Think sales activity to increase sales despite the tight economy. Get planning!
In this economy two things will determine your sales success more than anything else – the sales activity goals you set for yourself and your team, and the extent to which you follow through on those activities.
In the first post in this series, “Coaching Salespeople in a Tight Economy” we looked at the effects that the pressure caused by the media’s catastrophizing treatment of the current economic squeeze can have on salespeople – now we’ll look at how you can plan your way past these effects.
Whether you coach a large team of sales people, or just yourself, you should recognize that almost no one is immune to the effects of the negative messages that surround us daily in a tightening economy. And, as ever, the best antidote to fear, uncertainty, and lack luster sales results is lots of focused outbound prospecting activity. Your sales activity plan is more important than ever.
You need to increase sales every year – no matter what the economy does. If you and every one of your quota carrying salespeople do not have a clear, week by week, month by month, sales activity plan that outlines exactly what they plan to do every day to the end of 2011 and beyond then you’re risking your sales success. You and your salespeople must go to your beds each night with the comfort that you have activity plans that will assure that they achieve the sales results required of them – regardless of what’s going on around them in the world and the economy at large. Confident salespeople are more successful salespeople.
Sales is a Numbers Game
Sales has always been a numbers game – invest no activity and, unless you’re very lucky, you’ll get no sales. Sales success is about activity. The more intelligent, focused activity you invest the more sales you can expect to increase sales. The first 3-minute recording above talks very briefly about the importance of knowing what your numbers are. When the going gets tough, the intelligent sales person gets going: calculating her/his ratios.
Creating a Sales Activity Plan
The second video above (5 minutes) will talk you and your people through a very basic approach to sketching a sales activity plan that will give you confidence in your sales success. This truly is sales activity planning “101“.
I’m sure your business if different to mine. I’ll bet your sales cycle if different to mine. So you’ll need to adapt this approach to suit your business. If your sales process has more steps then simply work out the ratios for those additional steps. If you have multiple products, markets etc then do individual sales activity plans for each and later blend them into a single plan.
Apply the basic principles behind this planning approach and you can help each of your people to create a confidence-building sales activity plan that will not only get you on track for more than your fair share of the available business, but will also get your entire team feeling altogether more confident and bullish about their future sales success.
The single most effective action you can take to ensure your sales team stay on track through the end of the year is ensuring that each has a clear sales activity plan. Once you have an action plan for each of your people you can then start to pull together to ensure that you get more than your fair share of the available business.