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Sales Management - Doing the Math Part 4

Picture this: Your Monday morning sales meeting:

How are we doing in new sales?”


Are we close to getting any new work?”

Oh yeah!”


Everyone I talked to is not happy with their current contractors.”

How many is everyone?”

A bunch.”

“What’s the plan for this week to get these guys?”

I have lots of meetings set up.”


Sales Management Cascade

OK, perhaps I am being overly glib here, but you get my point. That is NOT sales management.

No data, no details, no facts, no math, and no real plan. What’s the probable result? No sales. 

I’ll say it again: you cannot manage what you cannot see. Whom you manage must be held accountable if you’re having conversations like the one above. You must have data, facts and math to plan. That is the function of a business management software: data drives actions. Actions produce results.

To define the cascading reports for sales management, we go back to the beginning - your budget. Your budget determines your new sales goal (for our industry, I am referring to all new snow and green season service contracts). We start with the premise that falling short of the new sales goal is not an option.

Cascading Sales Management (KPI):


Sales KPI

Let’s start at the top with the Sales KPI shown here. This KPI tells me at a glance (by any time period I choose) that which is proposed and sold in relation to the Sales Goal.

In this case, the KPI is telling us we are ahead (110% of budget) in proposal dollars, and behind (90% of budget) in closed business dollars.

This is good information, but it is insufficient for three reasons: It  (1) doesn’t hold a salesperson to account, (2) can't predict the likelihood of success, and (3) doesn’t define a plan.

We need more detailed Functional Sales Reports to make this happen. We need to drill down into the KPI.

There are two Functional Sales Drill Down Reports I like to look at: (a) the Score Card and (b) the Open Pipeline.

Score Card

Sales Score Card

This first report shows monthly performance – budget to actual – for proposals and closes. And by clicking on the February actual number ($205,993) I can see each proposal that makes up that number.

These are the details required to assess (1) closing probability, and (2) potential gross profit dollar contribution.

It’s not the perfect report because it only shows history.  What I also need is present status regarding proposals. For that I need – the Open Pipeline.

Open Pipeline

Sales Pipeline Report

This report isolates proposals still “in play.” This is important as some of proposals on the scorecard may already be “lost,” and some may be so old they will never close. This report helps to determine the best plan of attack for the sales team based on present conditions.

So far, so good. Doing the math, I now know how many, how much, and whom. Now I need to define how.

How will I translate information into action? To do this, I will drill down to assess the actions that can produce results. I access this drill down through dashboards (which are more simple lists than full reports).

Dashboards provide details on activities that drive the scorecard and pipeline results. Specifically, there are three dashboards I like to dig into to make the best plan: touches, prospects and losses.

  • Touches tell me whether we are doing enough (or too much) of the right things at the right times to advance the sale to a decision.
  • Prospects will one day become proposals in the pipeline – when these numbers decline, sales also decline about six months later.
  • Losses teach what we can incorporate into our selling process, and a loss becomes a prospect (and maybe a win) in the next sales cycle.

CLICK HERE to see those three dashboards.

That’s it: the whole sales management cascade for business management best practice. The whole purpose is to build a better sales team and sales process. This is green/snow business management in real-time as it should be.

Next week: Client Management Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

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