As we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday, we should take time to reflect on our successes this year and the gaps we need to fill in order to increase our sales success next year. When it comes to sales, there are 3 areas to look at which can produce immediate results.
- Calling on the Right People—-So often, sales executives spend way too much time calling on people who either don’t have a legitimate need or the power to make a decision. Since time is a limited commodity for all us, you should be dedicated to spending it only with people who value what you have to offer and can either make the decision or be influential in the decision process. Sometimes, sales people call on the wrong people because they are not comfortable on calling higher level executives. Or, they may just be calling on people whom they feel comfortable talking to regardless if there is a valid business opportunity available. We do this for various reasons. Take some time to think about this and see what causes you to spend time with people who are not empowered to help you reach your goals. Identify the personal block you are facing in this area and commit to a set of actions to overcome these blocks. The results will amaze you.
- Having the Right Conversation—-Sales executives often limit their opportunities because they are playing small with their customers. They are having conversations related strictly to product features vs. outcomes. Outcomes focus on results the customer is after. This type of conversation will often lead to additional opportunities. Feature related conversations revolved around a limited set of products/services and often are commodity driven Strive to elevate your conversations to a higher level playing field. Doing so will create additional opportunities, revenues and commissions.
- Ensure Enough Activity—- This is huge!!! Sales Executives have great goals, yet their activity levels don’t often support the goals. Weak pipelines lead to weak negotiating positions. The best way to bolster one’s sales revenues is to increase their sales activities. We are talking about impacts—how many times you are in front of your customers. An impact can be a phone call, e-mail, newsletter, presentation, etc. Sales are all about timing. You need to have enough activity to support your sales goals. You also need to have enough activity to be in front of the customer at the right time when a need arises. Start asking yourself if your activities are strong enough to support your 2008 goals. If not, what are the gaps and what do you need to do differently?