The most successful B2B sales people all focus on 3 key areas:
Incorporating these 3 disciplines into your daily, weekly and monthly activity will immediately separate you from the 50% plus of sales people who reportedly do not hit their targets. We see it time and again at our Sales Academy Programme that once sales people start focusing on these 3 key areas they start to unlock their real potential.
Whether you call them leads or prospects, to be successful in sales you need to build a ‘pipeline’ of opportunities. Experience tells us that there is an ideal sales pipeline size for every industry and sales situation. Your first priority is to determine how big that should be for your sales situation. When the pipeline is too big sales people tend to ‘burn’ through leads and miss obvious opportunities to sell. When the pipeline of prospects becomes too small sales people often invest too much time on low-value opportunities out of desperation to make a sale.
Once you have established the size of your ideal sales pipeline (e.g. 25, 35, 50 or 75 leads) set that as one of your key metrics (KPI’s) and hold yourself accountable to achieving that measure month in and month out. Maintaining the optimum size of your pipeline throughout the year will avoid the ‘boom bust’ cycle experienced by many sales people.
The most successful sales people utilise a range of tools to reach new prospects and engage with potential customers. Modern digital sales strategies are increasingly important, however many of the traditional tools are still mandatory (i.e. you still can’t beat picking up the phone). To build and maintain your sales pipeline you need to be utilising the phone, the full suite of digital tools, as well as building strong partnership relationships & networks to identify quality prospects.
Take action now:
- Determine the ideal size of your sales pipeline
- Set this number as a key KPI & hold yourself accountable
- Utilise a range of tactics & tools to build and maintain your pipeline (including traditional phone based, networking, digital & social selling tools & tactics)
- Increase your activity rates and watch your pipeline build
One of the biggest reasons sales people fall short of their targets is the lack of an effective, tested, measurable sales system or process. A sales process is the deliberate, step-by-step process you follow to engage with prospects, and walk them systematically through the journey to becoming a customer and then advocate.
The most effective sales processes are replicable, scalable and measurable, and must be focused on the ‘buyer’s journey’ and not reverting to a ‘set and forget’ approach.
Improving the quality of interactions (e.g. ‘touch points’) with potential clients will directly improve your sales conversion rates.
Take action now:
- Map your ideal sales process/system & track your conversion rate at each step of the journey
- Reflect & learn from each and every customer interaction
- Always remember that the fussier you are (who you spend time with & how you invest your time) - the faster your sales will grow
The results you will achieve tomorrow will have little to do with what you did today or even yesterday. But they will have a lot to do with what you did last week, last month and even the last 3 months.
As a sales professional, you wake up at the start of each day with the same 24 hours at your disposal as everyone else. And you start each new week and each new month with the exact same amount of time & opportunity as everyone else.
Therefore, it is entirely logical then that the major determinant in sales results is your ability to be fully focused on the things that matter, on what activities you choose to focus on and how you choose to spend your time.
The truth is that you become what you focus on; and what you focus on expands (e.g. some people only see problems, others only ever see opportunities; some see the glass as being half full, others see it as has empty)
Get clear on who the best opportunities are for you and your business. Identify the best people, networks and relationships you to target and work with and create your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Too often sales people take a scattergun approach, are having meetings with the wrong companies and waste their time and energy trying to persuade people to purchase from them who will never do so.
Your time, energy and attention is your most precious resource. Use it wisely by only focusing on working with the right target companies, knowing who the key decision makers are, and understanding if they have the pain points that allow your offering to be something of interest.
Take action now:
- Identify your ideal customer profile (ICP)
- Filter your current sales pipeline and weed out those who don’t fit your criteria
- Plan your work, work your plan
- Start your day with the most important actions first
- Track your activities & outcomes
- Build a cadence or rhythm in to your week & month
- Invest all of your focus & energy on quality relationships, prospects and opportunities
- Never stop learning (commit to being a life-time learner)
Sounds simple, doesn’t it! But the truth is driving consistent sales results takes a lot of effort and there is much more to learn and to improve on. For this reason, we have developed the Sales Academy, enabling sales people to keep learning and improving, and continually build on their results. The problem with traditional sales training is that it is usually delivered in blocks that deliver large amounts of content, most of which are soon forgotten, and little (if any) is implemented.
Most of us do not learn like that and instead learn by reinforcing knowledge slowly, consistently over a period of time AND by immediate putting in to practice our new learnings and insights.
Introducing the Sales Academy which starts with a foundation day and then followed by short, focused sessions of 2.5 hours/month, each and every month throughout the year. The outcome is constant learning & improvement; reinforcing new ideas, strategies and habits; consistent energy & momentum throughout the year; and an inspired peer-to-peer community of fellow sales professionals.
Next foundation day is Wednesday, April 17, 8.30am - 5pm.