The Three Fundamental Rules for Your Sales Staff

By Oli Luke

We’ve been on a huge recruitment drive across my three businesses over the past six months, hiring 19 people at the time of writing this.

I struggle to imagine life without some of them at the moment.

But when I look at the members of staff that have made the biggest leverage to our sales/success – it’s sales staff.

We have two of them, one in each of two of the businesses.

In this article, I want to share the three key things that we’ve implemented to support them and how we’re getting a great return from them.

  1. The Ten Minute Maximum Call Back

Every time that we get a quote come in, somebody fills in a contact form or somebody requests a sample pack … our sales guys are tasked with calling them immediately.

Ideally, they get a call within 30 seconds of clicking the submit button – but we have a 10-minute maximum.

We can then ask what they’re looking for, best help them and strike whilst they’re hot.

You see, we’re in a world where everything is expected to be immediate.

The problem is, most businesses take hours or even days to get back to quotes or enquiries (if they get back at all).

The scary truth is, you could probably order sex with a stranger online quicker than you can get a reply from most businesses.

But the speed of reply massively impacts the chance of whether or not the lead becomes a client.

Invoco (who are a brilliant UK telecom company – great for anything from tracking numbers to full telephone services – they installed all of our phones) recently published some stats which were interesting.


Conversion Rate
Phone enquiries answered first time 83%
Website call back requests/missed calls returned within 10 minutes 73%
Website call back requests/missed calls returned within 90 minutes 57%
Website call back requests/missed calls returned within 4 hours 45%
Website call back requests/missed calls returned longer than 4 hours 17%


Look at the difference in conversion from the calls that were answered immediately/responded to immediately, compared to those that were replied to just four hours later.

Seriously, if you currently reply to quotes within about four hours, you have potential to almost double your sales by getting your team to reply within ten minutes.

Yeah, you might have to have an awkward chat with your sales team and they probably won’t like it – but this is the difference between growing a business that can be sold for millions or stumbling along with small profits.

2. Managing Leads Efficiently

We purchased a license of a tool called PipeDrive (

It’s seriously good. If you have any form of team that handles sales, then it’s well worth having in place.

It allows you to manage where all leads are up to with your sales process, which is great for the person chasing the leads and great for you to know where everybody is up to.

Here’s a quick screenshot of ours.

As you can see, we have different pipes.

We have “Lead In” (when somebody requests a sample, they’re automatically dropped in here).

We then have different categories as we send them the sample, follow-up the sample, quote them, chase quote and have quote accepted.

From within here, we can also schedule calls/appointments, make notes on each individual lead and manage our emails from within.

It’s a brilliant piece of kit that allows us to stay on top of where we’re up to and ensure we’re not dropping the ball with any leads and there are no holes in our bucket.

I find that a lot of sales people just work from spreadsheets – this keeps everything clean and it costs something stupid like $24.00/month (14 day free trial also)

3. Setting Targets

We’ve been very clear about our targets.

We could targets based on actions (how many calls they make, etc.) or how much cash they bring in – we decided on the latter as it’s the only real important factor.

We’ve set three different targets.

  1. Minimum acceptable standard – this is the bare minimum that he can achieve – anything less than this and we have problems
  2. True target – this is the target that we’re aiming for – we’ll be happy with him if he meets this number.
  3. Stretch target – this is a big target which if he hits, we’re all going to a football game and an evening on the beers (I hope he hits it for multiple reasons!)

These targets are on a big whiteboard in the office and we have an end-of-month management meeting to discuss/review.

That’s it.

These are the three big things that ensure all leads are managed correctly, they’re followed up efficiently and that we’re focused on targets.

If you have sales staff in your business, I encourage you to put some of the above in place.



700k campaign


The “Take-Away” Direct Mail Campaign That Generated $700,000 of Sales from a Small Burnt-Out Email List (Without Having Any of the Subscribers Postal Details).

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700k campaign

Swipe Files & Campaign Walkthrough

The “Take-Away” Direct Mail Campaign That Generated $700,000 of Sales from a Small Burnt-Out Email List (Without Having Any of the Subscribers Postal Details).

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