In this two-part series on strategizing 2018 sales, we will be reflecting on last year’s wins and losses and considering our strategic approach to the future. You may have expanded your profile and acquired or launched new locations or business lines. Perhaps adversity defined your year with massive staff changes, census decline, or worse. Regardless of the outcome of 2017, the good news is that you are here TODAY. Like the ancient proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Take a minute to fill out the questionnaire as a guide to the following article. The evaluation in this series is meant to help you identify the issues that exist within your organization and while simultaneously helping you to set expectations and succeed in hitting your goals. Without measuring where you are and where you have been, you are blindly reaching for success that will most likely always be out of your reach. Take the time to reflect on these metrics and measurements as they can help you take your agency to the next level and beyond.
If you are challenged in identifying the metrics and do not have a reliable way to track and measure your success, consider Enquire Leads. Our CRM will help you capture this data and offers tools that can help you to maximize your sales efforts. Request a demo today and we can show you how Enquire can help you grow and maintain success in the coming year!
6 Key Metrics to Succeed in 2018 Part 1: A True Sales Evaluation
Sales evaluation can be a challenge for many organizations as they may not be properly tracking sales metrics or measuring the right stats. We’ll stay away from the absolute numbers and ask that you take your best and most educated guess at answering the free questionnaire from above. Remember, the more honest you are with these answers, the more opportunity there is for future growth.
Everyone has goals. Achieving those goals can be one of the greatest moments in your career. Continually maintaining those goals can establish your reputation and legacy in a company. Missing those goals can be difficult in terms of scaling the company and growth in all departments. Sales is an arm of your company, but the old adage, “a chain is only as good as its weakest link” has never fit more than in your business. Sales fuels the machine and without fuel, you simply can’t get where you are going.
Did you hit your goals this year? If not, do not fret. We’ve got some working plans coming, but first let’s evaluate how far off you were. First off, did you lose money, take out a line of credit, or dip into savings to survive this year? That is important to evaluate to understand how much of an overhaul is required. If you were way off the mark, there can be two scenarios to consider. One is that your expectations or goals were unobtainable. Sometimes we want to take a short cut to get to our desired growth or we simply do not have the infrastructure to cross such a lofty finish line. Be sure to consider how you came up with your goals and if they are realistic.
If your goals are realistic, then the other likely scenario is that you need to consider evaluating your process and people. Salespeople can be changed, but often, you’ll find that you have some failed processes in place that wreck the efficiency of your team. First, are you providing them with the tools they need? What challenges do they face when it comes to reporting their efforts, getting paperwork signed, and working remotely? The best way to truly understand this info is the world’s oldest three-step process. Ask your team for their thoughts, become completely quiet, and listen. More than likely, they will illuminate the struggles they are facing and provide you with an opportunity to address those issues. Once the challenges have been removed, are you seeing an increase in productivity? If not, then consider evaluating their process to find where they may be making unprofitable decisions. Perhaps they are not considering their routing and driving all over to make visits or overbooking themselves when they should be better managing their time. Perhaps they are checking in late and out early or simply not working at all. There is always a chance that they are working on spreadsheets, paper logs, and other reporting mechanisms and spending too much time when it should all be addressed with one solution. Once you’ve identified the core issues, corrective action can be taken, and you can set yourself on a growth path that is well worth the investment.
Much like goals, numbers are a solid way to measure your success. However, when considering numbers, you need to be able to quantify the metrics to change the outcome of your situation when required. A goal is where you are going while the numbers are the measurements of how you arrived there. Let’s say your goal is 20 admissions each month and January has 15 and February has 19. We’ll, you are moving toward your goals in a positive direction. Whatever you’re doing is working. Keep it up! If those numbers were reversed and you received 19 admits in January and 15 in February, then you have an opportunity to take corrective measures. You need to understand where you have been, where you are, and where you are going if you want to be a success and hit your goals.
There are two key metrics in this section that you need to consider. How many admissions you are receiving and how many are not being converted. This is the key to discovering where the issues exist. Perhaps you don’t have the proverbial “closer” in the sales position. On the other hand, it could be an operational issue that is causing these non-admissions. This is a number you need to have an understanding of at all times. How many leads or referrals come in and how many are admitted or not admitted is the first clue to identifying why you are not achieving goals.
Let’s face it, we lose good people and not-so-good people every year. Turnover in the senior housing and post-acute industries has been identified by several sources as over 50%. So, if you hire 4 people on January 1st, only two will be there by July and you will replace those two and only one of those two will stay. That’s a lot of time and money lost training your team and, with the same odds as a coin toss, can be slightly disheartening. Partner that with the turnover numbers surrounding millennials and you may just want to throw in the towel now.
Turnover on an industry scale like that points at an obvious problem with management. Just letting a manager go (or blaming yourself) will not achieve the desired results you hope. First, someone other than your manager needs to do exit interviews. If someone chooses to leave, they need to have an open avenue to share their issues (if there are any) so that you can take corrective measures.
Another thing to consider is not that your manager is hard to work with or chasing off the talent, but instead ask yourself, “Are they holding the team to an unrealistic standard or no standard at all?” If you have a goal that is unreasonable for your market, then you are going to burn out your talent. Your manager should have their finger on the pulse of your salespeople and know when they feel that the numbers are unobtainable.
Conclusion to Part 1: A True Sales Evaluation
While this article was simplified in order to make it accessible, you should have at least an idea of how the 2017 year performed for your company. The most successful organizations lean heavily on a true understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Those same organizations have a commitment to continuous improvement. We at Enquire Solutions know the value of monitoring your performance in real-time and have built a customizable CRM solution that offers the visibility you need to ensure your continued success. If you are not currently using a CRM or the CRM you have implemented is not helping you grow your organization, sign up for a DEMO today or contact me, Jason Lewallen, at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to connect.