To improve your sales performance, practice good Sales Hygiene. Sales Hygiene refers to the cleanliness of your selling process and account data management. Clean selling and account data management processes are the foundation for continuously improving your sales results.
Sales results get better when you identify causal links within your selling process. A causal link is ‘I do this, and that happens’. For instance, ‘I make ten extra cold calls per week, and at month’s end I have more viable Prospects than the previous month’.
Without an awareness of the causal links in your selling process your results will be left to chance, happenstance, and luck. When it comes to achieving great sales results, luck is not a strategy I endorse.
Putting strategic thought to refining your selling process is made difficult by the volume of issues dealt with day in and day out. Many are not even sales related – think customer service, billing issues, and the like. Precious little time is left. When that time opens up, trying to remember the fine details of every deal in the funnel is tough.
Practicing good sales hygiene frees up time for strategic planning. Good sales strategies [coupled with great execution] lead to improved sales results every time.
Here are some Sales Hygiene do’s and don’ts that will help you stay in the money:
Write [type] it down – Trying to identify why Acme account is down 10% YTD when your last interaction with them was 12 weeks ago is next to impossible. Keep bullet point notes of your interactions with your accounts. These turn into gold when it comes time to find ways to increase revenue within your accounts.
Choke yourself with data entry – The idea is bullet point notes about the important goings on within an account, not irrelevant minutia. Learn to know the difference. You don’t want to be caught with your nose in your laptop while sales opportunities pass you by.
Pick a CRM [Customer Relationship Management] software to use and stick with it. Simpler is better. If you are part of a sales team, try to get the whole team using the same tool. This makes strategy creation sessions smooth and productive.
Use Outlook as your CRM. There are about 15 reasons why not to, number one being that you can’t get the ‘snapshot’ view of your sales pipeline you need to manage it effectively.
Stare at your account records – Each time you interact with an account, quickly review your notes from previous interactions. This is the magic step where causal links are identified.
Trends will emerge. Connections between ‘I did this with this buyer, and they reacted that way’ will surface. Opportunities will reveal themselves when you see ‘hey, this account seems to have some needs I have not helped them with yet. I’m going to set up a meeting with them to do some probing [read – ‘selling’].
Not stare at your account records – You will miss account development opportunities. Your account connections will stagnate. Your new sales to existing accounts will dwindle. Simple as that.
Five out of five Sales Managers agree, good Sales Hygiene promotes great sales results. Here’s to keeping it clean!