This Simple Sales Tool Will Change Your Life [Seriously]

[FREE DOWNLOAD] Copy the Sales Calculator Template

In this episode of 'How To Sell' David and Luigi spill the beans on how to design an epic sales plan and tame that anxiety monster lurking around sales targets.

Secrets Unveiled in this Episode:

1. Write It Down:

David and Luigi stressed the importance of putting pen to paper and creating a solid sales plan.

It's not enough to say, "Yeah, I've got a plan" – you've gotta have something written in concrete (paper will do).Having a written plan is like having a treasure map to guide you to sales success.

2. Focus on What You Can Control:

They emphasized the need to concentrate on the things we can influence.

Sales targets might seem daunting, but we can take control and kick anxiety to the curb by focusing on actionable steps.

3. Say Hello to the Sales Calculator:

This nifty tool lets you punch in your sales metrics and determine the activities you need to crush those sales targets.

It's like having a secret weapon in your sales arsenal (as football fans, it pains us to write that word down).

4. Break Down Your Pipeline:

David and Luigi highlighted the importance of analyzing your sales pipeline stage by stage.You can fine-tune your approach and maximize your sales game by understanding where your pipeline might lagging.

For more on how Dave and Luigi can help you hit your sales target click here to find out more.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:00]:

In this episode, you're going to learn how to develop a sales plan, how to reduce the anxiety that comes with hitting targets, and what metrics are important to measure. I'm Luigi Prestinenzi, and this is the How to Sell Podcast, and together with my co host, Dave Fastuca, we will break down the strategies that are helping b to b sellers create millions in new deals and counting. Make sure you stick around until the end as we role play and show you how you can apply what we teach that will help you get more leads and close more Deals. Welcome back to another episode of the How to Sell podcast. I'm your host, Luigi Prestinenzi. And as always, I am pumped and excited that you've joined us for what will be another tactical episode that'll help you set your 2024 up for success. And if you're a time listener, we wanna say thank you for joining. We hope you take away some tactical insight that'll help you sell more.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:00:56]:

And if you're a long time listener, thank you very much for showing up each and every week and supporting our community. We really value the people in our community that are supporting this podcast, and so we can't wait to share another piece of content that we know that will help you sell more in 2024. And as always, I'm joined by my cohost, Dave Luca, how are you, Dave?

David Fastuca [00:01:19]:

Hello. Hello. Hello. I am good, Luigi. I'm excited about this one. I love this, This, this one is super, super tactical. It's a resource that I remember when you showed me, Scared the absolute bejesus out of me once I started plugging in the numbers. Yep.

David Fastuca [00:01:37]:

Because it gave me a little bit of, a realization slap in the face, but, I'm sure it's gonna be something, that's gonna help a lot of people out there once we dive into it. So do you wanna share Yeah. The the goodie that you got coming today.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:01:51]:

Yeah. It's it's it's always an interesting discussion. Right? Whenever you talk to a seller, and I'm sure, those listening or those watching, when you talk about a sales plan, many will say, yeah. I've got a sales plan. But then when, you know, I've coached a few people, and I say, could you mind sharing your your sales plan with me? And and and the response is, I don't actually have anything written down. Right? And already that's that's a red flag. And I think this is not about this Episode's not about coming up with performance metrics that we're governed by, right, that we are gonna be mandated to hit. And if we don't hit them, we're not gonna hit our target.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:02:30]:

I actually wanna I wanna disconnect the metrics part of this conversation to the emotion part of the conversation. Right? Now If you look at the data across most industries, it's showing that sellers is about 60 to 70% of sellers are not hitting their targets. Right? Now some could argue that the targets being set are unrealistic. Yeah? However, we can't, as an individual contributor, we can't control the targets that are being set for us. Yeah? That's the first thing. And I think the key for developing a sales plan is focusing on what we can control versus focusing on the things that we can't bro. And the reason why I I said I wanna disconnect the metrics from the emotion is because if you're not hitting target think about this. If you're not hitting target, you're not, you know, performing in your role, it can create some negative emotion.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:03:31]:

Yeah? It's

David Fastuca [00:03:36]:

a that I needed to do in order to hit the targets that we set, it was almost like a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders because then I felt like I was back in control. I'm in control of these numbers. I'm in control of the activity. Right? And, this Process that we're about to talk about, gave me that realization when I remember when you're coaching me, Luigi, on this process, you were like, Dave, this is gonna be a shock to your system once you realize, the type of activity you need to do, but it's in your control. Yep. You know, and you can basically hit your KPI, hit your goals once you start to implement and once you start to refine your process based on these numbers.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:04:23]:

Yeah. And that's why, again, you know, I wanna really, really disconnect to say when you get into that that zone, that it's a great feeling when you're in that sales zone, right, where things are just happening and you're getting momentum. And, obviously, you know, the one thing that we can we are guaranteed in in sales is People are gonna say no. People are gonna reject us. People are gonna ignore us. We're gonna get ghosted, etcetera. But that's just part of the process. And that's why or developing a sales plan is actually critical because we wanna understand what portion of our pipeline won't convert and what portion of our pipeline will convert and what's the activity that's gonna drive or that we need to do to achieve the ones that can convert.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:02]:

And when you when you build out that foundational plan, you're actually reducing that tension and that stress that's associated in sales because all of a sudden now you are building in in in control. Right? And there's nothing worse when working in sales when you're feeling like you're out of control. You're reactive. You're not meeting target. You're going home feeling stressed, feeling like I'm underachieving. And then what starts to happen? A vicious it's a vicious cycle. Right?

David Fastuca [00:05:33]:


Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:34]:

When you start going to work. You're busy. You're doing stuff, but it's not leading you to the outcome. Right? And you're finding things to do because you need to make get that feeling justification that I am I am, you know, busy.

David Fastuca [00:05:48]:

You wanna get that dopamine hit that you're Progressing towards the end, but avoiding what you need to actually be doing to get you to your results. Absolutely.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:05:57]:

And if you look at, You know, all the high performers that I've had I've had the privilege of coaching from HubSpot to Salesforce to IBM, and I can reel these names off, there's a common characteristic that's occurring. There's a there's a common attribute. Most of them are very, very diligent with their time. Right? They're actually selfish with their time. And because they know where they need to focus their attention on like to because they're looking for a particular or a certain return on their effort. Yeah? And that comes from them being very clear about what their sales plan looks like and what they need to be doing to achieve their target. Right? And at the end Of this episode, we we will, let our audience know where they can access the sales plan link and the calculator so that you can go away and start to and start to build out your sales plan. Right?

David Fastuca [00:06:50]:

Well, you just teased it then. Right? So I was about to lead you into a nice hook, but you you screwed it up for me, Louis. So let's talk about the sales calculator. It's just a simple Google Doc With a bunch of metrics that you plug in, and at the start, you really don't know. You know? You're putting in a hypothesis at the start based on what you think you need and the activity that you need, But then Yeah. The magic comes after you start implementing it. Right? So let's break it down, talk about what are the metrics that we put in here, then we talk about the pipeline coverage, the activity you need to do, you know, to 3 times, you know, your pipeline, and then How you review this week by week by week to get a really, you know, dolled in.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:07:32]:

Mhmm. So the first part of this whole process, right, is we've actually gotta start to break down our pipeline. Right? And, you know, we're all familiar with what a pipeline looks like. You've gotta create, you've gotta progress, and you gotta close. The 3 stages of your pipeline. Yeah? And the sales planning process and the calculator is all designed around, you know, how many prospects do I need to be engaging with, how many meetings do I need to be having. Right? So, obviously, it'll help you then first get the 1st metric, which is that outreach to meeting ratio. Right? Very, very important metric.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:08:10]:

Now, you know, there are some pundits, there are some gurus that'll tell you, you know, sales activity is an old school way of thinking. But doesn't matter how you cut it. Doesn't matter what you do. At the end of the day, when you break your pipeline down, there's metrics. Right? There's gonna be metrics. And so I'm measuring, yeah, I'm measuring if I've got a call out outreach campaign that I'm doing, How many people am I reaching out to that lead me to a meeting? That's a very, very important metric to be assessing. Yeah? Because I need to know if I'm only booking 1 out of every 10. Right? And I need to have, you know, 10 meetings a month.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:08:48]:

I'll need to do a 100. I'll need to reach out to a 100 people. And why that's important? Because the next metric so that outreach to meeting ratio is that meeting to sort of Mhmm. Qualified op. And depending on how you're structuring your pipeline, but how many of those meetings are moving into a proposal. Right? And you've gotta measure that because you gotta say, well, how many do progress? And then how many progress from proposal to close one. Right? They're very, very simple metrics. But if we're not measuring them, if we're not understanding what what do we need to be doing to achieve our number, then we're kind of using hope as a strategy.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:09:30]:

Yeah? And you wanna avoid using hope as a strategy. So there's sort of some 3 very, very important metrics because, a, once you define that, Outreach to meeting, meeting to proposal, proposal to 1. That'll then define for you how many prospects you need in your outreach process. Yeah. How many you need to be reaching out to over a given period of time that's gonna convert.

David Fastuca [00:09:58]:

Right? Now the important thing there to to make mention as well is that this is gonna be different for each of you if you're if you're working in a team. Right? For Louie, he might need to do, you know, 10 prospecting, calls and outreaches per day. I might need to do 20 in order to hit the same closed deals won. So it's not a it's one of those things where it's no there's no one number for that you can apply to each of your sales reps, they all gonna they all gonna be different. Correct.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:10:31]:

And then you but, you know, the key thing, And some of the key when you download the the the calculator at the end, there's a couple of key inputs that you need to add. And one of them is your average deal size. So first, your sales target. You need to put your sales target. What's your annual sales target? Then, you know, your your deal size as well. Right? So what's your average? Now, I've you know, I've had some because I've been coaching some people that are closing some pretty large deals, you know, some 10, $20,000,000 deals. And they're like, oh, but I just need 1 to hit my target, but the reality is some of those deals take a long time to close. But when you'll and and and you shouldn't use a big deal to because that'll that'll kind of impact the average yeah.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:11:11]:

Yeah. So you need to kinda look at what are the averages. Right? So your average deal size, also deal velocity. The time to close a deal is pretty important. Now the one thing is it you know, because some will be starting the new year afresh. It's their new calendar year, and that's their new target kicks in in 2024. Others will be halfway through the the financial year. So, you know, if and I I hear this often.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:11:40]:

I'm 6 months into my into my financial year. I'm so far off target. I'm not gonna hit it. I might as well just write it off and start sandbagging.

David Fastuca [00:11:48]:

What do you do?

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:11:49]:

Right, the key now this is this is this is why this planning process is important because if you have a a gap to target, take the opportunity to pop that gap to target into the calculator and start to look at, well, what activity do I need to be doing? What does success look like from a daily activity perspective that'll lead me to bridge that gap? Right? That's that's the key thing here. Instead of writing the year off or writing the quarter off, have a look. You know, have a look at what do I need to do to hit it and then ask yourself, is it is it realistic? This is where the SMART goal setting principles need to kick in as well. Right? Because you might look at those activities and go, okay. I know what I need to do to hit target, but is it actually realistic? Is this possible for me to do this quarter or this this year. Yeah? And once you determine that, then you can put your action plan in place. What's the action plan that I need to do that's gonna help me hit my target? Yeah? Or help me bridge the pipeline gap. The other reason you wanna do a bit of an assessment on your performance across this, you know, the the funnel, the stages of the funnel.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:13:06]:

Because you might be finding that you're prospecting well. You're booking the meetings. You're having the meetings. You're getting the proposal. But then from Proposal to sale, it's falling off a cliff. Yeah? And if that's the case, then there's a development opportunity. That's the other key part of this process. Because when you go through and looking at your performance metrics and you can see how your conversions look across each stage, It should also help you understand, where do I need to build capability? So for example, if your prospecting's poor, but your close is really good, You're closing, you know, 60% of your of your, proposals to sale, but you're not creating enough, then the development opportunities, I've gotta work on my prospecting skills.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:13:50]:

On the flip side, if I'm prospecting well, but, again, I I'm not converting at the end, I've gotta work on my, maybe, discovery, the way I'm presenting my proposal, maybe the way I'm following up multithreading. Right? So there'll be other things that they need to focus on. So this is, again, why planning is a crucial part of sales success because it'll help define what are the actions that I need to take to improve performance. Yeah?

David Fastuca [00:14:14]:

Yeah. And there's probably 1 caveat in there too, right, is that when you're filling this out, you're probably not gonna have all this information that it's asking. Right? You're not gonna have all these ratios unless you're religiously reviewing and analyzing it every week, you're not gonna have these numbers dialed in. So it's okay to start off with a a hypothesis or what you think, you know, these metrics are for you individually within within your with the company you're working in, and then iterate over that week by week. Because I think the the gold here is in the weekly review. Right. So whether you do it within your team, you know, if there's a team of you selling or if you're just a solo seller within the business, you know, do it with the the founder, whoever you know, do it with a colleague that you can review every week and start to dial in those numbers because the closer you can get to, you know, it's a 100% accuracy. The better you're gonna feel.

David Fastuca [00:15:08]:

It's it's not about, you know, criticizing your results or, you know, demeaning you in any way, but it's about making you feel more confident in your role, and you're just gonna feel I think the the best word to describe is you're gonna feel free. You're gonna feel free, to to to actually hit your goals and and enjoy what you do. Pardon the interruption, but is your sales team not performing? You have leads, but your team struggles to close them. Well, we'll train you or your team on how to fill their own sales pipeline with ready to buy opportunities in under 60 days guaranteed. Now you're probably thinking, how does this work? Well, Luigi and I own a business called Growforum dot I o. We're the fastest growing sales and Coaching and training company in the b to b space. We work with b to b businesses that sell products or services, for example, Stripe, HubSpot, Grant Thornton and BlueRock are just a few of our clients. We work with your team, train them to self generate their own qualified deals, and keep them accountable with weekly sales coaching.

David Fastuca [00:16:16]:

Then we help you systemize your sales management so it runs on semi autopilot. Keep in mind, we're not one of those expensive outsource sales agencies. We're helping your team in your business so that you have total control. Visit growth forum dot o o forward slash apply and schedule your free sales strategy View with us today. Now back to the show.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:16:42]:

So, folks, it's almost into the Father Christmas is coming this weekend. The best present you can give yourself going into 2024 is getting your plan so that you can feel in control, and you can control what you can control, and be proactive versus reactive. Yeah. So, in the show notes, you'll be able to download a link or you'll be able to get access to the sales planning tool that we've been speaking about. Jump into it. Have a go. If you want some help, don't forget. Just message us.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:17:16]:

Hit us up on LinkedIn. Say, hey. What do you think of this? If you got any questions, don't be afraid to ask Dave or myself. Hit us up on LinkedIn.

David Fastuca [00:17:24]:

A 100%. If you need help to fill it in, Right. If you need help to fill in the pipeline, to fill in this cake letter report, we will give we'll give you time. We'll give you the just reach out LinkedIn. We'll give you a calendar link, book it in, and we'll help you fill this in so you can start 2024 with confidence.

Luigi Prestinenzi [00:17:41]:

Yeah. Absolutely. But the one caveat, Make sure you hit that subscribe button and you follow us on any of the podcast players where you listen to us. But before we wrap up, I just wanna say we hope you have a Merry Christmas. You enjoy the time with your family, and it's a safe one. And we look forward to seeing you at our next episode.

David Fastuca [00:18:03]:

Let's go, Chelsea.