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By Michael Guld

RISMEDIA, Dec. 30, 2008-As sports fans know, a player’s stats breaks down key elements of their game to give an indication of their performance. In basketball, key stats include points per game, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and rebounds per game. When you look back after a game is won or lost, there is usually a direct correlation between top players’ key stats and the resulting W or L. The same is true of sales. There are key metrics and “triggers of growth” that can provide short-term benchmarks that will help lead to long-term success. To be maximally successful, determine first where you are today by setting “baseline stats” below and then set mini-goals for the year.

Your Top 10 Triggers of Growth

1) Increase the size of your customer base – use a combination of sales, marketing and PR to develop new business.

2) Decrease your attrition rate – one of the fastest (and cheapest) ways to grow your billing is to stay close to your existing customer base and reduce the chances of them defecting to your competitor for the goods and services that you offer.

3) Increase the average number of prospecting calls per week – even if you are in inside sales, you still have prospects and previous clients you can call.

4) Increase your prospecting conversion rate – What if you could increase your appointments from one out of every five calls to two or three. It’s a combination of the right prospect, the right approach and the right message.

5) Increase your average number of sales calls each week – obviously the more calls and face-to-face presentations you make, the luckier you get.

6) Increase your sales conversion rate – you could double your business if you could increase your sales conversion rate from 20% to 40%. It’s a combination of the right prospect, the right product or program and the right approach.

7) Increase your average sale and average annual spending per account – involves a combination of suggestive selling and increasing the frequency of customer visits.

8) Increase your average weekly sales – breaking down your annual billing goals into weekly billing mini-goals provides a more manageable challenge.

9) Increase the lifetime of your customer – your goal is not to make the next sale, but to “super serve” the next customer so that they will become a customer for life.

10) Increase your referral rate – your best customers can make an advance introduction to help create warm calls.

Michael Guld is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and radio commentator whose business development expertise lies in increasing sales performance, marketing exposure, employee productivity and creating a world-class service experience. He is the president of The Guld Resource Group and creator of “Talking Business with Michael Guld,” airing on Central Virginia’s Public Radio and heard at He can be reached at (804) 360-3122 or at