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Sales metric No. 1: Do you know where you’re going?

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Yes, metrics are boring, but knowing your numbers is critical to achieving success.

Perhaps you want to increase your income by 25 percent—or 75.

In either case, there are certain questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What is my average annual commission per client?

If you sell different products/services, you might ask: 

  • What is my average annual commission per client buying product/service A?
  • What is my average annual commission per client buying product/service B?

Here’s an example: Mary sells widgets to both individuals and companies. Over the past 3 years she has sold to 300 individuals and 114 companies.

Her average commission for selling to an individual was $375, while her average commission from selling to a company was $1,050. Last year she earned $107,050.

Mary wants to increase her income by 22 percent (or $23,500) this year for a gross income of about $130,000. Because she knows her production/commission numbers, she knows exactly what she must do to reach her goal: sell to an additional 28 individuals and 12 companies.

However, she could instead focus on business sales, as each additional business sale would reduce by 2.8 the number of individual sales she would need. All of a sudden that 22 percent increase doesn’t seem so difficult, because she knows exactly what she needs to do to get there.

The hocus pocus of pulling numbers out of thin air and wondering how in the world she can make an additional $30,000 are gone and replaced with the knowledge of precisely what is required.

Finding out what it will take to reach your income goals can be accomplished with a little math. Don’t play the guessing game. You can’t afford to aim for sales goals in the dark. Know your sales history; you need to know where you’ve been in order to get where you want to go.

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Paul McCord is a best-selling author, speaker and leading authority on lead generation. He has more than 20 years’ experience coaching and mentoring salespeople. For more information, go to


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