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Small sites: How Many Sales per Month on Average?

Doing it alone? With a sales team?

     
10:46 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Gang;

I'm trying to set new goals to sell package sites to small-to-medium sized businesses. We've had several contacts over the past few months for this, and I feel there's more of a need locally for this. We're near a major tri-city area, so there's 10,000's of 1,000's of potential local clients.

We're looking initially at up to 10 page packages, priced about $800 including a year of hosting & domain name. Straight-forward HTML, no Flash, limited graphics, a contact form or two. Cold-calling will be our initial push; we have a very simple, effective, don't-waste-your-time method for this.

What I'm wondering is - what kind of sales could/should we be expecting? We've got 1 + 1/2 employees on this... let's say 1 person to start dedicated each day to canvassing for new work. We're looking to expand this to a few part-time people, perhaps on commission... though there's not a lot of room for this.

Is anyone else out there trying this on the local level? I can name at least one major company that's got a National presence, they offer from $499 to $999 packages + monthly hosting...they have purportedly done over 40,000 websites and have a staff of 100 on hand.

I can give you numbers about the biz - that 70% of small businesses don't have web sites? That there's 5.6 million of these businesses in the U.S. But trying to determine real-world sales goals... that's another story.

Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks,
Hunter

11:34 am on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Having managed sales people in the bricks and mortar world, for a commodity type product (which is what you have), a good sales rep should be able to get one appointment for every ten cold calls and close (make the sale on) one out of seven appointments. Out of every five sales reps you have, one will be good, one will be worthless and the other three somewhere in the middle. The best commission structure will reward the good one highly (encouraging them to stay), discourage the bad one immediately (please go away), and motivate the other three to either become a good one, or to go away without you having to do the sometimes painful firing.

g

3:19 pm on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks G!

That's great advice. Can you recommend any books or online resources

My gut says that as we expand, it would be better to hire people with selling experience in related fields - say, newspaper ads - vs. training new people from scratch. What's your experience with that, G?

And does anyone else on the board see the same kind of ratio's in their own sales? Why - or why not?

Hunter

4:08 pm on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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gwhite's ratios are right on the money, though with a commodity I would think it would be even less - maybe a 1 in 20 success rate.

Cold calling, no matter the field, is a numbers game. Make 200 calls a day and you'll get some response. That's why telemarketers are using these auto-dialers now. While a salesperson is on the phone, the computer is already dialing the next number.

A good salesman wants to make money and wants to be on commission. You'd have to structure the commission deal to make it attractive and possible. I'm struggling with that right now as I prepare to take a product national. Too little commission creates disincentive, too much will cost you profits.

7:30 pm on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks TX - I found an article today that suggests that, long story short, between 6 to 9 hours of cold-calling could result in a client. This is based on a related field -so, basically, 3 to 4 a week is possible, if this holds true in the real world, with this offer.

As for commissions - TX, is there any place you're looking to compare commission rates? What formula are you trying to determine your rates from, if you don't mind me asking?

1:18 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Their are two types of products in the sales world, engineered and commodity. Commodity closes and appointments tend to be the numbers I quoted, because you don't have to educate the buyer on what you do. Engineered products tend to fit a specific problem the user may not even realize he has, which makes for a more difficult appointment and even tougher sell.

Assuming you are US based and the way the current economy is, there are a large number of laid off middle managers that would be ideal candidates for you to hook into, especially in a part time realm. They have time for "real job" interviews, and you get someone that knows business and has experience communicating in the business world.

Read everything Tom Peters has written, but a synopsis of his writing is "quit screwing around planning and go do something."

g

1:27 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I recently sold the first and only book on Windows NT on the book´s website which gets about 100 - 120 visits per day ;)

Andreas

1:31 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Whoops, I only read the thread title which is a bit misleading. But anyway... only one book!
1:55 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My two cents on commissions. Too much commission NEVER costs you profit. The easiest commission plan is the one set by the salesman (then they won't complain as much). If you know your costs (and you better know) to build a website is $300.00 and you want $75.00 profit for each website, your base fee is $375 ($300 cost + $75 profit). Now tell your salesman that the base rate is $375 and he can sell the website for WHATEVER they want and you will split the difference between the sale price and the base cost 50/50. So if the rep goes out and sells a site for $475, he gets $50 and you get $425. If he sells it for $375, you get $375 and he gets zip. If he sells it for $1000.00, he gets $312.50 and you get $687.50. So now his primary motivation is to sell sites for as much money as he can. (his second motivation will be to get you to lower the base cost.)

This gets us back to the first post, if a salesman is really good at selling sites for $375.00 he will go away, but it hasn't cost you anything. If another rep sells one a month, but it is for $5000.00, you don't care either, you get your $375 + the 50% split, even if he does get $2500+ dollars for one sale.

g

 

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