How to Guarantee a Permanent Improvement in Sales Results – Part 4
Hello and welcome back. In the last 3 parts to this collection of blogs we have looked at problems Sales Leaders are experiencing today and how to address the issues raised, beginning with the importance of Planning and Direction and Lack of Essential Skills.
In this blog we cover a key issue, sales people’s activities.
Failure to follow up on sales people’s activities reduces efficiency and consequently results. There isn’t a sales person I know who has enough time to complete all they want to in a working week!
Typical factors include:
Inefficient activity – careful use of selling time is probably the distinguishing character of a successful sales person. Often the pitfalls are that they just aren’t doing enough. But, what is enough? The sales people with more focused sales activities typically generate the greater number of sales opportunities.
Poor quality activity – sales people are often unclear on how to identify the prospects with genuine requirements. Without an objective way to prioritise which clients to contact first or an efficient strategy when contacting them means that they are doomed to waste a large percentage of their time through lack of efficiency.
Another dilemma is how to divide their time between existing clients and generating new business – often a sales person may get diverted, tending to urgent tasks which could be dealt with by someone else.
Harder rather than smarter – this is what most sales people try to do ‘give more get more’. Begs the question – are your sales activities deciding your strategy? Or is your strategy deciding your sales activity?
Managing existing clients – without a sustained approach to ongoing service and support, customers that took months to win are ultimately lost.
A few solutions:
Pareto’s 80:20 rule – sales achieved today were only made possible by activities in the past. So it makes sense that what you do today will realise your future sales results. Take the opportunity to improve your results by undertaking Activity Based Planning to implement an effective prospecting system.
Implement a prospect rating system – the more accounts a sales person has to manage means that there is less time devoted to prospecting. A prospect rating system will determine which prospect to contact first becoming more efficient with huge time saving results.
When planning your sales activities the following questions must be answered fully:
- When looking at potential customers, how do your sales people decide if they are right for your organisation?
- Which prospects do sales people contact first?
- How can your sales people objectively define the possibility of new business?
- What actions do your sales people take to reduce the risk of losing their customers?
- What actions do your sales people take to develop new business from existing customers?
Only when sales leaders have clear, comprehensive answers for all these questions can real, effective management begin!
Thanks for reading Part 4 of How to Guarantee a Permanent Improvement in Sales Results. Part 5 will focus on ‘Allowing Limited Beliefs’ which constrain performance and limits sales results – but there are solutions to help with this that will be discussed. Thank you for following.
To download a summary of the research click here.
Thank you for your time, if you wish to get in touch, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org