Securing new customers is never easy. The best salespeople increase their revenue by breaking down the self-perpetuated roadblocks and barriers that can make selling tough. In short, they hit their sales plans by getting out of their own way.
Consider these examples of salespeople that are getting in their own way when it comes to increasing sales:
A sales rep at a software company is having a great month. So great, in fact, that finding time to cold call — a reality in his business — is tough. Cold calling is no fun, and since he’s busy anyway, he accidentally on purpose forgets to remember to do it. His next month’s sales tank because he let his funnel run dry.
A major account manager at an electrical wholesaler is busy, too. He has five quotes for large orders out in buyers’ hands. He is not a fan of the company’s CRM software, so he doesn’t log them into his dashboard. A few weeks go by and one slips through the cracks — not the largest, but a solid deal from a regular customer. That customer wonders why the account manager did not follow up and places the order with his competitor instead.
In both of these instances, the salespeople got in their own way. They are busy, hardworking and well-meaning folks. But they committed a few easily avoidable sales errors that made their lives unnecessarily difficult.
Getting out of your own way as a salesperson means doing what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it. If you follow this approach, 90% of the challenges related to reaching your sales goals will vanish.
Here are some easy things to do to get out of your own way...
- Create written plans for sales meetings: Want to hold a sales meeting twice? Don’t do a written agenda for the first go ‘round. You’ll be bound to miss something and have to reconvene. Doubling back like this kills your sales velocity and pushes revenue into the next quarter when you need it in this quarter.
- Make appointments with yourself to do the tough stuff: Cold calling and the like are tasks that only the heartiest sellers enjoy. Book a meeting in your calendar to do this stuff and keep those meetings. Finding time to do the fun stuff will take care of itself.
- Stay on top of your administrative duties: What is more depressing than a pile of overdue admin work staring you in the face? Do your expense reports regularly. Hand in your activity reports on time. Doing so saves time and displays your respect for the recipients.
- Prepare the big stuff early: You know Last-Minute Larry. He’s the one scrambling around the office, yelling at his computer and cursing the printer. He leaves the prep work for important meetings until the day before. He is stressed. He is not making sales. He is not having fun. Don’t be a Larry.
Sales is a stream that runs downhill. When excess debris piles up, damming and pooling occurs. The flow stops. Getting out of your own way means moving what needs to be moved to allow the flow to be maintained.