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Activity Reporting: Measure What You’re Doing

Regularly asked, “What’s the most important characteristic for a successful sales person?” I give a one word answer, “Passion”.

A sales person who genuinely believes in his product or service has a much better chance of successfully closing the sale.  Think about it.  You can teach product knowledge and the steps of the sale, but you can’t teach belief or passion.

Of course, it’s not the only attribute required, but it’s a great place to start.  True believers don’t just rely on their enthusiasm and charisma to get the sale.  Their belief drives them to do the things required to win clients.  They start out thinking there’s no reason why they won’t get the sale, and then put the work in to make sure they’re right.

Activity Reporting: Measure What You’re Doing

Lots of people sound really convincing when you first hear them talk about their product or service.  The litmus test is, what do they actually do to back it up?  Do they make initial presentations and disappear thereafter?  Do they answer queries, accurately and promptly?  Are they consistent in their responses?  Do they follow through on promises, or are they busy making noise without achieving much?

If you are a sales person for your business, are you busy or are you productive?  How can you tell?

Lots of people will tell you, ”sales is a numbers game”.  Well, it is and it isn’t.  The numbers come in when you start to measure activity.  Do you actually know what activities drive your sales?

  • Phone calls
  • meetings
  • emails
  • presentations
  • referrals
  • trade shows
  • blogging, etc.

Which of these activities are wasting your time, and which are driving results?  If you’re not measuring what you’re doing, then how do you know you’re doing the right thing?  You might be very busy collecting business cards at network events, but are you converting them into follow up meetings and, dare I say it – sales?  If it’s not generating business, you’re either doing things wrong, or doing the wrong thing.  So, stop wasting your time, and concentrate on doing things that actually drive sales.

To understand how your beliefs impact your selling behaviour, you have to record your activity.

As Aristotle put it:

“We are what we habitually do.  Excellent then is not an act, but a habit”.

For every sales team I ran, or every sales role I undertook, the most important tool I had was my Daily Activity Report (DAR).  I use the DAR to hold up a mirror on my sales activity.  It’s a simple A4 sheet with the sales drivers on the left side, and the days of the week across the top. I enter a target level against each activity, and track my progress during the week.  That way, my behaviour is completely transparent.  I can’t fool anyone about what I’ve been doing – especially myself.

The DAR provides the evidence of my beliefs.  The total numbers at the end of the week tell me exactly how I’ve focused my time, and I don’t need to wait until Friday to see it.  Don’t forget the all-important bottom line – Closed Sales.  Just list the activities that apply to your own business, and see the results for yourself.

Review your activities and learn from your performance.  Measure your passion, after all, as the old adage goes,

“When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.”

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