Is Sales Origination a Numbers Game?

Every originator and manager has heard that well-known truism “sales is a numbers game” from their first day in the business. The assumption is that if salespeople present their product/service to enough prospects, eventually somebody will take what they’re offering. Managers have translated this cliché into a formula: If x number of customers are presented to, a certain number will convert if asked. So what do top producers actually do?

During a recent consulting engagement, I interviewed top and average originators regarding their sales practices. Not only did top producers prospect more for referral sources than average originators, but they were much more definitive on when and how they made key touch points when dealing with their customers. I think this is not surprising considering that top producers are analytical about their processes — a quality that many average originators seem to lack.

How much more do top producers prospect than average producers? Do top producers communicate more with their referral sources and customers?

In my experience, top producers prospect at least 2 and half times more than average producers which explains why top producers significantly out-produce their colleagues. (Why? Increased sales activities have a greater impact than 1 to 1. Greater prospecting efforts have an exponential impact that generates higher production.)

When average producers switch to a new company (as we discussed last week,) if they have not increased prospecting activities, their production will actually end up being lower because a certain number of clients will not move with the sales person to the new lender.

Moreover, top producers design a certain number of customer touch points (conversations with the customer). Their sales approach is systematic and they will redesign their touch points if they feel that the impact is not as effective as it once was. For example, a few years ago it only took six touch points to “wow” a customer whereas, today it might take as many as eight conversations to achieve the same result. The sales environment is always changing and originators must make necessary adjustments to succeed. Top producers understand this and will readily adapt their process while average producers tend to repeat the same approach, hoping for better results.
How much are your originators prospecting?