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March 27, 2014

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Steve Wasiura

I understand the concept, but does this actually work?

I started by thinking that sales are pretty darn unpredictable, even if you have a methodology and process that you follow, there is still a big unknown named "human behavior".

Of course this is made more difficult by the product or service being sold, the sales cycle, and the time of year. I could go all Brian Tracy here and say "there are no roadblocks!", but I don't think it reflects reality.

And yet, I think it must be better than nothing, and maybe you have a better chance of getting close to the goal, instead of waiting for day 18 to put on a sales blitz to reach your goal.

I'm also assuming the "burn down" chart will be viewed inversely by salespeople, as anything above the line is GOOD, but just as confusing, why is the chart going down over time as we make sales?

The traditional chart shows sales increasing over time (climbing to the upper right corner). But if you renamed it a "burn up" chart, or "sales made" chart, and started your goal line at $0 on day 1 and touching $116,000 on day 20 you would instinctively see your actual sales made is below the ideal line and know you are falling "short" (below the line).

Also, considering the analogy of mountain climbing, when you set a daily goal point, you must add some padding to allow for extra effort to be added when needed. As an example, if you have a process where you make 6 sales calls a day / 1 per hour, within an 8 hour day, you have 2 hours of slack time to be flexible. If you are falling short of your goal, and you need to expend extra effort, you have those 2 extra hours of time to do 2 additional sales calls. If you are having a great day and are on a lucky streak, you can do 2 extra sales calls and build up a buffer for a future day when you are not so lucky.

I am also interested to read more about your process, your CRM (that tracks the flow and forecasting of probability of sales in the pipeline) and your sales ladder (as you move leads to prospects, to hot shoppers, to buyers, etc.)

My pet peeve is that the nomenclature of "sales funnel" is inaccurate, because unlike a regular funnel, not everything that goes in the top eventually comes out of the bottom, and gravity is usually not on your side.

Instead I like the concept of a "sales ladder", where you have a bunch of leads you are trying to get them to step onto the first rung, and it requires continuous effort to move them to the next level, until they reach the top and buy. In fact, let's change the game to "chutes and ladders", because it's a closer representation to reality: even after all that effort, your lead can bail on you and slide away!

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