- December 8, 2017
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
You can be more effective and more efficient selling in 2018, do every single thing I wrote about in this article, exactly as I wrote it, and without any difficulty, by making a conscious decision to follow this blueprint. It’s not hard. It’s not scary. It’s not unusual. It’s not even thought-provoking. It’s simply a list of best practices that great salespeople (top 5%) do and that crappy (46%) salespeople either don’t do consistently or don’t do it at all.
The ideal sales day begins the previous evening. Looking ahead to tomorrow, how many meetings do I have, which of those are sales related, how many items on the to-do list must be completed, how many proposals are due, and how many emails must I respond to before the day begins? Based on all of that, how early do I need to set the alarm? For me, most mornings it’s for 5:30 AM.
Upon awakening, I like to begin the day inside CRM (we love Membrain) so that I can see all of my opportunities, the stage of the pipeline they are in, identify those I must move along, and who is waiting on me for something.
Next, I need to identify my prospecting time for the day. That’s when I’ll do the required work on those opportunities that need attention and schedule new meetings. On most days, I have less than an hour of time for this so I need to be prepared to be ultra productive. I can’t afford to spend an hour attempting to reach potential new clients since even for me it will take 10-15 attempts to reach a CEO or Sales VP so it’s crucial to actually connect with prospects during this time. I begin with introductions, move to referrals, then to inbound leads from appropriately titled decision makers, and back-fill with LinkedIn connections and other inbound leads. I only want to schedule future calls – not spend time talking with them today. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a steady supply of introductions, referrals and inbound leads to call, you need a way to be more efficient than cold calling and I recommend that you use ConnectAndSell. In an hour of calling they’ll help you connect to an average of 7 prospects whereas attempting to reach prospects on your own might not yield 7 connections in an entire day.
It’s still early so this is the ideal time to respond to emails that I didn’t get to yesterday, those that came in over night, and those where I need to be proactive.
Finally, there are the scheduled sales calls. For brand new opportunities, what do I need to know about them, their company, their industry and our common connections before we speak? What is the desired outcome for each call? What is the game plan to get there?
Sales Calls or Meetings
These days almost everything I do is by phone or video conference and that holds true for sales calls as well. If I want to achieve a predictable outcome then all I have to do is have a great conversation that faithfully follows our sales process, reaching the required milestones along the way. One of the things that I love about Membrain is that the sales process, milestones, scorecards and playbooks for each milestone are on the screen during the call. Companies that are in sales training, learning sales process and/or methodology, introducing playbooks, on boarding new salespeople, incorporating integrated CRM, or getting veteran salespeople to change the way they do things gain an additional benefit or 3 from these features.
What Can Go Wrong?
There is very little that can go wrong when you prepare like this. Surely, some calls will cancel or reschedule, some prospects will be unqualified, some opportunities may be poor fits, and some prospects won’t want to share answers to your questions. You can’t control any of that stuff but you can prepare for it. Read this article to better understand how to use your unexpected free time.
I receive a few incoming cold calls and schedule a few sales calls or meetings with salespeople calling on my companies each week and here’s what I can tell you about them. They. All. Suck. No exceptions. Here’s why:
When salespeople are scheduled to have an actual sales call with me all they want to do is pitch, present and demo. Does anyone, other than those salespeople that we train, actually use a consultative approach to sell?
Armed with an effective approach, appropriate planning, effective sales process and methodology, supportive sales tools and good scores in all 21 Sales Core Competencies, you will succeed.
Image Copyright iStock Photos