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28 SMT Magazine • December 2016 doing, how will you know? How will you see patterns and be able to make predictions? I am passionate about this. I measure everything I can measure. Any office I ever occupy has lots of charts and graphs taped to the wall. It's not window dressing. It's not for show. It's not to cover up the nail holes in the wall. I look at the data EVERY DAY. I look for trends. I learned how to use SQL and instantly discovered why Larry Ellison is a billionaire. Unfortunately, I am a de- cade or two late on that one. Each and every accounting system can out- put revenue data. With just that data, I can tell more about a company's customers after few days of analysis than they knew from years of running the business. It is sooooo easy to col- lect data that NOT doing so should be a sales felony. Perhaps even a capital offense. As I type this I am looking at a chart that shows that the data can predict, within 20%, what the month's billings will be for a small ser- vice company, at the half-way point of any given month. That is plenty of time for this business to kick it up a notch if the prediction in lower than desired. I could fill this magazine with charts and graphs that I keep for just thi s one company. I could, if I had any talent whatsoever, write a book on just this topic. Every single client and prospective client I meet has the power to col- lect significant data and metrics, and not even one does so in any meaningful way. Even if they do collect data, the analysis of that data and cre- ation of actions based on that analysis is nonex- istent. It makes sense, in a way. After all, if you are passionate about making wagon wheels, and you make the very best wagon wheels, you might not take the time to track the metrics, which will clearly tell you people are buying car tires, not wagon wheels. In most cases, I spend an hour or so talk- ing about this to clients, and in most cases their eyes glaze over after about five minutes. I re- sort to jokes, outlandish statements and some- times, I just plain shout. I even thought about donning a clown costume, but that seems to be frowned upon these days. The whole pro- cess reminds me of a cartoon where a pet is be- ing scolded for doing something wrong, and all the pet hears is, "Blah blah blah Spot. Blah blah blah Spot." Recently, I transitioned to a simpler ap- proach, which avoids all the yelling and arm waving. It is simply this: Just do it! If you're face to face with a seasoned and successful veteran of trench warfare, then just listen. Set up a sys- tem (Excel works just fine) to track the dollar- value (where appropriate), and quantity, of the following: leads, accounts (companies), con- tacts (people), opportunities, work in process (WIP), RFQs/quotes, POs, and revenue. Track and chart those items and display those charts for all on the sales team to see. Look at that data daily. What is going up? What is going down? Why? This data will inevitably help you determine where to focus your sales resources. Those of you who have been reading those books from the Kinko's shelves will rec- ognize this approach as a type of sales funnel. While not exactly on point, it is close. I gave up describing the sales funnel; most folks I know just make fun of me when I do. Foundation Pillar #4: Force Multipliers— the New Math You have vendors, right? Vendors of goods, services, materials, software, etc. Let's say you have a manufacturing company and you buy materials, tooling and supplies. Ask those ven- dors for a few referrals. Of course, they must ap- pear neutral as they also sell to your competi- tors, but I have never had a case where, when asked, a vendor would not give me a referral or two. Multiply that by several vendors and whammo—you multiplied your sales force— commission free. Of course, if they scratch your back, you should scratch theirs. Shoot them a lead or two and you will be amazed at the good will that generates. SALES: A.K.A., TRENCH WARFARE! " I look at the data EVERY DAY. I look for trends. I learned how to use SQL and instantly discovered why Larry Ellison is a billionaire. "

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