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Consistent Effort is the Key to Better Sales Results

One of the primary reasons salespeople produce sporadic results is because their actions are equally sporadic. Their effort isn’t consistent enough to produce the results they want—or need. It’s zero effort for a long time, and then it’s time to play catch up. But that doesn’t work.

You can’t go long periods without prospecting and then prospect like crazy. You can’t make up for lost time and cram to get results. Building a pipeline doesn’t lend itself to sporadic activity. To build your pipeline, you need consistent effort over a long period of time. Anything less gives you wavy results—it if it gives you anything at all.

You build a pipeline through consistent prospecting.

You can’t follow your sale process for a little while and then abandon doing what you know to be effective in hopes of succeeding by taking some easier actions. There are all kinds of occasions to fall out of your sales process, especially when what you are seeing means you have to get creative. But not following the sales process means poor results, longer sales cycles, and lost opportunities.

You win sales opportunities by consistently following your sales process, by making it your standard operating procedure.

Speaking of prospecting, nurturing is another area we can produce an inconsistent effort. If you only make a call every 90 days, you aren’t nurturing the relationships you need—you’re neglecting them.

You only open the relationships with a frequent and consistent effort to create value.

It’s easy to ask for the commitments you need when it feels like the answer will be in the affirmative, and it’s easy not to when you fear the answer will be no. By failing to ask for what you really need, you go without information that you need to create and win an opportunity. You also go without the access to stakeholders that you need. Then, you’re surprised to learn that you lost an opportunity for which you are perfect.

By consistently asking for the commitments you need, you improve the likelihood of winning the opportunities you create.

None of this is true for sales alone. It’s true in whatever your endeavor, for whatever result it is you hope to achieve. Consistency is the key. It’s the daily stacking up of your efforts, brick upon brick, which ultimately produces results.

Questions

What do you do most consistently? How are your results in that area of your life?

What do you do only sporadically? How are your results different?

What do you need to commit to doing more consistently to produce the results you want?

What do you need to stop doing so consistently to produce the results you’re after?


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Comments

comments

  • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

    Well noted, Anthony. It’s easy to blame other people and pretend that the sales process isn’t working when “we” aren’t working…

    Dan

    • http://www.redheadwriting.com The Redhead

      And Anthony does a brilliant job of reinforcing the ONE thing that salespeople forget time and time again: sales is a cycle, not a linear one-and-done path.

      • http://www.www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

        Thanks, Erika! Honored to have your comment live here!

  • radiojaja

    I love how you distill complex ideas into such simple posts – great work as always

    • http://www.www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Damian!

  • http://twitter.com/JensenWDavid David Jensen

    All about habits! Ageless principles again; effective habits produce effective results. Thanks for sharing this and other simple to follow advice. Following now.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeDeGiorgio Joe DeGiorgio

    Reminds me of my favorite Lombardi quote. Sales prospecting and nurturing is, without question, the “blocking and tackling” of our livelihoods.

    • http://www.www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Old Vince surely had it right!

  • http://twitter.com/andertoons Andertoons

    When other artists contact me for advice this is basically what I tell them too. Do the work, all the time, every day. Just do it and do it and do it.

    Sad to say I don’t always follow that advice when it comes to marketing… ;)

    • http://www.www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      It’s true for a lot of people. Some of us have a lot of ability to create value, but are uncomfortable devoting ourselves to the marketing it takes to really turn it into a business. I am working on a short book to help non-salespeople with this issue!

  • http://salesloft.com/ Jon Birdsong

    Anthony, great post. I feel like most reps efforts ebb and flow with results and timing (aka monthly quota).

    It’s like cramming for a test when you could study every night for 15 minutes instead. The people who study 15 minutes a night for 2 weeks almost always do better than the ones who cram the last day for 24 hours amped up on caffeine and energy drinks.

    Consistency takes discipline, planning, and repetition. It’s true: as in sales, as in life.

    Great post, I need to marinate on this one.

    Sincerely,

    Jon

    • http://www.www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Marinate away, Jon!

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  • Victoria

    I agree, consistent effort produces long term, sustainable results in sales