Sandler Training – Sales Prospecting: It’s a Numbers’ Game

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Prospecting is one of the most difficult and challenging tasks for the professional salesperson and it is this activity that brings in the sales and more importantly, the commission dollars that feed the family and fuel the dreams. Goes to figure that the least favorite task is what generates the greatest potential for income. Unfortunately, this article is not going to make prospecting any more enjoyable. But maybe, if we transform prospecting into a behavioral recipe, we can have more success in consistently completing the prospecting tasks we need to do and thus make the sales that need to be made.

Prospecting is a numbers’ game. If you want to earn a certain income from commission so you can take your family on an all-inclusive trip to Jamaica, then you should be able to calculate what your behavior must be in order to accomplish the goal. Take a look at the list of questions below:

1. How much money do you want to earn this month?
2. What is the average commission payout for each sale you make?
3. How many sales do you need this month? (Divide #1 by #2)
4. How many appointments do you need to have to win one sale?
5. How many conversations do you need to have to set one appointment?
6. How many prospecting attempts do you need to have one conversation?
7. Multiply #3 by #4 by #5 by #6
8. TOTAL PROSPECTING ATTEMPTS NEEDED TO HIT MONTHLY INCOME GOAL =

Initially, you may have to guess at your hit rates for the different behaviors list above, but that’s okay. The key is to establish the required behavior needed to make the money you want to make. If you come up short for the month, you will need to adjust the numbers.

Now, keep track of every call/walk-in you make. It is important to track your behavior so you will know what your prospecting behavior can produce. You can use a CRM tool or a spreadsheet to track your behavior. Below is an example showing monthly totals from my behavioral tracking sheet.

Table-Sandler-Training-Numbers-Game-1-Omaha-Nebraska

Keep a running total month to month of your behavioral results and track it for twelve months.  With this data, you will know your hit rates and can then dial in the right behavior that will return the desired income. It really is that simple.  Below is a summary of my prospecting effectiveness averaging the last twelve months of prospecting behavior:

Table-Sandler-Training-Numbers-Game-2-Omaha-NebraskaSALES DASHBOARD

# of Dial per Contact 3.7
# of Contacts per Appointment 3.8
# of Appointments per Order 3.2

Once you determine your behavioral recipe to earn your desired income, schedule enough time in your calendar so you can get the prospecting work done. For example, if your recipe calls for 200 prospecting calls done in one month and it takes one-hour to do ten dials, you would need to schedule twenty hours of prospecting time for the month. Make appointments with yourself one month in advance so that you do the behavior, even though you don’t want to. If you need help establishing your prospecting recipe that will earn you the income you desire, connect with Sandler Training and we can help you get started.

Prospecting is a numbers’ game. If you know what you want, dial in the minimum daily behavior required and then do it every single day. Now, sit back and watch the sales come in.


Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies.  For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at kschaphorst@sandler.com.  You can also follow his blog at karlschaphorst.sandler.com