SAMUEL SAYS: PLANNING AND DISCIPLINE ARE KEY TO SALES SUCCESS.
You’ve heard it a thousand times: Fail to plan, or plan to fail.
There’s a reason that adages like this become common – they’re true.
I know that as successful sales people, we are the best and brightest, but even seasoned pros need to be reminded of the basics. It’s easy to let a day get away from you and then wonder at 5pm, “What did I accomplish today?” Don’t let the daily grind get you to that point.
My dog Samuel attacked every task at the vineyard with excitement. Whether we were bottling and labeling wine, or greeting visitors in the tasting room, to him, every time he did something was as exciting as the first time. How did he keep that enthusiasm? Well, for one, he was a dog. Everything was exciting, everything was a party.
But how can we, as mere humans, keep that same enthusiasm in our jobs, especially for the mundane tasks like call backs and cold calls?
Start With What’s Important To YOU
Planning your week in advance is critical to ensuring you spend your focus in the right areas. If you sit in front of your email waiting for someone to send in a problem, they certainly will. Instead of chasing your tail and allowing others to dictate how you spend your day, prepare in advance how to spend it yourself.
Creating a routine is the best way to ensure things get done consistently. Completing those tasks will become a reflex instead of a chore. When other peoples’ fires need putting out, you’ll be that much ahead of the game and can assist where needed, while ensuring your own work gets done.
How does CRM fit into your daily plan?
If your organization doesn’t use a customer relationship manager throughout the enterprise, you can still use one for yourself. Typically a CRM is most valuable when used by all people involved in the customer lifecycle, but many salespeople resist CRM because they see it more as a management tool than a sales tool. Primarily though, a reliable CRM is an invaluable tool to manage your pipeline so you can skip spending time staying on top of details or figuring out your next contact point.
End WIth the Beginning In Mind
The best time to plan for tomorrow is at the end of today. Spend a few minutes at the end of each workday preparing for the next. Look at your CRM tasks for the next day, make or print your call lists, write down other tasks that need completing, and then schedule it all in your calendar with reasonable times for completion. You’ll go home feeling clear-minded about your next day and won’t take stress about what comes next home with you. You also won’t find yourself in that cycle of getting to 5pm and not knowing what you’ve accomplished, because you’ll arrive at your desk the following morning with a clear plan and a path to getting it all done. Protect your time by creating blocks of time for the three or four major types of tasks to complete. Don’t make massive to-do lists that have every single person you need to respond to in email. Instead block time for things like:
1. Create a tender
2. Follow up on leads
3. Talk to marketing about support measures
4. Respond to RFPs.
When you block time in this way, your day feels manageable, and you can focus on outcomes
instead of overwhelming details.
BEST IN SHOW: MAKING YOUR TIME WORK FOR YOU
1. Take the time to chunk your to-do list.
Establish a daily wind-down habit of planning for tomorrow.
2. Follow up productively.
How do you add value to your follow-ups?
How can you best be of service to your clients?
Build valid reasons to follow up into your business based on the questions that are commonly generated at certain points of the sales process.
3. Get Marketing to work for you.
Identify lead measures that contribute to your desired outcomes.