How to Conquer Your 2020 Goals
Imagine making one simple change that could practically guarantee 2020 is your best year yet.
Sound too good to be true?
Here’s the thing: This one change won’t mean you’ll get to sit back and take it easy while you rake in deals.
You’ll still have to put in the work — picking up the phone, monitoring your market, and uncovering key trends.
But it can help you ensure the work you do has the greatest possible impact on your bottom line.
So, what is it?
In a word, measurement.
According to Peter Drucker, a management consultant, author, and educator, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
Without cold, hard data, there’s no way you can take an objective look at where your firm stands today and how you can best position it to achieve your goals tomorrow.
As F. John Reh, a 30-year business management veteran, consultant, and author, put it, “Unless you measure something, you don’t know if it is getting better or worse. You can’t manage for improvement if you don’t measure to see what is getting better and what isn’t.”
So, what should you measure to improve your firm’s performance?
We recommend focusing on metrics in two key areas — prospecting and pipeline management.
If you want to experience meaningful growth, focusing on prospecting is critical — even if you already generate a significant amount of business from referrals.
In fact, according to CCIM Institute — an organization dedicated to educating commercial real estate (CRE) professionals — “prospecting is the lifeblood of any brokerage firm.”
By analyzing how much time you spend prospecting and which activities lead to the best results, you can determine where to focus your efforts.
Below, we’ll cover the most critical prospecting metrics and what you can learn from them.
1. Number of dials per day, week, and month
This metric is all about staying honest.
It’s easy to overestimate how much time you spend reaching out to new prospects and drumming up new business.
But once you have the data in hand, it’s hard to ignore the truth.
Using that information, you can then decide if you need to set aside more time to dedicate to your prospecting practice.
2. Percent of dials that lead to closed deals
Spending hours and hours on the phone won’t do you any good if it’s not leading to closed deals.
Make sure to track how well your prospecting activities translate into actual revenue to determine whether you need to tweak your approach.
Just remember to take a long-term view. You’ll rarely close a deal with a prospect without first taking the time to build trust and establish a relationship.
3. Deals closed by characteristic
Knowing which types of prospects and deal types lead to wins can help you spend the bulk of your time on the prospecting activities that are most likely to generate revenue.
For instance, you might find your firm closes deals that involve retail properties at a higher rate than deals that involve industrial properties. You might also find your firm closes deals with prospects who work for larger organizations at a higher rate than deals with prospects who work for small or mid-size businesses.
4. Deals closed by timing
Another key area to analyze is whether your prospecting efforts are more successful at certain times.
This could present in one of two ways:
- Seasonally — You might generate the majority of your leads in Q1 and close the majority of your deals in Q4.
- Hourly — You might notice prospects are most likely to answer their phone when you call on a Tuesday between 2-4 p.m.
You can use this information to plan your prospecting activities when they’ll generate the best results.
The next area of focus is your deal pipeline.
Tracking and measuring progress in this area will help you identify roadblocks and develop strategies to keep deals moving forward.
Below, we’ll cover the most critical pipeline management metrics and what you can learn from them.
1. Number of deals in each stage
This metric will help you understand two things:
- Whether you have enough deals in your pipeline.
- Whether your pipeline is too heavily weighted in one area.
In the latter case, you might determine you have a healthy amount of deals further down the funnel, but you’re light at the top.
Armed with that information, you can focus more of your effort on prospecting and generating leads to ensure you experience continued success down the line.
2. Percentage of deals that close by stage
The further a deal moves down the sales funnel, the more likely it is to close.
And you should figure out just how likely.
For example, you may determine your firm closes 20% of deals that reach the proposal stage, 30% of deals that reach the listing stage, and so forth
This will give you the information you need for accurate revenue forecasting — which you can use to make better budgeting and resource allocation decisions.
3. Average time to close
Take a look at how long it takes to go from opportunity created to deal closed.
Understanding this metric can help you determine how many opportunities you need to create over the next several months to achieve your end-of-year goals.
4. Average time in each stage
This metric can help you pinpoint areas in your pipeline where deals tend to stall out.
Armed with this information you can make tweaks to your process or devise strategies to keep deals moving forward.