Your ideal sale (not your average sale) is the deal size and sales cycle that is ideal for your salespeople to close to achieve their target and your company target for the year.
Taken to the extreme, if your salespeople only prospected and closed ideal sales they and you would achieve all your goals for the year.
Only prospecting ideal sales likely wouldn’t happen; however, by defining your ideal sale you reduce or eliminate two common excuses salespeople make:
- “I don’t know who to call” – aka the “you need to give me a better list” excuse. Even if you narrow down to 3-5 ideal prospect profiles you may have a salesperson use this excuse. Identifying your ideal sale takes that salesperson’s options down to one
- Comfort zone prospecting – each of your salespeople is comfortable talking to a certain size of prospect. Usually that comfort zone falls on one end of your ideal prospect profile. Either your salesperson is very comfortable chasing rabbits or they are very comfortable hunting elephants. Both make the salesperson look “busy,” but ultimately you end up having an awkward conversation about why they missed their target again.
To put the ideal sale idea into practise let’s say that each of your five salespeople had a target of $100 net new sales for the year (making your corporate target $500). Your ideal prospect profiles are:
- Rabbit - $1-9/sale, 2-4 weeks sales cycle
- Deer - $10-17/sale, 5-8 weeks sales cycle
- Bear – $18-25/sale, 9-15 weeks sales cycle
- Elephant - $26+/sale, 16-24 weeks sales cycle
Using the examples above your ideal sale is in the $15-20/sale and 6-12-week/close range. In that range each of your salespeople would need to close 5-7 “ideal” sales to hit their target.
Defining your ideal sale gives you, the sales leader two other payoffs to support full funnel freedom.
- A filter for your sales funnel – your sales funnel may be locked down with real, qualified opportunities, but if those opportunities are mostly rabbits and elephants hitting your target for the quarter may be difficult. Using the “ideal sale” filter would give you more clarity on how likely you are to achieve your target
- Support for marketing – high growth organizations see marketing as a multiplier for sales. Defining your ideal sales (and the demo- and psycho-graphics of the prospects that make up your ideal sale) you support your marketing group in focusing their lead generation on ideal sales
With an ideal sale defined you’ll create greater clarity and focus for your salespeople and hit your targets more consistently.
Until next time… go lead.