Should we throw all of our assumptions out of the window?

Now we’ve entered a new quarter, many businesses are reviewing their targets and goals for the next 3-6 months. The question is, what do you base your sales on?

This is a big deal. The Oct-Dec this year is very different to last year. The new lockdowns and restrictions mean that it’s difficult to use Jul-Sep results as a comparison too. In this blog, we go through some ways that you can build your models and targets for the next 6 months.


First, start with what you know

Even though things are different from last year, it doesn’t mean necessarily that you can’t take anything from last year’s results. If you really want to get a good idea, you want to mix quantitative and qualitative information. Take the figures from the last 3, 6 and 12 months leads and sales and write down:

Past 12 month’s activities 

  • Write down your marketing activities for each month
  • Write out your prospecting activities for each month, including number of calls made and emails sent if you have a CRM that records this

Past 12 month’s Opportunities

  • How many leads did we generate per month?
  • Write down the top 3 sources of leads for each month
  • If possible, find out the time taken to close and average value of the opportunities as well

Past 12 month’s Sales

  • How many sales did you close each month?
  • If possible, go through the lost quotes and write down why lost quotes didn’t go ahead as well (Budget, Found Another Supplier, etc)

This is a vital start to the next step, creating a model and stress-testing it. Build certainty as much as possible by focusing on what you know and by focusing on guarantees. If possible find ways to generate guaranteed qualified sales leads to boost your sales pipeline in a predictable way.

Really let what’s worked before guide you. For example, if SEO has worked well for you before, embrace it! Build on what works already.

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Second, write out a model using the historic data

Okay, so based on this, you have the whole past year’s worth of leads and sales. Hopefully you’ve identified where they come from and also why they said yes or no to you. This is excellent information and it gives you approximately 6 month’s ‘Normal’ trading (Oct 19 – Mar 20) and 6 months ‘COVID’ trading (Apr 20 – Sep 20)

What you’d like to see from this model includes:


Sales conversion rates

  • What’s your average sales conversion rate?
  • Did you have a month where you far exceeded the conversion rate?
  • Which month was quietest for you in terms of closed sales?

Make sure that you are considering the hand-offs between stages. For example, you know your conversion rates go up with guaranteed qualified sales leads from your marketing efforts. So focus on quality over quantity.

Third, weigh in what your pipeline looks like right now

Now that you have a good idea of your previous activities, bring it back to the reality of right now:


Have your prospecting and marketing activities changed recently? How many leads are in your pipeline? How many leads have you brought in this week, compared with your monthly average?


Of your live quotes, who’s almost in? Who can you expect to sign up this month? How does that compare to your monthly average?


Fourth, make actions based on previous KPIs

Now that you have a good idea of your sales performance, create actions based on your worst case scenario. Why focus on your worst case scenario? Because this provides an in-built assurance that you will hit target e.g. assume for a moment that your conversion rates over the last 12 months are:

  • 12 month average: 30%
  • Best performing month: 35%
  • Worst performing month: 20%


Now assume that you want to get 10 new sales this month. You can use your range of conversion rates to gain insight into how many leads you need:

  • 10 sales assuming 12 month average 30% = 34 leads
  • 10 sales assuming Best performing month: 35% = 29 leads
  • Worst case: 10 sales assuming Worst performing month: 20% =  50 leads

If you use the worst conversion rate you’ve experienced, you would need to get 50 leads. Use this as the target and consider what it’d take to get 50 leads this month. By using your worst case scenario conversion rate, you will likely either have a rough month and hit 10 sales or you’ll have a great month and actually get 15-18 sales.


What activities will result in 50 leads? 

By assuming a bad conversion rate, you aren’t assuming that your sales team are sitting idle. Rather, you’re assuming that a whole host of external factors could affect who signs on the dotted line this month.

The worst case conversion means more leads are required, so what activities in terms of marketing and prospecting will get you there?

We run through this more in our blog Is your Sales pipeline like 4am in a nightclub?


Make hitting target a certainty with guaranteed qualified sales leads

We can help your marketing budget go further with our guaranteed qualified sales leads, Pay-Per-Lead web chat and Pay-Per-Lead LinkedIn.

If you’re interested in talking about generating guaranteed qualified sales leads, feel free to speak to our friendly rep via web chat or on our contact us page.