A few years ago, I used to work with a company called The TAS Group. They invented something called the Sales Velocity Equation, a metric for sales effectiveness.

It was a really simple and powerful way of thinking about how effective a sales person or organisation you are. In a nutshell, your sales velocity for a given time period (let’s say a quarter) is proportional to the total number of qualified deals you work during the period, multiplied by the average deal size, multiplied by the percentage of deals that you win, the total then divided by the average sales cycle length for those won deals during that period. It’s all about speed, the implication being that if in the next period you can improve the factors above the line and reduce the sales cycle length, your speed – or sales effectiveness – increases. Good, huh?

On a number of occasions I suggested that the natural corollary to this is the buyer velocity equation, but my thoughts were not bought into, which is fair enough. I think it still has merit though.

If you’re a B2B buyer – and I suppose you could think too about yourself as a B2C customer or consumer, offline or online, though it’s nowhere near as elegant – you want to be as productive a buyer as you can.

It follows, then, that your productivity within a certain period is a function of the number of projects you have tabled, the average size of those projects, the amount of projects you get off the ground, and the length of time from project conception to project kick-off, or even to project completion. The greater the projects volume and project size, the greater the percentage of projects you get off the ground, and the quicker you get them off the ground, the more productive a buyer you are.

Make sense to me anyway. In the same way as the sales velocity equation, it helps you strip away the waste and the unnecessary and focus on the small number of important levers of success.