I am referring to actually seeing your customers, doing what I call CFT “customer facing time.” In sales, CFT is what matters. I talk a lot about this term in my new book, A Mind for Sales. Customer facing time is the amount of time you spend talking with a customer / prospect or actively engaging with them. If you want to close more sales, you need to increase your CFT; there is definitely a direct correlation between the two.
Video: Spending More Time with Customers- https://youtu.be/XZDFS56TO9A
I hate to break it to you, but you’re not going to get into the Top Producers Club or the President’s Circle by having your CRM (customer relationship management) perfect. Sorry, that might keep your boss off your back, but it’s not crucial. CRM may be what puts bonus / commission money in your pocket, but your CFT is most important. Too many times, I see sales managers beating up their salespeople demanding their CRM be updated and sometimes even at the expense of CFT. I’m not implying that CRM is not important – it is; however, when you’re struggling to make a number, which initials would you rather invest in? CFT should be your answer.
There are two parts to your CFT number that you need to break down. First, look at your CFT score with existing customers and secondly, look at your CFT score for prospects. How do the two numbers compare? Too many people find that their numbers are lopsided; the CFT number of existing customers is 5 or 6x more than the CFT number for prospects. When I see numbers so disproportional, I know the salesperson will soon find themselves in trouble. Why? It’s simple. When all you do is rely on existing customers, your future is in their hands. Did you get into sales to have your future placed in the hands of others? I doubt it. Sales is about creating opportunities, and it is about prospecting! Your prospecting CFT number determines if you will consistently make your sales quota.
You might be an Account Executive who manages five accounts and asking yourself right now, “how does this apply to me?” For you, the prospecting CFT number is based on the amount of time you spend developing new opportunities with the accounts you manage. It’s about meeting new people and visiting new divisions. It’s about creating incremental sales opportunities. The last thing you can afford to do is to sit there and merely accept orders as they come to you. I call that customer service, not sales! By allowing yourself to be compensated at an Account Executive or Account Manager level and not be out there actively getting new business is stealing from your company!
Regardless of your sales role, you need to know your CFT and you need to pay attention to it. As you monitor your CFT, remember it is solely customer facing time. It is not customer thinking time – you know the time where you’re thinking you need to do something, but you never do it. CFT is the exact time you spend talking with a customer or actively engaged with them via email, messaging, phone, etc. Yes, the talking could be with a demo, a review, a video call or any number of other things, but it comes down to one thing: actively engaging with the customer.
As I’ve been in sales for many years, I have seen time and time again a direct correlation between CFT and making quota. It’s true that the salespeople who most frequently make quota are the ones who have the CFT numbers.
I encourage you to dig deeper into the importance of CFT as well as how to be successful at it. You’ll find all of this and more in my new book A Mind For Sales. It is scheduled to be released on March 31, 2020! I couldn’t be more thankful for its relevancy in our current situation. Pre-order today.
One last thing, as a loyal follower of my blog, you are invited to join the official Launch Team for A Mind For Sales and help spread the word. As we are quickly approaching launch day, we need your help! Want to know more?
My ideal launch team members:
…love to read.
…enjoy using Facebook.
…like to tell others about the books they are reading.
…are willing to share about new books on social media.
…are willing to write a review of the book on Goodreads and Amazon.
…are interested in sales, leadership, and how to positively impact your sales relationships.
If this sounds like you, I would love to have you on the team! Please follow these two easy steps:
- Fill out the launch team form: https://forms.gle/Vjg6QsbnFvEdiS6MA
2. Click this link and answer the questions to join the launch team Facebook group!
Thanks! I appreciate you. I’ll see you in the group!
Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.