Many sales people are very disorganised and don’t have proper systems in place to ensure they are continuously successful. This post will show how to go about selling without the Roller Coaster ride typically associated with un-organised sales people.
Most new sales meetings are rarely made on the first call attempt. It commonly takes six or seven attempts just to get your foot in the door. The key to sales success comes with establishing a pattern of pipeline building and follow-up… and the best sales people master the art of managing their sales leads by using a good quality web based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
Many salespeople will say that they’re organized and that they “use their own” system, but when looking at their work-space, it’s common to see paper lists and sticky notes spread across their desk. When you think it through you probably know someone like I’m talking about.
Worse still, there are those that have a database, filled with leads, but they have no strategy for getting and staying in contact with their prospects. They think to themselves, “Hmm, today I’m calling all my no-responses, or maybe past appointments.” Day after day, they spend hours calling and sorting through lead statuses hoping to find the needle in the haystack.
How It Begins
Iv’e seen countless times when a new sales person comes in and finds quick early wins in the first three to six months, and then suddenly fall off the cliff. It’s misdiagnosed as “the honeymoon period is over,” or “the excitement of the new job has worn off.”
The manager starts asking about their activity, “How many calls have you made today?” …and sales person responds, “I’ve been calling all day. I’ve made 20, 30, 40 calls.”
Although ploughing through lists feels productive, it’s actually un-productive. I relate it to jumping in your car and looking for new opportunities by driving around the same streets over and over again. It’s only ever a recipe for short-term success.
So how do you build a strong pipeline?
Get Off the Roller Coaster
Most sales people aren’t great with time management. It becomes even more difficult when you get on a roll and you are trying to close a lot of deals at the same time. It’s one of the most important periods in a sales pipeline management “cycle.”
Most pipelines build up like a roller coaster rising to the peak, and then wallop! then the deals start rolling in thick and fast. You’re doing everything in your power just to keep up. It is exhilarating, until you realise the ride has run its course, and you have to start all over again.
Great pipelines should always be always full. Make time for new business development and keep up with your daily scheduled CRM tasks. Even when you’re on a roll, a little time blocked out for prospecting secures your future sales success.
New Business Requires New Prospects
Here are some basic numbers that sales people should aim for if they are being successful and building their pipeline
Sales People in construction and facilities maintenance might build a database of between 150 and 300 new contacts per year. They should try to get a minimum of 20 to 40 daily scheduled actions (calls, emails and follow-ups) from your CRM system, and from that 10 to 15 potential opportunities projected over the next 3 months.
If there isn’t enough in the pipeline, you know it’s time for them to start prospecting for new opportunities. They should be growing their database with one objective… “I’m looking for new decision makers to add to my pipeline.” Within a few weeks of following this disciplined approach, they’ll have a pipeline that is overflowing with opportunity.
Remember, their pipeline determines the success of your business. The next time you self-evaluate, ask yourself three questions. How strong is my pipeline? How many prospects do I have in my database? How many “meaningful” daily scheduled actions do I have in my CRM?
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