A previous brief explored how a rough-cut sales analysis is used to identify business development risks and opportunities.
Now we’ll look at setting a performance goal to increase your biggest project fees.
To do this jot down the five biggest projects you won last year. Next to each project write the fee for that project.
Add the fees together, so you have a total for your five biggest projects. Now calculate the average fee by dividing that number by 5.
If there’s an outlier project that’s much larger, or smaller than the other four just leave it out when calculating the average.
If your five biggest projects were valued at £25,000; £27,000; £27,000; £32,000; and £60;000. You’d omit the £60,000 outlier and calculate the average based on the remaining four projects.
£25,000 + £27,000 + £27,000 + £32,000 = £111,000
Number of projects = 4
Last year’s average big-project-fee = £111,000 / 4 = £27,750
Are you with me so far?
Good. All you need to do is make the same calculation with your own numbers. Work out the average of your five biggest projects now.
This average is your baseline for sales performance improvement. What it tells you – which is interesting – is that you already have the capability, without any kind of stretch, to find, win, and deliver projects with fees around that number.
Imagine winning five projects next year at 2x that baseline amount. Is that something you’d like? How would that impact your business and lifestyle? What about 5x?
Of course, if you already have an outlier, like the example above, you can be confident you can sometimes win bigger projects. The challenge is turning that sometimes into a business-as-usual result.
So, with that in mind, let’s be absolutely clear. A business with an average biggest-project-fee of £27,750 is probably set up to win … wait for it … £27,750 projects. The type of clients it attracts, the level of relationships it has, its available resources, back-office systems, sales conversations, etc are all geared up to win projects at that level.
Whatever your average figure is, the same logic applies. So, if you want to regularly win 2x bigger projects some things will have to change. And if, like some of my clients, you want to win 5x bigger projects some things are going to have to change a lot!
And it’s those changes you’ll really need to explore and set stretch targets for, not just the higher fee number. That’s an absolute and figuring it out and setting a stretch for it is easy by comparison … Anyway, you just did it, didn’t you!
Stretching is generally uncomfortable. Here are some examples of stretches I’ve worked on with people over the last few months.
What would it feel like to set minimum viable project fee? Anything below that number doesn’t get you out of bed anymore.
What would it feel like to insist on meeting financial decision makers, before making proposals? Otherwise you let the client know you’re qualify out of the deal.
What would it feel like to create a strict policy where the impact your work must deliver a 10x ROI for clients? You’ll turn away (or engage at a more impactful level) any projects that don’t, or can’t, warrant your involvement.
That’s what sales performance coaching is about – walking into the discomfort zone … helping shift mindset, habits, and capabilities … so you can grow your business and get results at much higher-levels.
And that’s something you can’t DIY easily, and it’s why people hire mentors to help them get those shifts. That’s the reality of change.
Now, are you ready to set stretch sales performance targets and take on your own discomfort?