need to get to that presentation goal?
- How many prospecting calls will you need to make to schedule the number of required meetings?
When you know your number, you are able to design a roadmap to achieve virtually everything you want to accomplish. What would the outcome be if you simply make a 1% improvement in your closing rate? What about your meeting-to-presentation rate? Individually, each makes a difference in your outcome. Cumulatively, it dramatically improves your month-over-month success.