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Make better sales conversion and cut waste through measuring

09 October, 2009

For better sales conversion, you must eliminate waste. It is easy to waste too much time and money trying to convert customers and waste revenue from failing to convert customers.

To speed up the process, you must measure your Sales Conversion Rate.

Before you can improve and speed up your sales conversion rate, you must first measure it. Here’s how.

STEP 1: Count your prospects

First you need to define what a prospect is to you. Does a visitor to your website or product page count? A person who calls or emails about your product or service? Be aware of how you recognise a prospect and start a system now to keep a tally.

STEP 2: Count your sales

If you have a financial system like Quickbooks or MYOB counting your sales should be pretty easy. The software should have a sales report you can view each week or month to extract a simple count. Your bookkeeper can give you a list of the number of sales by product type each month.

STEP 3: Divide your prospects into your sales

Your Sales Conversion Rate is calculated simply as the percentage of prospects that become sales. If you had 450 visitors to a product webpage, and 45 sales of that product last month, then your Sales Conversion Rate for that month would be 45 as a percentage of 450, which is 10%.

How do you use your Sales Conversion Rate?

Your Sales Conversion Rate is an indicator of how well you are selling your wares. It's not the only important indicator of your sales process, but it's a great place to start lifting the bar. When you start measuring your Sales Conversion Rate, you’re naturally going to ask: "How do I improve my sales conversion?"

So here's what you can do: make a list of the changes to your sales process, which you think are likely to impact on your sales conversion, then experiment and measure.

You're probably already performing well with sales conversion in one or two areas. The whole idea of tracking, testing and tuning is that you work out which of the areas are likely to increase your sales conversion the most.

The following questions relate to areas where improvement is often needed:

- How well do you highlight benefits rather than just features of your products or services?
- How clearly do you ask for the sale?
- How tailored is your message to the specific needs of your prospect?
-  Do you include any bonuses with your offer, such as a free appointment with you, an audio class or free shipping?
- Are you using testimonials from your previous customers or clients?
- Are you able to acknowledge and answer the common objections to why your prospects aren't becoming customers?
- How attention-getting and engaging are your headlines, your sales copy or dialogue?

Next steps

Calculate your own Sales Conversion Rate in the next week or two, then pick just one potential improvement you can make to your selling process, put it into action, and test if it works by tracking with your Sales Conversion Rate.

Just pick one thing to change and test first. That way, you'll know whether it works or not, and avoid wasting time doing more of it if it doesn't work. After that test, you can test another change. Keep this up until you've discovered what works for your business, then you can enjoy smoother sale-ing!

Stacey Barr is a specialist in performance measurement, helping micro and small business owners to move their business results from where they are, to where they want them to be, using powerful, transformational measures.

To find out more about Stacey, visit:

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