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Is sales really just a numbers game?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 4/7/20 7:15 AM

Howie Kra Numbers Game

Thinking about sales as a "numbers game" is a viewpoint a lot of people take in sales. It's also one that I talk about in my own keynote. But is it really that simple, just keep pounding the phone, or email? Or is sales more than that?

Find out what Wall Street Investor, Howie Kra, has to say on the topic in this post.



Carole Mahoney: Some of our previous conversations, you've mentioned that sales is a numbers game, which is a viewpoint that a lot of people take in sales and one that I also talk about in my own keynote. But is it really that simple? Is it just assemble as just keep pounding the phone and email and eventually you'll get there?

Howie Kra: So I think it's a combination of two. I'm a fan of repetition. I'm really disciplined. So when I say I'm going to do something, I do it. So what I tell salespeople that I manage is, yes, you need to make a certain amount of outgoing calls every day. You need to spend a certain amount of time every day doing that. But at the same time, you're not a robot. You have to learn. You have to be knowledgeable.

Really, sales to me is all about passion too. If I thought this pen was the greatest pen in the world and I really believe that and it was great value, we're going to sell a lot of them. If I thought the pen was crap and it didn't really write and it was expensive, I'm not really going to do well.

So if you are selling something you truly believe in, that you have confidence, you're passionate about, doing your homework and being knowledgeable, and then implementing the discipline of a numbers game, I think it's a recipe for success.

The problem is most what I see is that they're not disciplined five days a week. They're discipline one day here, they don't like the results then they switched to something on Tuesday. They go back to a half a discipline on Wednesday. By Thursday, they're so fried because Monday wasn't great, Tuesday was... No, what I see with the people that are really great, they were in here this morning at 7:30, they're doing the same thing they do every day. They're doing the preparation for their day. They're getting out who they are going to go after. They're managing their books of business and they're disciplined in their approach. So yes it is a numbers game. But yes, you got to back it off with knowledge, confidence and of course, passion.

Carole Mahoney: Absolutely. I say to salespeople all the time and remind myself too that all of this is one great big experiment, right? Like any experiment in a lab, if you don't have enough data in order to be able to look at a result, then you can't, like you said, you can't just do one day of prospecting and then decide it's not going to work anymore. You got to have a little bit more resiliency to that.

Howie Kra: I manage teams of people and they all have the same database. They all have the same CRM, but the numbers are drastically different and that's because some people just so disciplined, they stay with it, they stay with it and they stay with it where others constantly veer off the course.

Carole Mahoney: Right. Remember also too, because I've seen the other extreme of that where there's those that will just, I'm going to keep doing the same thing every day times a hundred, and but they never actually stopped to look at am I doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Still have the discipline but test the message, test the buyer, qualify them and start talking about money earlier. There's things that you can test so that you can continuously improve. But that doesn't mean you just stop everything and start, oh, I guess that didn't work. So now I'm going to go chase after the next great big shiny thing. It's not how it actually works.

Howie Kra: I like to always give analogies back to marathons, triathlons, there's a set way we train for those things. You could deviate. But in order to get to the finish line, you have to stick to a game plan. Sales is no different. You have a goal, you have an end game, you must have a game plan and you must repeat, repeat and repeat. But at the same time, use your common sense, not to go after dead ends all day, follow the leads that are going to lead you to make the sales.

Carole Mahoney: Yes, exactly.


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