There are many demands made upon your time. Your company and your existing clients impose some of these demands. And then there are distractions that make demands on your attention like phone calls, emails, and more interesting and pleasant time wasters. It feels like work.
But all these demands can distract you from the work that really produces results. There are two areas that must dominate your time in sales.
Focus on Your High Value, Active Opportunities
Some salespeople generate high value opportunities and take so little action that their sales cycle is longer than it needs to be. They don’t focus enough time and attention these opportunities to move them forward effectively. Their lack of attention to these opportunities costs their company and their prospect time and money.
The best place to begin designing your sales week is with your high value, active opportunities. You start by defining the next action you must take. Then you determine the next commitment the client must agree to take. Make your week successfully by taking take the action you that will advance your opportunity, and call your dream client and gain the commitment you need.
Determining—and taking—the best next action at the beginning of each week ensures your progress your opportunities smoothly from target to close.
Then Focus on Your High Value Prospects
It’s easy not to prospect when you have that one big opportunity in your pipeline. You feel secure in the knowledge that it is progressing because the conversations are positive. The buying signals are strong. But you only get to determine what actions you take as a salesperson. You don’t get to determine whether or not you are chosen and win the business. You can do everything correctly and still lose an opportunity (as many of you know through the painful experience of having done so).
Once you have determined and taken the best next action on all of your high value, active prospects, your best investment of time is in your highest value prospects. A full pipeline inoculates you against unfortunate events. But wait! There’s more!
Your dream clients suffer from neglect. They have long relationships with your competitors. It’s difficult to create an opportunity within these companies, and it takes a lot of time and effort. But if you never invest the time in opening the relationships inside of these dream clients, you will never gain an opportunity. Worse still, if there is an opportunity, you won’t be known to the decision-makers and decision-influencers that could provide you with that opportunity.
It’s easy to avoid your highest value prospects and to trade down to smaller, more receptive prospects. This isn’t a good trade. When you have taken action on your highest value prospects by calling them or through some nurturing activity, then you can work your way to lower value prospects. Spend your time where you can create value. You will never win a dream client that you aren’t calling on.
Make a list of your highest value prospects, your dream clients. Develop a plan to rotate through calling every contact you have within these companies, alternating calls and meetings with nurturing activities.
These two activities, moving your high value opportunities and prospecting for more, will do much to ensure your sales results.
What do you believe are the highest value activities you need to take each week?
Do you have a best next action for each of your high value opportunities?
How much time are you spending on your highest potential value prospects, your dream clients?
Are advancing existing opportunities and building your pipeline a critical part of your sales week? How do you ensure you are taking these actions each week?