“OMG, my sales funnel is bone dry!!”
Panic sets in. You sell like crazy, get some sales traction and start nursing your new found opportunities to closure. You focus on nothing else for weeks. A few of them close. Champagne corks pop and commissions are calculated. Finally, you pause for breath and look at your CRM.
“OMG, my sales funnel is bone dry… again!”
The sales rollercoaster is the number one selling Pain chosen in a recent survey of my blog readers. The peaks of the ride are a blast, but the valleys totally suck. There is, however, a way to tame this 5 ticket ride and carve a path to steady, reliable and predictable revenue.
Here’s the thing – every sales person knows about the rollercoaster. Strangely, they seem to readily allow themselves to climb on board. They know if they get so busy closing business [or implementing new deals] and stop prospecting for net new customers their sales funnel will run dry, yet they repeatedly make this fundamental mistake. How come?
I think it’s the dopamine effect. Dopamine is the chemical in your body behind the feel good rush [pleasure] you get doing whatever your favorite thing is. For sales people, the mere thought of closing business feels good. Closing sales feels even better – hello dopamine!
Contrast this with the grunt work behind finding brand new clients. Cold calling [lots of rejection], endless web research [boring!] and completing CRM fields [mind numbing] is super low on the dopamine producing scale. It’s no wonder many sellers gravitate away from Prospecting.
To keep the dopamine flowing and get off the roller coaster, try some of these road tested and proven methods to minimize the valleys of the ride…
Hire someone else to do the heavy lifting prospecting work for you: This one is road tested by me personally. There is a market of highly qualified virtual assistants today that did not exist even 5 years ago. Select one and pay them to do the part[s] of the prospecting process you don’t enjoy, are too busy to do or are just no good at. Have this work done while you are busy closing your current sales opportunities. When you are done with them, there will be fresh opportunities to close. This investment will put money in their pocket, hours back into your day, and new prospects into your sales funnel. It’s a win – win!
Set and keep a 45-minute appointment with yourself every day: For most sellers 45 minutes a day focused on acquiring net new sales opportunities, will more than meet their sales productivity needs. Imagine, 240 [or so] focused prospecting sessions a year! The secret[s]? First, find the 45 minutes. Even if you are quite time efficient my bet is you can tighten up here and there and create this golden chunk of time. Second, be focused [no personal phoning, texting, Facebook, inbound email alerts, etc] when prospecting. Third, use CRM to record your work religiously. This will allow you to get productive the first few minutes of your session and not burn time getting organized.
Set and measure your prospecting productivity goals: Something like “Each week I will generate a total of ‘X’ number of net new prospects” will do. Next, tell someone else about your goal. Sharing goals has a way of cementing them in our minds, and firming our resolve to meet them.
Refine your prospecting methods: Cold calling is dead. If you are still performing this soul sucking task you need to stop… Now! Search your favorite book store and select a book that will teach you how to get your prospecting into this millennium. There are many more effective, efficient and enjoyable ways to find your next big client than cold calling. Hint…it’s called social media.
With just a little discipline and stick-to-it ‘ness you can get off the sales rollercoaster. If you adopt any of the above strategies my prediction is you will flatten the peaks and valleys, make more money, and have a great time doing so. Have fun!