What’s Your Sales Curve?
Everyone has a curve. Mastering it is what gives you the edge.
Your sales curve represents the pattern with which you tend to sell, over your reporting period – typically a month or a quarter.
Assuming you work over a month (although this is equally applicable to longer periods), your sales curve will probably look like this:
Possible spike in the first few days to account for deals which slipped from last month.
Apart from this, it could be a slow, flat start. Well below the c.25% which you would hit if you billed constantly.
A slight acceleration as some of the quick wins come in.
Some of your bigger deals may come in, and the speed picks up. However, thanks to your performance in weeks 1 and 2, you will have probably only booked about 50%-60% of your monthly revenue.
What’s the Problem?
The problem is simple.
If you have to close 50% of your target in the final week, a single sick day or stroke of bad luck could mean you lose double what you would have lost, had you sold consistently across the period.
What’s the Solution?
Let’s outline 3 ways to do that.
1. Close Dates
Don’t just put the last day of the month as your close date. If your sales cycle is 6 weeks, set the close date to be 6 weeks from when you added the opportunity.
2. Stage Flow
You will have a certain trend with which your opportunities move through your sales stages.
Get to know how long your opportunities typically spend at each stage, and use this to keep your prospect on track to hit close date.
3. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
Take an hour to plan for the coming 6 months. Look out for bank holidays, and find out when your clients are away.
Planning this in advance will allow you to gently pull your deals forward, rather than being hit with a surprise out-of-office from a prospect on the last day of the quarter.
If you’re using Kluster, head over to the Pipeline Pace function to find out exactly how much pipeline you need, of what quality, at what stage, and at what time of the sales period to hit results.