A reader recently wrote:  When trying to determine the effectiveness of sales people,  we expect a close ratio of 30%.  That figure, however, assumes they won’t have much support from marketing or headquarters.  We are currently dealing with a situation in an area where marketing is opening doors and educating prospects for the sales person who is there to simply close the sale.  The problem is that it’s only being done about 20% of the time.  Shouldn’t the additional support this person is receiving translate into a higher close ratio? 

The Sales Hunter’s response:  A 20% close ratio is not bad at all. I work with some other groups where they jump for joy when they hit 20% due to the industry they’re in.  Others I work with strive for 50%+.

It’s been my experience adding people or resources such as marketing support to a territory will not always cause a close ratio to increase.  In fact, I’ve seen it actually go down in some cases because the added resources were not being applied strategically, producing a negative result.  They were just thrown into the market with the assumption everything will work out.  It is critical that when additional resources are applied, they need to be done so in concert with the sales person already in the territory.  Use the resources to expand the quality of the pipeline.  Adding prospects just for the sake of adding prospects won’t do anything but tire out a sales force. 

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