There are a gazillion new books, magazines and blog posts giving sales advice. Each one seems to take on a new phrase, new framework or new methodology. Few resources ever advise you on the things you need to STOP doing.
A small business CEO faces a daunting schedule with a multitude of demands on their time, and often sales is high on the agenda. Pruning the activities that do not contribute to a successful sales program can free you to be a more impactful leader.
Here are a few things you can stop doing to help you focus on the most productive activities:
1. Stop reacting to the inbox. Don’t let the email inbox, texts and voicemails drive priorities for yourself or your sales people. Avoid the pitfall of reactive work. Set clear activity goals that will advance each sales opportunity. For example, make five cold calls to prospects each day.
2. Stop falling off balance. All too often, sales people spend too much time with sales activities within one phase of the selling process. For example, the excitement of closing deals can quickly become the dominant force and you find it difficult to invest time in beginning new relationships for future opportunities. Ensure you have proper tools in place to constantly evaluate a balanced sales pipeline.
3. Stop procrastinating. Develop a sales system based on specific steps in the selling process. Commit to these steps even if there are tasks you would rather avoid. Developing a consistent rhythm of work, and managing the selling process, is the surest way to reach the sales goals of your small business.
4. Stop pursuing every viable lead. Knowing your ideal client profile and developing a pipeline of likely targets will help you ensure you are focused on the most profitable and successful relationships. This also forces you to understand the leads that do NOT represent the best work. Jeff and Chad Koser’s book, Selling to Zebras, demonstrates the power of improving your focus on the ideal client.
As a CEO you need to understand the key challenges of your sales people. And the best way to reach your goals is help other people reach theirs. What are the things that sales people should stop in your team?
About The Guest Author: Urmas Purde is co-founder of Pipedrive, a sales CRM. He has more than a decade’s worth of experience in helping people sell more, as a sales trainer and software entrepreneur.
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