Sales Management: Plan Sales Activities

06/03/2023by dang tin0

Plan Sales Activities

The 80/20 rule applies to all areas of life, especially in all areas of sales. The fact is that only 20 percent of salespeople are genuinely proactive. They can “plan their work and work their plan.” Fully 80 percent of salespeople need a track to run on. They need clear and specific direction, with goals, measures, deadlines, and standards. This is an important part of your job as a sales manager.

Control the Controllable

For countless reasons, it is very difficult to determine exactly who your next customer is going to be. You cannot control whether people buy now, buy later, or decline to buy at all. There are too many external factors in the life and work of the potential customer to make accurate predictions.
But you can control sales activities on an hour-by-hour and day-to-day basis. By controlling the sales activities, you can indirectly control the sales results.

The Law of Probability says that if you engage in more activities aimed at generating sales, you will ultimately generate more sales. One of the fastest ways to increase sales results is to increase sales activity. Prospect more often, call on more people, see more people, call back more often, and respond to more requests for information. The higher the level of sales activity, the higher the level of sales, even though you cannot predict exactly where they will come from.

There is a direct relationship between the number of prospective customers that a salesperson contacts, calls on, visits, or emails and the number of sales the salesperson will make. One of the fastest ways to increase your sales is to specify the number of calls that each person is required to make each day. This is the simplest control of all, easy to calculate and easy to measure.

If all you do is require a certain number of calls, and then record and review those calls each day, your sales will go up.One of my client companies turned its sales around with a simple policy. Every salesperson was required to make five new calls per day and 100 new calls each month. Since there are twenty-two working days in an average month, this simple measure was quite effective.
The job of the sales manager was to get everyone to agree to this call quota. Then the sales manager would monitor the call reports submitted by the salespeople on a daily basis. As soon as salespeople knew that they were going to be graded and evaluated on making a minimum number of calls, the level of call activity increased dramatically, and so did the sales.

The 100 Call Method

A performance improvement strategy that I teach is the “100 call method.” With this method, the company runs a contest for the first person who can make 100 new customer contacts. The beauty of this method is that no sales are required. The job of the salesperson is simply to make contact by telephone and by personal visit with 100 new prospective clients.
When the salespeople are required to make these contacts, but are under no pressure to make sales, they relax and surprisingly become more effective. Because they both care and don’t care, they make more calls, and more and more of those calls turn into customers.

Pair Them Up

You can pair up your salespeople and have a simple contest. The first person to make 100 calls in the pair or group is taken out for lunch by the other person or members of the group. As the sales manager, you can give a gift certificate for dinner at a nice restaurant for the salesperson and his or her spouse as a reward for making 100 calls before anyone else.

Every individual and organization who has ever installed this 100 call method is absolutely amazed at the immediate increases in sales. Even more amazing is the increase in morale. Everybody becomes more positive, enthusiastic, and less reluctant to keep on making calls after the contest period has ended.

The Thank-You Card Method

One organization I worked with installed a simple system. Employees had to come back to the office at the end of the day and send out ten thank-you cards to people they had contacted or met with that day. The company provided the cards, the envelopes, and paid for the postage.
The special power of this method was that company salespeople had to come back to the office at the end of the day with the names and addresses of at least ten people they had called on. They would then sit with their coworkers and fill out their cards. The sales manager would collect the thank- you cards and mail them.
Because of this scrutiny and peer pressure, salespeople were highly motivated to come back to the office with ten or more people to whom they could send thank-you cards each day. The sales increased almost immediately, as did the morale of the salespeople.

I worked with one sales organization that was ranked number fifteen out of fifteen company branches in that city. The organization had thirty salespeople. Within thirty days of requiring that each salesperson send out ten thank-you cards each evening, they were down to eighteen salespeople. People who were unwilling to call on enough people simply faded away. No disciplinary discussions or firing interviews were necessary. They just quit on their own.
Meanwhile, the eighteen salespeople who were sending out ten cards per day had driven the branch to number one in sales out of the fifteen branches within ninety days.

Fast Tempo Is Essential

There is a direct relationship between fast tempo and success, especially in sales. In the best sales organizations, everyone is busy and moving quickly all the time. No one is sitting around chatting with coworkers, drinking coffee, or reading the newspaper. People are busy, busy, busy. Your job is to keep your people busy, moving, and active. Keep raising the standards on sales activities. Make them work harder, and harder still. Insist that they work quickly and respond quickly to opportunities, ideas, and customer inquiries. Have them start earlier and work later.

Fast tempo will translate into more contacts, then better contacts, and then very quickly into more sales. The overall level of energy and productivity will go up. People will be happier and more positive. Everyone will make more sales and more money.
Salespeople love to have clear targets to aim at. They love to be busy and active. They love to be working and getting sales results. And the busier you keep them, the more they will like and respect you and see you as a true leader.


1. Set clear activity goals for each salesperson. Be sure the goals are written down and checked daily. Tell your salespeople that this exercise is to ensure that they each earn as much money as possible.
2. Organize a “100 calls” contest among your sales team. Create a prize for the winners. Repeat it two to four times per year.

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