Building a disciplined sales plan to boost propane gallons

September 15, 2016 By    

The United States propane marketer segment is composed of thousands of independent propane companies.

In many cases, these are family businesses or small startups with owners who are familiar with the technical elements of the propane delivery business but lack needed knowledge about sales processes that will increase a sales team’s productivity levels. Sales productivity improvement will have a significant, positive impact on their new customer gains, and it will also drive a reduction in their cost to acquire new customers.

The sales profession is not an art; it’s a science. It’s not a personality type; it’s a business discipline. I’ve met too many “sales reps” in the propane industry who tell me they were selected for the sales position because they are a “people person.” They are outgoing; people love them, and they love to talk to people. They have a sales personality. Many were previously drivers, technicians or customer service representatives.

I began my career as a driver, as well, and I am a people person. However, personality alone won’t get your annual new-customer objective. In fact, unless you have a clear, accurate understanding of the metrics, variables and success factors that drive your results, you’ll be running blind and will likely fail. Worst of all, you won’t know why you failed or how to correct your approach.

Consistent, reliable sales success requires a plan. It doesn’t have to be a complicated plan. It involves simple, common-sense math. It’s a formula that takes into consideration your annual objective, how many new customers (and additional volume from existing customers) you need in order to achieve your objective. Once quantified, the effort needed is tied to specific, calendared milestones to provide visibility and accountability to the plan and to allow for adjustments on the fly.

Add that plan to your industry experience and winning personality, and you are on the way to increased sales. For the business owner, the increase in individual sales productivity will result in accelerated new revenues and a reduced cost to acquire new customers.

Monte Bambrough is a self-employed sales productivity coach and speaker. He can be reached at or 585-364-8939.

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