ACTG Sales Management Blog

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5 Direct Sales Activities that Lead to Sales Success?

Posted by Tony Cole on Sat, Nov 10, 2018

5 Keys to Sales Success

In my recent newsletter, You Are Tomorrow What You Are Planning For Today, I discussed the importance of planning for sales success.  Even though many salespeople put together "business plans" for their upcoming sales year, often it is nothing more than a financial projection of estimated new business, known lost revenue, estimated lost revenue and current pipeline opportunities.

On rare occasions, there is some information about the marketing activities they are planning on engaging in to help drive news names to the database.  However, in the end,  your sales business plan has to be much more robust than that.  Greg Evershed has an in-depth articles posted about Planning for Success that provides a nice framework about what this plan should look like, smell like and act like.

When I think of a robust plan, I don't mean that it has to be a published book. But, it must contain certain elements if you want to improve your probability of actually achieving your stated goals.

So far, in this series of posts, I've covered:

1.  Start with the end in mind

2.  Establish metrics for sales success

3.  Setting high standards for your sales success

Today, I'll focus on this: Identifying those activities that you MUST execute on a consistent basis to be successful. 

These activities MUST primarily be SALES activities or what I call GREEN activities.  GREEN means GO, which means GO to the BANK.

Green activities would include and pretty much be limited to:

  1. Activities that lead to getting names - networking, speaking engagements, sponsored seminars, meeting with centers of influence and/or asking for introductions
  2. An outreach to assess interest or need
  3. Conversations and meetings to uncover a buyers buying journey
  4. Gathering additional information that when they buyer is ready to select you present a 'winning' solution
  5. Presentation/pitch meetings that lead to decisions

That's it! Those are your green activities that lead directly to generating sales revenue. Everything else you do is in support of these five activities.  If you are like most sales people, you MUST spend somewhere between 25% and 33% of your time in Green Time!  Every minute you don't in Green Time, you are losing money.

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Topics: keys to sales success

"I Could Sell More if Only I Could _____"

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Nov 08, 2018

can-chat-chatting-362

I've got a fill in the blank for you.

Are you ready?

"I could sell more if only I could _____."

What comes after could? We had the chance to ask that question around the country with a variety of companies both large and small and it's interesting to hear what salespeople say when you ask them to fill in this particular blank.

Sometimes, you'll hear...dare I say excuses. Sometimes, you'll hear...dare I say, valid reasons for why they're not selling as much as they would like or their manager would like. When we hear that answer, we immediately think about the core steps in the sales process.  

You have to go see people. You have to call them first. Then you must go see them, you must have meetings, you must qualify them and deliver presentations, and of course, you have to win your fair share. 

As you think about calls, meetings, dials, qualifying prospects, and closing deals, ask yourself these major questions.

If you're not where you want to be in 2018, ask yourself,

  1. Why are you there?
  2. How long have you been there?
  3. Are you fully committed to getting back on track?
  4. What's going to be required to get back on track?
  5. Do you have to get there?
  6. What happens if you don't?
  7. What is the problem costing you?
  8. Do you have to fix it?

If you know anything about our organization, you know that is how we encourage the unveiling of the sales process. 

Asking your prospects questions like:

  • What is going on?
  • What do you have to fix?
  • How long has it been a problem?
  • What have you done to try and fix it?
  • Do you have to fix it?
  • What happens if you don't fix it?
  • What's this problem costing you? 

All of that fits into one of two categories: Excuses or reasons

Just remember as you answer the question, "I could sell more if only I could ____."  If your answer is an excuse...

"Excuses are the nails used to build houses of failure."

Now go out there and get it done!

Topics: self management, how to hit goals in sales, sales productivity, solving sales issues

Your Future Self Cannot Be Trusted! 

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Mon, Nov 05, 2018

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Today, I want to talk to you about time management vs self management. Now, here's one thing we know about time, it manages itself very, very well. In fact, you don't have to worry about time managing itself, what you do need to worry about, at least what we see around the country as we coach and train salespeople, is the concept of self-management.

The reason why you need to worry about it is because of this fundamental truth, your future self cannot be trusted.

How many times do you go to the grocery store and decide that, this is the week I'm going to eat healthy only to throw away most of it by week's end?  That's right, your future self cannot be trusted.

So, one of the things that we'd like to talk about today is the concept of what do successful salespeople do when it comes to managing themselves?

Self management, not time management.

I want to give you four things that we think successful salespeople do. 

  • Successful salespeople do not waste time Here's a number, 1,440 - or better yet, the number of minutes in a day.  Successful salespeople DO NOT waste even one of them.  So, make them count!

 

  • They abandon to-do lists - They abandon to-do lists. Sounds crazy right? However, research has indicated that about 41% of things put on a to-do list never get accomplished.  Instead, successful salespeople schedule tasks directly onto their calendar, which has a much greater likelihood of these tasks actually getting accomplished.

 

  • Successful salespeople only check their email a couple times a day! Maybe once when they get to the office, maybe once after lunch and maybe once before they leave for the day. Is it really necessary when that beep or that ding goes off to look and see "Oh my goodness, what is that?" It interrupts your flow of energy on the tasks you're working on and successful people do not allow email to be a "time suck" on their day.

 

  • Successful salespeople do the hard things first - I think it was Brian Tracy that said, "If you gotta kiss a frog in your day, kiss it early."  Successful salespeople embrace that. They do the hard things first. Including scheduling the hours that they will prospect. 1,440 - I've used 3 or 4 of them this morning...it's up to YOU to use the rest. Have a great day!


So, now that we've given you OUR top four, what are some other habits that YOU think successful salespeople should follow? 

Leave a Comment below for a chance to win a Free copy of our "9 Keys to Coaching Sales Success" booklet! 

 

Time Management vs. Self Management Video:

https://anthonycoletraining.com/self-management/

Topics: time management, self management, future self, sales advice, Sales Leadership

How Do I Become an Extraordinary Sales Manager?

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Nov 01, 2018

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 Are you doing everything possible to make your salespeople successful?

That is the question you must ask yourself if you are responsible for the management of salespeople.

How do you know if you are an extraordinary sales manager?

An Extraordinary Sales Manager:

  • Sets High Standards and has Strict Accountability Policies that don’t allow for excuses
  • Encourages salespeople to set Personal Goals that are intrinsically motivating
  • Rewards Success and Disciplines Failure
  • Coaches through the use of Smart Numbers and Critical Ratios
  • Holds Regular Sales Huddles and Collects Activity Data
  • Uses Best Practices in Hiring Salespeople
  • Consistently Upgrades Sales Team through Intelligent Assessment-Based Guidance

If you want to take your management to the next level, you must read this guidebook, The Extraordinary Sales Manager. It will give you the tools to Take Your Sales Team from Good to Great.

Click below to Download your FREE copy!

The Extraordinary Sales Manager

Topics: building sales team, consultative selling, sales management responsibilities

What are the 5 Keys to Coaching?

Posted by Patrick Kollmeier on Tue, Oct 30, 2018

5 keys

Coaching salespeople is hard work and it helps to have a consistent and effective process to help keep you on course. As a sales coach, there are five critical steps that you must know and execute in order to get the best effort and results out of your salespeople.

These are the 5 Keys to Coaching!

 

  • INSIGHT As a coach, you must be able to see what is happening and what is not happening out in the field.  Without real insight into what is going on, you will have difficulty understanding their choke points so that you can coach them.

        5 Keys to Coaching - Insight

 

  • FEEDBACK - As a sales coach, you must continually give your salespeople specific feedback on their activities.  This includes both positive and constructive feedback.  If you ask your salesperson if they will allow you to coach them to help them reach their goals, you will usually gain permission.  And that makes the journey better for everyone.

        5 Keys to Coaching - Feedback

 

  • DEMONSTRATEPart of a sales leader’s job is to be effective at demonstrating the behavior they want their salespeople to execute in the field.  And they must take time out of their busy day to schedule time with their team members and demonstrate specific situations from a sales call or meeting, role play with their team, identify gaps in the selling process, ask specific questions, and most importantly, coach their salespeople to become better salespeople!

       5 Keys to Coaching - Demonstrate

 

  • PRACTICEWe have all heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect”. This is particularly true in selling. Practice is essential in improving selling skills, specific techniques, interpersonal skills, and attention-to-detail in the selling process.  Without practice, your salespeople will only go so far, and as a sales coach, you must role play with your salespeople in order for them to practice and achieve success!  Be prepared, they might not like it but they must do it.

       5 Keys to Coaching - Practice

 

  • ACTION PLANIt is essential that YOU as a sales leader take time to sit down with your salesperson and establish an action plan – what are the specific prospecting and networking activities that they must do in order to reach their goals?  This will undoubtedly include utilizing LinkedIn, attending association meetings with the intent to meet the right target profile client, etc.  This action plan SHOULD include getting introductions from current clients.

      5 Keys to Coaching - Action Plan

 

To learn more about the 5 Keys to Coaching and our specific available coaching packages, check out the link below!

5 Keys to Coaching

Topics: 5 keys to coaching sales improvement, sales growth and inspiration, sales motivation, sales performance coaching

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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