Some of you may be old enough to remember Janet Jackson’s hit song, “What Have You Done For Me Lately”. The title is certainly relevant for all of us in the selling profession. We must not forget that 2017 deals, regardless of how big or sweet they were, will soon be a distant memory. With a new year we need to roll up our sleeves and start anew.
TO ALL SALES EXECUTIVES: hopefully you already have written, shared and agreed with your managers on your annual business plan where you have stated your objectives, spelled out your strategy and tactics, along with list of activities that will get you to the President’s Club. If you haven’t yet, this is as good a time as any. Spend a couple of days to write down your ideas and build your 2018 success roadmap. I said write it down because having the most brilliant idea in the world means nothing if it only exists in your head. Now is probably the only time you have the luxury to look at the big picture and be strategic because once the madness starts you probably have little time for long term planning.
The most important part of your plan is, or should be, the answer to the question: “how am I going to fill my well-balanced sales pipeline with quality opportunities that will help me succeed in the new year?”. The question naturally brings up the very important subject of sales prospecting.
As the leading revenue growth service provider in the region we are often brought in to help sales organizations setup a prospecting framework, and improve activity outcome. Having developed a highly effective executive prospecting framework and methodology that we deliver as a one day workshop + onsite coaching, we have been successful in improving prospecting results by as much as 300% within two weeks.
Below I like to share some of my learnings about sales prospecting that should help you be more effective and successful in the new year.
I want to warn you that some of my statements may not align well with the latest sales talking points and the ‘Sales 2.0’ crowd who claim that prospecting is dead, and you no longer need to proactively engage prospects. Believe me, I have heard all the arguments for and against.
It’s no walk in the park: Prospecting is, and always will be hard work because it is full of rejection, interrupting people in a world filled with interruptions and people fed up with being interrupted. Having said that, prospecting is one of the most crucial activities in selling and can make or break an organization.
No need to be Einstein: Prospecting is not a complex task. Some companies and self-proclaimed sales leaders try to make it more complex than it is. Prospecting is simply about one human being reaching out to another human being through phone, video, email or social media and initiating a conversation.
It’s all in the execution: In prospecting execution is everything. regardless of the quality of your list, business plan or your high level goals, if you don’t execute your prospecting activities well you are wasting precious time and resources.
The key to effective execution is 100% focus on the task, discipline, minimum distraction and positive attitude. We have developed a very effective sales prospecting technique program titled The Winning Formula that will get you as high as 40% success rate (industry average success rate is .5% – 3%) in your cold reach. The only reason you can get such amazing success rate is our major emphasis on building the right discipline and behaviors.
Often we are brought in to help improve the sales prospecting outcome of a sales or business development team. We simply observe the team members execute their prospecting activities and we identify dozens of distractions such as having email application open, having the cell phones blinking and jolting constantly, colleagues or managers stopping by for a chat, social media apps open…etc. All these distractions will reduce prospecting effectiveness by as much as 90%. SPEND 50% LESS TIME ON PROSPECTING AND GET 500% BETTER OUTCOME SIMPLY BY PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
Sales is a numbers game: We have all heard it before. You find direct correlation between the level of success of a sales person and the level of his/her Sales generation activities. You do more prospecting, you will have bigger pipeline, and done right you will close more deals. Of course, this is no rocket science but it is amazing how many times I hear sales people complain about their pipeline, the list quality, marketing department’s shortcomings, poor lead quality…etc. and never touch on the fact that their personal level of activity is anemic at best.
DON’T WAIT! Start building your 2018 pipeline by following my simple and effective prospecting technique (The Winning Formula) that can increase your prospecting success rate by as much as 500% in a few weeks. I will lay out for you why and how the technique works and show you what you need to get started in the next three emails that you will send you in the next three weeks.
Do you want to avoid a year of uphill battle in filling your sales pipeline and struggle to close every deal in your thin pipeline? Contact us for a 30-minute conversation with real impact on your business.
About the author:
Mark Ghaderi is an author, sales coach, mentor, entrepreneur and social selling evangelist with twenty five years of driving business results across the globe.
Vital Strategies Pte Ltd. Provides Revenue Growth Services to companies across the APAC region, helping organizations to grow their top line through digital transformation and improving sales execution.
contact us at: email@example.com