Every day, salespeople are confronted with the necessity to make these three time management decisions well: Where to go? Who to see? What to do?
The master salesperson understands that consistently making those
decisions well will, more than any other one thing, determine his/her success.
In order to make those decisions well, you need to collect good information. And one essential piece of good information is the potential for purchases in each of your accounts. I call this QPC (Quantified Purchasing Capacity).
QPC is the answer to this question: If this account bought everything they
could from me over the next 12 months, how much would that be? The answer to that question is a dollar amount, and that figure is a necessary part of the information that a salesperson needs in order to make good decisions about the investment of his/her sales times.
Don’t confuse QPC with historic sales. QPC has nothing to do with how much they bought from you last year. It has everything to do with how much they could purchase from you in the coming year. It should be accurate, specific and quantifiable. In other words, you ought to have a defendable answer to that question for every account.
You don’t estimate QPC; you collect it. The number that answers that question exists in every account today. The master salespeople understand that, and seek to collect it from every account, every year.
They use a combination of several techniques to assure themselves that they are accurately collecting QPC. First, they simply ask their customers. Many, maybe 50 percent of them, will have that number and will be willing to share it.
The remainder may not be sophisticated enough to have it, or will have it and don’t think you should have it. In those cases, the master salesperson creates or finds some formulas that accurately calculate the QPC based on other measurable variables within the account. For example, people selling to plumbing contractors can create the QPC for each contractor by multiplying the number of trucks on the road by a certain factor. People selling to schools can calculate supply needs based on the number of students. And so it goes. There is almost always some variable that can be collected, measured, and calculated to turn into a defendable rendering of QPC.
In some industries, the QPC is available from sources that collect and sell that information. You may be able to buy it.
One way or another, the master salesperson collects QPC. Equipped with an accurate rendering of QPC for every account, the master salesperson is then equipped to make much better decisions about the investment of sales time. That, more than any other single decision, will impact your success. The masters know that, and seek to collect QPC for every account. That’s why they are the best.
For more resources on this best practice see:
a. Chapter Four of How to Excel at Distributor Sales
b. Chapter Three of Take Your Sales Performance Up a Notch
c. Chapter Five of Eleven Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople
d. Tools number 20, 21 and 22 of Time Management Tool Kit