How To Calculate Your Monthly Sales Projection

How do you calculate your monthly sales projection?


On the first of every month, sales managers gather all the salespeople into a room to get their sales projections. What number will you hit this month? Traditionally, salespeople have no real idea, and most are not taught how to calculate their monthly sales numbers before the month begins.

How do most salespeople calculate a sales projection?

I find that most salespeople take a look at their funnel and then make up a number out of thin air.

Example: They look at the funnel and see a total number at the bottom of $100,000. The thinking goes that the salesperson will add a few more into that number during the month, so they project $125,000. Thin air!

Real-life shows us that the above projection is a fantasy.

Allowing this fantasy to continue will frustrate a salesperson because they rarely hit that number. There has to be a formula that helps salespeople be better at this monthly process.

There is.

Experience helps

Early in my sales career, I kept meticulous notes. I tracked leads, meetings, proposals, and sales. After a while, patterns begin to emerge.

I began discussing my findings with other people and found theirs were similar. Mind you; we were all in the same industry selling to the same type of prospects. I wondered if it held for other sectors.

Then I left that industry and changed companies. I went from monthly route sales to one-off sales of equipment. The change was both harder and easier than I thought, but success came rather quickly.

Why? I knew how to figure a monthly sales projection, and I don’t remember a time I didn’t make my number. I wasn’t low-balling the forecast either. It didn’t take long for my manager to use my number when giving his team number to the Regional Vice President.

He would doctor most other numbers, but learned mine was as close as one could get in the type sales we did.

How do you get to the number?

Historical data is the secret sauce. I noticed a pattern that seems to hold for most industries (I’ve used it in four different industries) and is easy to use.

Referring to the earlier example of the salesperson with the $100,000 funnel. Real-life shows us that 1/3 will close, 1/3 will push, and 1/3 are lost. The correct projection for this person is $30,000. Yes, I know that is only 99%, and that $30,000 is not quite a third, but I like round numbers.

Using this formula is also an excellent way to increase your sales. There is magic in the numbers.

How do you increase your sales using the funnel?

How can a funnel increase your sales? Working the rule of thirds means if you improve the number of correct prospects and close the same ration of 1/3, you will increase your sales. Need to sell 100,000 per month? Increase your funnel to $300,000.

Increasing your sales funnel is the easiest way to increase your monthly sales. It’s not easy, but it is the easiest. 

Make that extra call on the way back to the office. 

Make another dial before breaking for lunch. 

Do the work for more sales.

Will some months exceed the number? Yes. Will some fall below? Yes again.

Just a rule of thumb

We all know sales is a hard business. Monthly projections are only our best guesses of what number we can confidently hit for the month. Trust me, your sales manager might grimace when you give a smaller amount, but after a few months of close, accurate numbers, they will begin to appreciate the new you.

Use the rule of thirds for yourself for a few months and see how close it gets to your actual number.

I’m betting it will be on target.

Let me know your results. I am always collecting data for sales projections accuracy.

Later we’ll discuss the other two ways I know to increase your sales.

How’s Your Attitude?

Remember Why

How’s your attitude? Is it good, bad, or somewhere in between? Do you have a “Can-do attitude?”

I wonder about things like this.

What percentage of “success” does a positive attitude bring? What is the relationship of your attitude to successfulness? Does a positive attitude mean I’m happy and cheerful? Or is it a measure of meeting my own goals. Must you always be upbeat, friendly, and bubbly to become successful?

How important to success is a great attitude?

The experts say a good, positive mental attitude is essential to a person’s success. However, we all know a lot of grumpy people that appear successful from the outside looking in.

Then that brings up the question, what is success? How do we measure attitudes and success?

We are told success is defined individually. Each person defines their own flavor of what is success.

What is your definition of success? I’m interested.

Yeti Sighting in College Station, Texas

A Yeti walked in the door, continuing to the parts department in the auto dealership. Seven feet tall with long dirty, matted hair all over its body. AND NO ONE SAW IT.

Lately, several cartoons have depicted big happenings surrounding people who don’t notice because their heads were looking down at their phones. This was a brief experience I had last week at a car dealer.

Back Story

My son and his family were on vacation and spending time with us. My son was actively looking for additional transportation since the oldest granddaughter is now sixteen.

He spotted a car of interest while perusing less than an hour away. Since the next day was his birthday, I said I would drive him over and back. This accomplished two things. He got to see and test drive a car on his list and I got to spend time with him.

We saw the car in the huge lot and walked around it to get a feel. Since he was interested in a test drive, we went to the showroom and consulted with a salesman. He found the keys, they climbed into the car and drove off into the sunrise. Since the back seat was all but non-existent, I declined and went back into the showroom to enjoy the air conditioning.

Then, as happens when you’ve finished several cups of coffee, … well, you get the idea. I walked to the front counter to ask the location of the restroom.

Cell Phones Everywhere

I approached the desk and the receptionist was on her cell phone. It was several moments before she noticed me standing there. Embarrassed, she looked up, and with my question, pointed me through the parts department to the last hallway. “Then take a left,” she said. I thanked her and headed back.

When I was returning to the showroom I noticed that the lady in the first office was on her cell phone. Then passing the second office, she was too.

Looking to my left, I noticed both Service Writers were busy checking their phones.

The Battle is Lost

The battle is lost and the war is not far behind. Here is what I remember from my work experience before the ubiquitous cell phone.

When there were no customers that needed help, we found work to do. Filing, sweeping, cleaning, sorting, whatever. Obviously, the options are different at different types of workplaces. Now the time is filled with heads down looking at social media. I’ve never worked anywhere there was not work that needed doing when the calm hit. Sometimes even preparing for the next onslaught.

I would like to see a study on how many million man-hours we lose daily to these devices.

My personal experience is no different. When I would walk into the warehouse, several people would scramble to put their phones away, while trying to look innocent. Speaking to them didn’t make a difference, neither did scolding them of writing them up. Addictions are hard to overcome.

Sadly, the only solution I found was firing people. That would help all workers in the short term but not for long.

Goals, Motivation, and Leadership

Texas Legislature in Session

One of the constants in my life had been my interest in Motivation, Leadership, Management, and Goal Setting. That interest led me to run a website and podcast back in 2005 called Motivation on the Run. It revolved around those particular interests.

Then life happened and it slowly passed into insignificance. My wife and I began a new business and made a physical move to get nearer to our new granddaughter.

Now life is happening again. I’ve wanted to revive a website and podcast on these topics but the needs of others are taking precedence. No complaints, just the facts.

So where does this leave me? With planning.

What do I want the new website and podcast to focus on? Only one aspect of the four intetests specializing on one topic? It’s difficult to pair down since all these topics are highly integrated. One cannot exist without a relationship to one or more of the others. Intertwined is the word that comes to mind.

Hince the planning. Between the mindmaps in Xmind and outlines in Evernote I can be as confused as all get out.

Confusion is my middle name the last five months.

Currently I’m in the local Whataburger having a completely free breakfast. I redeemed a reward for a taquito topped off with a senior coffee. Best deal in town.

What is the value of momentum?

Starting a spreadsheet

What is the value of momentum?

Momentum seems to become more important as we get older. It’s harder to get started, but once we get going, momentum sustains us for a time.
This article says the age for peak ambition is 33 year-old. This is disheartening for those of us who passed that mark decades ago. However, it does explain whey getting started is harder the older I get.
That’s where momentum comes in. If I can get a project rolling down the hill, it will pick up speed until the bottom. That makes me smile.

Can a Tablet Be Your Full-Time Computer?

Can a tablet be your full-time computer? That is a good question. Since a tablet is light-weight and more capable than ever, I wanted to see if it were possible. The quick answer is a resounding YES! And maybe a little no.

Recently Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have given us a boost in that direction. The new Apple iPad Pro, the Microsoft Surface Go and Pro 6, and Samsung with their DeX connection make it easy. However, I don’t have any of these devices.

What Do You Need?

What will make this a fruitful inquiry?

  1. Is the hardware available and sufficient for full-time work?
  2. Is the hardware viable with its smaller screen?
  3. Is the software applications plentiful enough?
  4. Are the software applications adequate?

Let’s Begin with Hardware

My first concern is the hardware. What do you need to begin a successful test?

  • a beautiful screen with a high resolution
  • a superb Bluetooth keyboard to connect
  • a Bluetooth mouse for quick location onscreen
  • a large monitor to connect when working at your desk

These criteria would help with the process of converting to a tablet.

ASUS Tablet & Logitech KeyboardAs readers know, I have an ASUS ZenPad 10 Android tablet. It is two years old and yet has a screen resolution higher than most current tablets at 2048 X 1536. Great screen and definitely a high enough resolution.

The Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth keyboard is still the best Bluetooth keyboard available today. The keyboard weighs nothing and is so thin it is barely there. And it still has key movement similar to my ASUS ZenBook laptop. It will fill the keyboard slot very well. I just bought a second one for my wife to use with her new tablet.

I have yet to test a Bluetooth mouse, but there are plenty of brand name and off-brand names available. From the Amazon reviews, these work well enough for this part of the hardware requirements.

Connecting a large screen is also easy to do. Amazon Basics offers a USB Type C to HDMI adapter that will handle a large monitor. Since I got rid of the last desktop computer and monitor I had, I am unable to test this part, but again, according to the Amazon reviews, this is solved.

How about the Software part of the equation?

Software is the toughest part of this test. The resounding YES! is because there are plenty of productivity apps to satisfy most users. The small no comes from the lack of availability of specialty software.

With Google Drive and its associated apps, it can handle basic computing needs. There is Docs for word processing, Sheets for spreadsheets, Slides for presentations, Forms for information gathering, Drawings for creativity, and more within this suite of products.

Even Microsoft offers versions of it’s Office Suite on the Android and Apple platforms.

I suspect this will cover most computer users on the tablet.

Publishing on the Web

Even writing specifically for the web is easy using apps provided by the different suiters. I use the WordPress app on my tablet for writing with the Keys-to-Go Bluetooth keyboard. I’ve written about this before.

I found a Medium app in the Google Play store that allows for reading and writing with the Medium website.

Miscellaneous Apps

There are apps for all of the following:

  • To Do
  • Photo editing
  • Video editing
  • Notes
  • Time management
  • Calendar
  • Voice to Text
  • Text to Voice
  • Voice recording
  • Phone recording
  • Web meeting
  • Email
  • Scanning
  • Team collaboration
  • Password managers
  • Presentation
  • and more

What is Missing

The problem comes with specialty applications. I use only a few in this category.

I’m not using these everyday, but regularly enough for them to be problematic. 

I think working on the go is possible with just a tablet, keyboard, and mouse, but I think I still need a full-fledged laptop back at home base.

Is Journaling the Secret Sauce to Success?

Daily JournalIs journaling the secret to productivity? Does our quiet time along with recording our thoughts on paper or computer really generate success?

The answer is a resounding yes if you believe all the blog articles online today. It seems that all one must do is prepare one’s mind and write it down for success and productivity to come knocking on your door. The statements are bold and predictive. It is the secret sauce.

Along with a few moments of mindfulness, journaling is one of the hottest topics on the Internet today. Don’t believe me? Google journaling and see over 42 million returns from articles and videos. Mindfulness returns more than 181 million.

These two topics seem intertwined. Apparently one requires the other to be complete.

Let’s Define the Words

What exactly is mindfulness? Here is the definition.


Learn to pronounce
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Okay, what about journaling. What defines it from other writing?

Definition of journal, journaled, journaling

to keep a personal journal to enter or record daily thoughts, experiences, etc., in a journal.
As a kid, I journaled about everything from boys to bad haircuts.— Redbook
The principal at the school says since students began journaling last year, poor behavior reports have dropped 40 percent.— Stephanie Stahl
The students engaged in several process discussions to reflect on their service-learning projects, and they journaled their reactions.— Roeper Review
It seems we come down to paying attention and recording what our attention is on. It even seems to stem poor behavior in students. That’s amazing. Why don’t we require prison inmates to journal? I think the reason is that journaling requires mindfulness.

Possible Success?

Maybe the act of asking questions and writing about it is a form of journaling. This article might just be the result of conscious awareness and recording my thoughts.
I guess that makes me a success.

I Tried to Move from Evernote to Onenote

I tried to move from Evernote to Onenote. I really did.
I rearranged notes, exported them into Onenote, and spent an entire month working only in Onenote. It was a struggle.

Not a Onenote Newbie

I first used Onenote when Microsoft released it in 2003. It was different than any software available and made organizing easy and fun. Organizing was effortless, and finding pertinent information was easy.

It was part of the Office suite in 2003 and allowed complete control and creativity. It was super.

As a salesman, it was a great way to keep notes together about a particular customer: Notes, documents, emails … all of it. I loved Onenote.

Evernote released their application in 2008 in a public beta. It made an immediate impact on the note-taking community. The buzz in the tech community was loud and clear, “you have to try this software.” So I did.

I joined the Crowd in 2009

I opened my account with Evernote in October 2009. I admit I didn’t get it. I searched for articles and information on how to set up and use Evernote. I found a lot of information on the ways people were using Evernote. Soon, it became my “go to” application for information storage.

Along with many others, I became upset with Evernote when they changed up the plans. I had been a “free” user for years, and they removed the one feature I used all the time … email to Evernote.

So what did I do? I upgraded to the lowest paid plan. Then later to the highest personal plan. Why? I finally got it.

Still an Amateur

I’m still an amateur user compared to most with only 3300 notes, but it grows every day.

Have you switched from one to the other? I’d like to hear about your experience.