Tracking Sales Activities Can Help Build Up Your Sales Force

Last week, Marka and the FEI tribe discussed how determining lifetime value of a customer can help their business arrive at its ROI. This week, the tribe gathers to discover how tracking sales activities can help FEI’s salesforce prosper. Remember, fire = print.

“Seems like we’re tracking everything,” Zoot said skeptically. “Let me guess: my staff’s sales efforts are next.”

“Our tracking efforts can provide you and your sales staff with lots of useful data on your activities,” Numo explained to Zoot. “For instance, tracking sales data will allow us to figure out the cost of a sales hour:

Sales force salary
+ Benefits
+ Reimbursed sales expenses
÷ Total # of hours in direct contact with prospects and customers
= Total cost per sales hour

“Or the value of each sales call made by one of your reps:

Expected annual sales volume
÷ Total number of annual sales calls made by sales rep
= Value of an individual’s sales rep’s sales call

“What’s the point of tracking all these calls?” Zoot asked.

“When individual sales reps find out the precise value of their actions, they’re usually amazed at how much they contribute to the company,” Marka said. “This can be a powerful motivator to avoid procrastination and laziness.”

“I’m concerned with overburdening my sales force with paperwork requirements,” Zoot remarked. “The sales staff is good at meeting and influencing people, not crunching numbers.”

“A properly managed tracking system will help provide monetary justification for hiring more sales reps,” Marka pointed out.

“That’s right,” Numo added. “Another important tracking metric will be revenue per direct production man-hour worked. When we start approaching an unsustainable number, we’ll use this as a guideline to expand our production capabilities in manufacturing, engineering or sales. The result will be more leadership opportunities for high-achieving reps. Sales reps who care about FEI’s success and their own careers shouldn’t mind contributing to the data collection process, which is critical to making sales investment decisions.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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