Sales is a Numbers Game!

Selling Technique: Learn the numbers behind an acquisition rate and a conversion rate

Learn how to compute an Acquisition Rate and a Conversion Rate.


Home - USReference Sales Training Free Internet Advertising Been There - Done That eBook
Internet Web Design Resource Internet Reference Resource Free SEO eBook



Your Name:*
Your Email:*

Sales is absolutely a Numbers Game!

© 2007 David Peterson

As my career as a salesman, sales manager, and small business owner has unfolded I have had the opportunity to interview 100s upon 100s of sales candidates and look at many business opportunities.

As a sales manager I will describe the job to a prospective candidate. I typically sense that I have a good candidate if they ask what it takes to be successful at that job.

The number one quality that a candidate needs is an obsession with the numbers. To use the old cliché – sales is a numbers game.

Every sales representative and every business owner needs to know how many phone calls it will take to get a prospect. They also need to know how many prospects you will need to get a customer.

These are two totally different numbers.

A raw email list or a raw call list in your hands is not a prospect list. A raw list is a list of suspects. Once you get the suspects engaged into your sales process you can then and only them classify those people as prospects.

This is where a lot of new business owners fail. They fail to recognize the difference between a suspect and a prospect. They fail to recognize there is a ton of effort required to produce a prospect.

Before you can classify someone as a prospect you first have to call or email the 100 suspects on the list provided to you or bought by you. You then have to call a different group of 100 suspects’ everyday. After about a month you will get a feel of what type of numbers that your list of suspects will provide.

Since every type of suspect list you use can be of a different quality you have to keep track of that number as it presents itself to you.

This can be very boring stuff. But if you plan on keeping your sales job or if you plan on getting your business off the ground you have to read on!

Let’s look at an example:

An entry level MLM or Network Marketing list may cost you about $5 per 100 leads. These are typically the email only list. If you emailed 100 people every working day with this same type of list that would cost you about $100 since we typically have 20 working days in a month.

Over our month you would have sent out about 2,000 emails. Of those maybe 9% of the people were impressed enough to open the email, and then 2% of those people that open the email actually “clicked through” to your website. Of the 2% that went to your site maybe 25% of that click through group converted to a Prospect by filling out an RFI (Request for Information) on your website.

Here is the breakout of the numbers in this example:

  • Total Cost = $100
  • Total Number of Suspect Leads = 2,000
  • Total Impressions (2,000 * 9%) = 180
  • Click Through Rate (180 Opened Emails * 2%) = 3.6
  • Conversion Rate (3.6 Prospects / 2,000 Leads) = 0.18% (that is 2/10ths of 1% if you are counting)
  • Cost per Conversion ($100 / 3.6 prospects generated) = $27.78
  • If you are following me right now in this example then for every prospect you get engaged into your sales process it will cost you $27.78.
  • Now it gets easy. We actually have 3.6 prospects to call.

For every 3.6 prospects we call maybe 1 will actually allow us to proceed with the sales process. And that 1 prospect eventually closes and becomes a customer.

Here are the numbers to close the sale.

  • Total Cost = $100
  • Total Number of Prospect Leads = 3.6
  • Total Calls = 3.6 (If you don’t plan on calling them stop right here, you just through your $100 out the window.)
  • Total Closings = 1
  • Close Rate (1 Customer / 3.6 Prospects) = 27.7% (not bad!)
  • Acquisition Rate ($100 / 1 Customer) = $100

The bottom line in our “numbers game” is that the cost to acquire a customer (Acquisition Rate) in our example is $100. For every one hundred dollars you spend you will get one customer.

The other calculation in our “numbers game” is that my Cost per Conversion on this suspect list is $27.78 per prospect lead.

Neither one of these numbers should be surprising. To succeed in sales you have to know what the numbers are.

There are only two ways to know what the numbers are and really only one or those two is the absolute sure way to know the numbers.

#1 Ask! 

Ask your boss, your up-line, or other business owners. Try to network with other people selling your same product. Ask the person selling you the suspect list.

#2 Test! 

Testing is the only way to be sure what the numbers will be. Since each type of suspect list you purchase will have a different Cost per Conversion and a different Acquisition Rate you have to test the list to know for sure.

Either Ask or Test. Do not go into your new opportunity blindly.

Imagine going into a new job and not realizing that it will really take 100 calls to get 1 customer. If you are not used to making 100 calls then you have applied to the wrong job posting.

Imagine starting a new Network Marketing business and not realizing that it will cost $100 and take one month to get one customer. Do you have $100 to spend? Do you have a month to wait? Can you spend $200 to get 2 customers in a month? Will two customers produce enough revenue to cover the cost?

Sales is absolutely a numbers game! Do not go into your new venture blindly. Go in with an open set of eyes on target. Know what your Acquisition Rates and your Conversion Rates are before you go broke or get fired.


David Peterson

David Peterson

Author of: 

Been There - Done That

David Peterson's Search Engine Optimization Guide

Please send all correspondence to:


Been There - Done That





This eBook is filled with actual case studies that will show you the mistakes that can happen when starting a business. Why make these same mistakes that I already have made ! Save yourself the time, energy, and money.


Order Now!

Been There - Done That by David Peterson



David Peterson's Search Engine Optimization Guide for the Beginning Webmaster is a MUST read!

Do you have unlimited funds to spend on Pay Per Click Advertising?


 Get your free copy of David Peterson's SEO guide by clicking here.

David Peterson's Search Engine Opitimization Guide