The Stupid 80/20 Rule – A Series: Part 3 (The Sales Process)

Part 3 in my series about the 80/20 rule is all about the sales process and why having one is a must. To begin, I acknowledge that every business is different; every team is different; every individual sales person is different; and every product sold is different. If you are a sales person or manager of sales people reading this blog; I have a basic question for you. Do you know exactly what you need to do every day when you walk into your office to guarantee you meet your sales goals? Regardless of your answer, hopefully this blog will provide some guidance to help establish, tweak, or solidify your sales process to better enable your 80%ers to increase their sales. First and foremost, if your 80%ers are not achieving their sales goals, it could be because they simply don’t know what they are supposed to do. They could be just working in “buckshot” mode trying anything and everything they can to make a sale without any focus or direction. In order to build and implement a sales process, you need to know what it takes to do what you do. You have to start at the end result (a sale) and work back to the beginning (the effort). (see my blog on a blind squirrel – Ask yourself, what specific effort does it take to close a sale? Can you put together a chart that includes the following information: How many emails/calls/searches did you have to make to find a prospect? How many prospects did you have to speak to in order to get to a potentially interested customer? How many proposals/offers/quotes did you have to deliver to that potential customer to get a sale? As an example of my personal sales process, I am a recruiter so my sale is to place a person in the perfect job. By knowing what it takes to get my sale (signed offer letter), I can apply that to a process in order to know what I have to do every day to ensure I hit my monthly quota. I know exactly how many interviews I need to do in order to get the number of submissions I need, to then get the number of offer letters I need in order to hit my monthly quota. Another point I would like to make is that there will be days you miss your daily goal and days that you will blow it away. I would suggest that you leave yesterday in the past. When you have your daily number, it is what it is and you are not allowed to change it because you were short one day or you doubled it on another day. Do what you have to do every day and the averages will work themselves out. My final point in the sales process is about focus and working with a proactive versus reactive mindset. When you put into place a sales process that identifies exactly what you need to accomplish each day in order to meet your goals, you can’t afford to be thrown off track by a reactive mind. I am not suggesting that you don’t handle your “fire drills” but don’t let that be the focus of your day. Stay true to the process and work through your goals! Next week we will put all of the series together and summarize what to do to increase sales from your 80%ers and not accept that they are just the poor performers. Imagine increasing sales by just 5% from 80% of your sales team. What would that increased revenue do for your company? See you next week!


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.