What’s Your Social Sales Latte Factor?

I’m a fan of David Bach’s financial books. In his masterpiece,Automatic Millionaire, he talks about the “latte factor”. The premise is that people will often say that they don’t make enough money to save, but if you look deeper it is because they are wasting money in other areas of their life. Like on latte’s at Starbucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I get that Starbucks is more than the coffee. It’s also about the experience. It’s a hip place to hold a meeting or perhaps work on planning for your next sales call. The question is have you considered the personal financial impact that your daily specialty coffee habit can have?  Bach shows people how a $4.00 a day cup of coffee could be a huge boost to their savings account over time. Do the math yourself.  It’s about $1,000 for coffee 5 days a week throughout the year. What if you put that money in a money market account with compound interest…well, you need to read David’s book to see where you’d be in 5, 10 and 20 years.

What does this have to do with sales?

The same “latte factor” analogy can be applied to evaluting the effectivesness of your lead generation efforts. Daily sales activities can be broken down and quantified into real dollars. Determine the “cost per sales hour” (CPSH) for all members of your sales team. You need to know exactly how much actual selling time is required to achieve revenue goals. Sales managers often overlook the importance of knowing the CPSH, but until they do, they won’t truly understand the impact of wasted time on the sales bottom line. It is expensive when sales people are not maximizing their lead generation time to the fullest.

Do a little digging

It can be easy to fall into a comfortable routine of simply networking at local business associations and chamber meetings. While these may be good, the best sales people do not assume. They also do not confuse activities with effectiveness. Attending a lot of “networking meetings” doesn’t necessarily mean that you are effectively generating leads and closing sales.

Here are a few of the questions that managers need to be asking their sales people:

  • Where are you spending the most time and why?
  • How many leads have come from your attendance?
  • Have we closed any business as a direct result?
  • What other networking opportunities could you be leveraging? Hint: social media, mastermind groups

Review sales networking activities carefully and often. Ironically the ROI of social media is often questioned; yet, these same sales professionals who question social media’s value waste time attending all the wrong networking events, but believe themselves to be successfully selling.

Determine your social sales latte factor. Figure out where your time needs to be invested elsewhere and watch those lead generation efforts start paying off!

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