The Game of Work – Sales By the Numbers
In this section, we will learn the concepts of the “Game of Work.” Some of these concepts only apply to sales, others apply to every position. This includes how we track our activity and skills so we can dramatically improve our performance. We’ll also review concepts from the One Minute Manager series, personal appraisal reviews (PAR), how to create a personal improvement plan (PIP), baseline goal setting and ways to stay motivated.
These are some of the block and tackle approaches that make Chanimal recruiters and account managers some of the best in the industry. These principles were introduced in a book, “The Game of Work,” “The One Minute Manager,” “Putting the One Minute Manager to Work,” seminars from Stephen R. Covey and from managing sales teams ranging from 4 to 300 to over 4,000 strong. They have been refined and proven again and again for the last 28 years!
Watch the video Webinar to see how it works!
Sales Management Training. Sales By the Numbers & How to Play the Game of Work.
How to increase sales by tracking, then improving your activity, skill, policies, systems, and motivation. Shows the exact system that created the #1 team in the nation (4 times). It works every time and helps you become the coach and shows the team how to self-correct.
The Game of Work
In the book, “The Game of Work,” the author, Charles Coonradt, points out that people work harder at sports than they do at work. The same person who has no motivation at work becomes an animal of enthusiasm on the basketball court. He explains that one of the reasons is because sports have feedback, and as we learn from “The One Minute Manager,” feedback is the breakfast of champions.
Sports feedback is in the form of keeping score. When playing sports, we always know if we are winning or losing.
For example, how fun would it be to bowl and not keep score? What about if we bowl and we don’t see the pins, but we hear a sound. How about we hear the sound and our manager tells us how many pins we hit. Now, how about we see the pins, throw the ball, see the results–and either strike or refine our approach to master the second shot. That’s feedback.
What’s the difference between an amateur and a professional? The pros track everything–they live and die by the numbers. For example:
- Tiger Woods tracks everything–driving distance, putting average, birdie average, total driving, longest drives, eagles… and the list goes on.
- Michael Jordan tracks everything–baskets, most points, assist, blocks, % free throws, % 3 points, steals… and the list goes on.
- Darryl Strawberry tracks everything–Bats, AB, runs, hits, 2nd base, steals, catches, base hits… and the list goes on.
In fact, a professional baseball player usually goes to the mound knowing exactly what their batting average is (so does the competition!). After a single game, the pros can tell you if their ratios went up or down.
So why not sales?
A professional sales person tracks knows and masters ALL of his activity and ratios. An amateur seldom knows anything. Sometimes the amateurs are doing well, sometimes not–but they often don’t even know why they do well… since they have no information. For example, do you know the following?
- Calls per day or week
- Contacts per call
- Call backs
- Total Revenue
- Avg Revenue per sale
- Prospecting efficiency
- Call to presentation %
- Call back %
- Avg negotiated price
If not, why? Lazy? Don’t see a reason? Don’t know what or how to track?
The Employee is the Boss – The Manager is The Coach
We can’t improve what we can’t measure–so we have to track. Ok, if you’re working on your own then you may not know your ratios (but that’s an amateur–not a pro). But in our case, we are professionals, we are on a team, and have hired a manager–the coach. How can a coach help you improve? First, they have to know where you’re at–with your activity and skills. Then they have the information to help you improve.
A “working” manager (who also has to sell) usually makes money off their own personal sales, but they also typically make an override on their team–to compensate them for time spent coaching and mentoring their team (and the opportunity cost for not spending all their time selling). Since the manager makes his money from you–you are the actual boss. You have hired the manager (as your coach) to help you succeed (helping to improve your skills and keep you motivated). Which is why you should expect your manager to help you, as your coach and mentor, to be the best sales person, account or channel manager possible.
Vision – What You Can Expect
The CEO of Chanimal, Ted Finch, (who helped author this manual) discovered the Game of Work his first year managing a sales team in 1982. He was a college student selling door to door (some of the hardest sales ever) and was looking for ways to improve his own and his team’s performance. He read the Game of Work and started tracking his own stats. He systematically worked on one area at a time and mastered it, then moved to another. The result?
As a result…
- Achieved the highest ratios in the entire company
- Rated #2 to 35 out of 351 salespeople
- The top team – 3 consecutive years
- Top region – 2 consecutive years
- Top recruiter
- Dare to Win Award
- 300 Club member
- Eye of the Tiger award
- Hawaii, Mexico, and houseboat trips
- First-ever director (reporting to the president) that rose through all the ranks from marketing associate, sales manager, organizational manager, area manager.
- Has since managed two teams of over 300 people each and another that grew to over 4,000 people
- Later formed a start-up (like Chanimal) that grew from 13 to 4,000 people, wrote the marketing plan and launched Netscape, formed Red Storm Entertainment with Tom Clancy, became a VP at $4billion Harcourt (Sea World, Neiman Marcus, General Cinemas), Sr. VP at $33 billion Motorola, and a VP at $130 billion GE.
Using the Game of Work was a game changer–converting him from an amateur to a professional and launching an amazing career.
Vision – Smaller Teams
Worked with a four-person sales team
- Never tracked anything, just sales
- Setup measurement system
- Reviewed activity and skill ratios
- Reviewed policies and systems
- Determined the baseline – the executed
- Contacts went up from 37 to 212 per week (peaked at 279 for one week)
- Return calls went up from 0 to 11 per day per person (0 to 44 per day for the team)
- Webinars went up from 4 per week to 14
- Same hours – increased income!
- Sales increased by 620%
Sales Improvement – Broken Down
When we break it down, there are only five variables you can control and change:
- Activity. If you increase your activity, all other variables being the same, you increase sales. These activities include calls, contacts, invites to webinars, quotes, etc.
- Skills. We train and drill for skill. This increases our ratios. Areas to improve skills include our presentations, call back dialogues, close techniques to increase or ratios, rev/sale, etc.
- Policies. We should establish effective policies following best and proven practices (not doing things “because”). This also includes processes on how to use the system, definitions of how to count for stats, routing processes, on-boarding and immigration policies (that have strict requirements).
- Systems. Every system should be optimized for efficiency, so it does not slow you down. This includes your CRM, phone dialers, bid tools, automated emails, etc. The Acid test for all systems (and policies): does it speed you up, or slow you down?
- Motivation. Proper motivation increases activity & our desire to grow. Internal motivation is best but usually requires external motivation to jump start it (including bonuses, recognition). Personal prayer and faith, “after all you can do” (demonstrates faith), are also a powerful motivator.
Now let’s look at some approaches to track and improve our performance.
The Stats Worksheet
As we’ve mentioned, we can’t improve what we can’t track. What do we track? Activity and skill. We then need to consider a simple approach to be self-correcting and consider a systematic approach to improve.
A tool we use at Chanimal is a stats worksheet. This has four components (the associated sales training PowerPoint includes graphics).
- The weekly worksheet. This is where you record your daily activity for the entire week. It typically has a box to record the calls, contacts, call-backs, presentations, completed application, # who joined the network, etc. It will differ for a recruiter, account and channel manager–containing the variables that you can control. Those variables that you have the greatest control over, that require the lowest skills (i.e., making calls) are on the left. The categories get progressively harder (return calls, closing, etc.) as you go further right. The left is determined more by motivation (to call more, etc.), while the right requires the most skill and will increase over time.
The weekly worksheet also has a place where the manager should consolidate the best team stats for select individuals (see PowerPoint sample). The sales rep will also list the activity and the skill to work on that work, with a brief description (see PIP below), and it will also list the team focus and contest.
This worksheet is paper because paper is still the fastest way to log this activity. It may progress to electronic and be automated–but remember the rule, we use whatever system that speeds you up, not slows you down. You would turn in these sheets every week. If you are remote, then you can either scan them in or enter the data into a spreadsheet (at the end of the week) and e-mail it.
- The Sales Rep Stats Summary. This is where your stats get entered weekly. Your dept admin should enter your data from the weekly worksheet into the group spreadsheet (or the system may do it automatically later). Once the data is entered, the spreadsheet will combine your data with the team to show the entire group’s stats, the graphs, and all the ratios. Your admin or manager should send you a copy of your stats summary and the team summary (excel or PDF) or even the entire worksheet weekly–so you see how you are doing and how you compare to the team.
- The Team Stats Summary. This combines the activity and stats from the entire team. It also shows the overall team trends and is used by the manager to determine which activity and skills to work on as a team. The manager can also view individual member stats and see how the sales rep is improving. This worksheet shows the team average which also sets the standard of performance. Everyone should use this standard to ensure they are at or above this level for each area.
- Graphs that show trends. The spreadsheet has graphs that show the team trends for each area being tracked. As a team starts working together each area (starting with those that the team has the most control over (calls) and progressing toward those that require the most skill (closing)) should be progressively maxed out (through motivational contest and skills) until all areas have a maximum and a high average performance. This is the way the manager helps determine which area to work on.
It is critical that we have the exact same definitions for each area tracked or the team stats will not be accurate. For example, if one person counts contacts as a person they called and caught, but then does not also count a call-back as a contact (when a prospect returns your call), but another sales rep does not count a call-back as a contact–then the individual stats will be consistent, but the group stats will be useless.
Following are the definitions by field and by responsibility (since recruiters, AMs and channel managers track different variables):
- Calls. A call is an actual dial to the consultant and/or vendor, customer, etc.
- Contacts. Contact is described as an actual conversation from a call that you placed.
- Voicemails left. Voicemails left from calls that you have placed.
- Call-Backs. Call backs are return calls from messages that you have left to the consultant and/or vendor, customer, etc.
- Inbound Calls. Calls that you receive from outside sources, referrals. Etc.
- Presented CHANIMAL. Presentations you have made to prospects about our services.
It is critical when we talk about stats and numbers that we all understand why this data is important and who it is for. As a group, sales people (AMs and Channel Managers) hate recording anything. Why? Usually, it is because they want to “close” not do paperwork. This is why we use paper–it requires no extra effort (sort of like doodling while on the phone). They also see no purpose in it (this is why we have this entire argument–so you can see the value), but also because they don’t want to be micro managed. Sometimes, they don’t even want to be held accountable–they make commission and it should be sufficient enough in a capitalistic model for the sale rep to want to perform.
So why bother? It is critical to understand that this entire process is mainly for THEM.
The sales rep is responsible to move from amateur to professional. Or from semi-pro to full-scale professional (a pro always knows his stats). A sales person will be working the same amount of time if they are fully or partially effective–so why not become the best they can be–especially since they can often double and triple their income.
Besides, they have hired you as their manager (coach), and they are paying for you regardless of whether they use your expertise or not (that’s the management override). So why not leverage their manager’s skills and knowledge and work you to the bone to help them make more money–that’s capitalism and they should get their money’s worth. They have nothing (aside from a few minutes each day) to lose capturing their stats–but a massive increase in income (and job security, advancement, prestige, vacations, etc.) to gain.
Regardless, it is their choice to play the game of work–or not. But the pros require their top game. They’ll always stay in the minors if they don’t step up to the plate and be the best.
- Feedback is the ___________________ _____ _______________________. Why?
- Why should you track anything?
- What five things might you track?
- What five variables in sales can we improve?
- Name the four different worksheets and explain what you would do with each?