If you want to produce sales results, there are only two things that you should be doing with your time. You should be prospecting, and you should be sitting in front of your clients or prospects. This is what you must do to generate results. This is not, however, all the things that you are required to do to, much of which is necessary, but not sufficient to move the needle.
You need to do the minimum viable research on your prospective clients, so that you have the ability to prospect. Even though you have to do this work, it does not produce the outcomes you need. That makes this time expensive, as the more work you do here, the less time you have for the work that does produce results. Research contributes nothing to results if it isn’t put to use through prospecting.
You need nurture to your dream clients. Even though this long term play is necessary, and even though you are not going to win these clients in this quarter (and perhaps not in the next quarter either), you won’t have opportunities with these prospects if you don’t build relationships of value. That said, this work does not produce the outcomes you need now. This work is expensive, but it produces an outsized ROI over time. But nurturing only works if it is followed up with prospecting.
You need to plan your sales calls. You need to make certain that the precious little time you get to spend with your prospective clients is put to good use for both of you. You need to trade something of value for your prospect’s time. That planning is necessary, but it doesn’t produce any result unless and until you are sitting in front of your prospect. You get in front of your client when you book a meeting. How do you book meetings?
You have to develop solutions and proposals. Both of which only matter when you are presenting to your client. You have to attend internal meetings, even though the meetings themselves do very little to create value for your client, nor do they produce sales results. You also need to sharpen the saw, developing yourself personally and professionally.
Everything is important. But everything can’t be most important. The 20% of the tasks that produce 80% of the results should command the majority of your time. Getting this math backward, and spending 80% of your time on the 80% of the tasks that don’t actually produce results, all but ensures you will not have the success you are capable of.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen