Sales Tip: The Waterfall Exercise

Sales Tip: The Waterfall Exercise

Published on

Mark Shonka

Mark Shonka Mark Shonka

Many of us in sales and relationship management positions are looking ahead to 2023 and setting our goals - revenue, retention, close rate, margin on sales and retention, new logos (new customer commitments), share of customer wallet, etc. As we consider our targets, it's critical to determine how we will get there. After all...

it is the activity that drives the result.

A "waterfall" exercise can be a helpful way to develop an activity plan. Start with your target and work your way down to identify the critical activities needed to achieve the target. As an example:

If your target is to deliver a certain amount of revenue:

What is your average deal size?
Given your average deal size, how many deals do you need to drive?

To drive that many deals, how many proposals do you need to deliver and how many decision makers do you need to identify/access?
If you want to deliver that many proposals, how many opportunities do you need to identify?
To identify that many opportunities:

How many coach relationships do you need to develop?
How many research calls do you need to conduct?
How many people do you have to contact to request a research meeting?
How many contacts do you need to identify?

Every situation is unique, as are the specific activities needed to attain an objective - but the principle applies. This exercise clarifies the effort needed to hit the target. Once you clarify the needed effort, you can start to consider the timing of the individual activities and develop a quarterly/monthly/weekly plan. With this type of plan in place, its easier to focus on the key drivers of your success.

Stay Inspired

Tactics, strategies, articles, guides, tools and more for sales professionals and leaders


Drive growth with your value-based organization