One of my favorite things about what I do is hearing that an MSP is closing more sales using audIT. Especially when they report they are not only closing more deals, but charging higher prices than ever before.
Of course not every MSP uses audIT (not yet anyway). And not every MSP tracks their numbers therefore they have no idea what their close rate even is. And that makes planning and improving much harder, if not impossible.
Whether you use audIT or not, I urge you to plan and track your numbers.
In this article I will share how I have planned and tracked my own numbers for the past 15 years and how I coach MSPs to do the same. You can also download my free Sales Success Tracking System here. The system contains two worksheets, a PDF and training videos that makes doing what I share here dead simple.
This system has resulted in massive results for me and everyone who has ever committed to using it. And I know it will do the same for you too.
The big problem
Here’s the deal, if you don’t know that something is broken, you can’t improve it. And if you don’t know something is broken you don’t realize the impact it’s having on your business.
More than that, you cannot effectively plan without knowing your numbers. If you’re not planning, it’s incredibly hard, if not impossible, to grow. And if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
When you know your numbers, you can improve your results. But probably the greatest thing about doing this is you will be able to set great goals. Achievable goals. Downright magical goals.
You need to know what your conversions are for the important aspects of the process like setting appointments and closes.
Once you know what they are you can create a plan to increase them. You can also do some budgeting so you can spend your marketing dollars more effectively and efficiently.
Here’s where things get interesting
By tracking what your doing you can really predict exactly what will happen based on what you want. What I mean by that is if you decide you want to bring on 50 new clients next year, you will know what you need to do each day, week, month, quarter to get there.
And when you do that, two things happen:
1: You will have tremendous faith in your lead generation and sales activities. Because it becomes simple math where you know if you do X, you will get Y.
Imagine knowing that if you spent $100 you will get $1,000? Or imagine knowing that if you call 10 people you will get 1 new client? That leads to number 2…
2: You and your sales team will set better goals that feel very achievable. One big problem MSPs have with sales and marketing is they set lofty goals and then have no idea where to start.
When you’re looking at adding 50 new clients in a year it’s easy to get paralysis by analysis. You look at that big number and it’s hard to feel confident and know where to start.
So what happens? Nothing. You just do what you’ve been doing and this year's goal becomes the same as last year’s; forgotten and abandoned.
Commit yourself to this!
If you’re an owner, demand of yourself or your sales team that numbers get tracked and reported weekly, monthly, yearly.
If you’re the sales guy, you need to track them so you can make more money.
And here’s the best part; it’s actually really easy. And it’s even easier if you download the Sales Success Tracking System.
Start by planning
It’s not ideal to plan without good numbers to use from your tracking, but it’s not impossible. You can start by plugging in your best guess or simple industry averages.
Step 1: How many sales do you want this year? How many for this quarter?
Step 2: Plug in your conversion rates. And again, if you don’t know them, use your best guess.
Here’s what you need to plug in:
- Pick a time frame. You don’t have to start by planning the entire year. Start simply and plan the next quarter. After the quarter is over and you’ve tracked your numbers, you’ll have better conversion rates and more confidence in the process.
- Pick the amount of new clients you want for the time frame. Remember to pick S.M.A.R.T. goals. That stands for Specific, measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. If you have never brought more than 3 clients in per month, don’t make your goal to bring in 15 clients per month. It’s probably not attainable.
- What % of contacts do you estimate or know you can convert into appointments? You probably don’t yet know this number. If you do, congrats… plug it in. If not, make a realistic guess. For our example, let’s keep it simple and use 50%.
- What % of these appointments will make a second appointment? If you’re doing a two appointment sales process, and I hope you are, you may not have 100% make a second one. So maybe this is 90%.
- What is your close rate from second appointment to closed deal? If you’re at 25%, you’re probably doing a great job at selling and are not the lowest choice. If you’re over 25% you’re either a superstar salesperson or you’re not charging enough money for what you do.
From here you can make some calculations. For example, if you close at 25% and want 50 clients, you need 444 unique contacts. I track a unique contact as someone who is presented with the chance to make an appointment. You may speak to them several times but they only count once as a unique contact on your planning and tracking sheets.
Whether this is through a mailer, a paid ad, a cold call, a referral or whatever you’re doing to generate leads, the offer is for them to set an appointment. By the time they are recorded here, they’re in contact with you and you’re trying to make an appointment.
If you convert 50% of these contacts into appointments, then you need 222 first appointments. And if you get 90% to a second appointment, you need 200 of those.
If you now take action and do those things, you’ll likely hit your goals. Unless your conversion rates are off. In which case you simply adjust next quarter. The more you track, the better your planning gets because you just plug in those more accurate conversion rates.
Step 3: Break it down to months
Whether you’ve planned for a year or a quarter, break this down into months. You just divide it by however many months you’ve planned for.
So if the above was a yearly goal, here’s your monthly roadmap:
- 37 Unique contacts needed per month
- 19 First appointments needed per month
- 17 Second appointments needed per month
Notice the things you need are not as daunting? If they are, you need to set something more attainable.
Step 4: Break it down to weeks
- 9 Unique contacts needed per week
- 5 First appointments needed per week
- 4 Second appointments needed per week
Again, doesn’t this look more achievable broken way down into a weekly plan? And if your conversions are accurate, now you are empowered with the knowledge that all you have to do is ask for 9 appointments per week to get 50 new clients a year. That should really be exciting if you’ve done this process correctly.
Step 5: Keep track of your results
Track daily and weekly
Once you have your plan, you know what you need to do. But the only way to hold yourself accountable and do these things, you need to write it down.
You can use the PDF we’ve created in our Sales Success Tracking System or simply keep track any way you like. I like having a printed single sheet of paper nearby where I can log as I go.
I start by writing in my weekly goals from my planning so I see it every day to keep me motivated. Then you simply mark down the number of unique contacts that you have pitched on an appointment, the number of appointments set and the number or appointments you’ve actually gone on for each day of the week. At the end of the week, total it up.
You can go deeper and track follow up calls you’ve made. Because you’re not always going to make the appointment on the first try. It may take you a LinkedIn message, four phone calls, eight emails and a postcard before you finally get that appointment set. Knowing all of this is very helpful and powerful.
Take your totals from your weekly tracker and enter them into a worksheet. This sheet should have five weeks. Enter your week 1 totals into the week 1 cell on your spreadsheet for each thing you need to track. I recommend tracking these:
- First calls made
- Follow up calls
- Appointments set
- Second appointments
- Closed deals
The worksheet should total up your entries for each week. Make sure to also calculate your conversion rates.
Again, you can download my worksheet for free. It has each month with all the calculations already set for you. Just plug your numbers into the right week in the right month.
There’s a master worksheet that adds up all your numbers for the entire year. You can see your conversion rates fill in over time. After three months or so of enough activity these conversion numbers will start to shine through and reveal themselves.
This may sound like a lot, but it’s really very simple. It makes it much easier to know exactly what to do and why you’re doing it. Once you dial things in and have good numbers, this process is really truly like printing money.
Take the easy way and download my Sales Success Tracking System. It’s free and you can download it here.