Sales reps. – No focus, No activity (you got it) No business
A HIGH ACTIVITY LEVEL IS KEY TO SUCCESS
Most successful sales reps. keep high activity levels. They have a lot of face-to-face meetings with customers and know how important it is to focus on clear deliverables and outputs of the meetings.
A story from a friend
“I know from extensive trial and error that this is really the truth. In my early days I didn’t know where to find my customers, or how to relate to a sales process.
My knowledge of our product was poor and I didn’t have a clue about how to close a deal. At sales staff meetings I was frightened by how our top manager shouted at us for not delivering results.
I won’t utter the words that was literally yelled to our faces although I can tell you this much, this manager was the real deal and I literally feared for loosing my job.
Right then and there I took a vow, to be the best I could ever be. So instead of giving up I paid my dues! I made 60 phone calls á day for an entire month. That eventually made it possible for me to close 148 new customers to our company. Even so the amazing results, still, the biggest eye-opener was that I realised how activity is the magic sauce to great sales results. I had originally imagined that knowledge was the real key to success, I was wrong.”
“ACTIVITY IS THE ANSWER TO HIGH SALES RESULTS”
It doesn’t matter how good you are at rhetoric, presenting, writing, or even how good your offer is. If you are not out there, telling the world about your thing, no one will ever know about it, and you’ll leave the field open for the competitors.
It is too common among sales people to sit behind the desk waiting for the customer to act for them. With all due respect however, that’s what clerks do.
Another critical issue is the acknowledgement of customers’ true needs. Too often are too much emphasis laid on the offer, the solution, the service, the product, the goods; basically the everything but the needs of the customer.
One can only meet expectations when expectations are known. So find out what they need and focus on over-delivering on their expectations. Now remember, not all people are truly aware of their own needs, and as an expert in your field you’re the one to help them realise what they really needs.
A rule of thumb is to ask “why” at least 5 times, to get to the real reason behind a given statement. Try it out next time you’re trying to figure out what needs your customer really have, you’ll be surprised how well it works.
5 critical keys to find out a customers true needs:
1) product knowledge
4) perseverance and
5) ask “why” at least 5 times…
FOCUS GIVES YOU RESULTS AND PROGRESS
If you have an empty pipeline, the first thing you should ask yourself is “What have I really going on?” So many authors have written books about keeping focus and why doing just that is an important fact for being successful in any field.
It is easy to fill a day with activities however being “busy” have never made anyone successful.
“WHAT I AM DOING RIGHT NOW, WILL IT BRING ME ANY CLOSER TO MY TARGET?”
It’s recommend that you continuously ask yourself the question, “The thing I am doing right now, will it bring me closer to my target?”
If the answer is no, stop doing what your doing. No one can blame you for prioritizing your goal. No one shouldn’t, anyway.
PERSONAL FOCUS & CONTROL INCREASE YOUR CHANCES
To stay focused and perform prioritized tasks and opportunities sales reps. need to be on top of the following:
- Have a daily personal to-do-list based on your personal pipeline and the status of each of your opportunities
- Easily document your meeting progress and next step, directly after your appointment
- A way to overview necessary activities without having to guess how far you have come in the sales process (Preferably have a tool that automatically sets the opportunity progress based on what activities that have made)
- Get clear view of what steps are made and what steps that actually remains for each opportunity
- Get a clear view of needed appointments, calls, dials, work hours to reach your target.
- Get a view of how many new opportunities you need to add before a certain date unless you want to miss your over all target.
- Know your numbers; deal size, deal time, prioritized opportunities, profit and of course your usual forecast figures like both gross and net pipeline.
If you remove everything that stands in your way of reaching your target and you still have plenty of time left in your calendar, fill it with activities that will bring you way past your target.
The classic way to stay focused in a sales organization is usually to lean on one or more of the following
- Yearly plans and budgets
- Quarterly plans
- Weekly Monday morning group meeting
- Weekly individual follow-up appointments
- Daily follow-up calls between the Sales Director and the sales reps.
- Personal to-do-lists on weekly or daily basis
These manual and time consuming ways of gaining control and keeping focused tend to create unwanted and much unneeded friction between Managers and sales reps.
A team that is not working in harmony will always perform less than the team that works together and supports each other. These manual ways of working make it hard for Sales Directors to assist the sales reps. in keeping them focused through out the days. Better results calls for a better approach.
“INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT” – Albert Einstein
Once you have trained yourself or your sales rep to stay focus you can start thinking about adapting your sales process to each client, as described in this article, but not before !