You look at your sales quota and see yourself falling short, so you begin panicking and thinking you need to run after every opportunity possible. Your logic says that the only way you can make your number is by chasing anything that moves. Sounds logical, right? Let’s not kid ourselves, we’ve all done it. The problem is that this habit is the best way to ensure you miss your number.
You’ll make your number once you get focused, and that starts with your time. Time is a beast that controls you because there are only 24 hours in a day. Regardless of who you are or what you do, it is impossible to make more time. The only thing within your control is using your time as efficiently as possible. You can only use your time efficiently when you stay focused on doing one thing.
How many customer requests are you trying to chase in a day? How many emails and calls are you trying to respond to in a day? The sum of these numbers can be overwhelming, but you have to stop and remind yourself that not all of them are created equal. Each demand on your time must address this one question: will spending time on this help me achieve my goal? In this case, the goal is your sales quota. Too often, I hear salespeople claiming to be buried with too much to do, yet they still find time to monitor social media or check the company sales scoreboard to see who has sold something today. Each one of your activities must be preceded with this question to yourself: “Will this activity help me make my sales quota?” I have had salespeople go as far as printing that question and posting it above their computer screen.
Many salespeople I’ve coached have used this simple technique and within a few weeks, discovered an extra 30 minutes to two hours of time for themselves to sell. Think about that for a moment. I challenge you to try it, you have nothing to lose and only your sales quota to gain.
Now let’s talk about getting focused with our customers. Regardless if you’re an account manager or spend 100% of your day prospecting, not every customer or prospect is equal. Let me share one technique for each of these types of people.
First, if you’re the account manager, do not allow the customer to manage you. It is your job to manage the customer. Just because it has been your habit to visit the customer every Tuesday and spend 2+ hours with them talking to anybody and everybody does not mean it’s a good use of time. If you have a set amount of time you spend with a customer, I challenge you to cut it back by 20%. I’ve coached many salespeople on this simple move and initially, they told me that it can’t be done. Something funny always happens and that is, nothing happens! The customer never notices – things still get done and the account executive has just freed up an extra hour or more a week. This same technique translates into other activities.
The extra time you gain can now be spent on opening up new opportunities, in turn giving you more ways to make your sales quota. Remember, no one meets their quota based on the amount of time they spend with a customer. They make their quota based on what they sell during the time they spend with the customer.
If you spend your day prospecting, you narrow your focus by not randomly firing prospecting missiles hoping to hit something. Narrow your focus and only work one type of prospect at a time. I suggest doing this by day or by week. Example, you might have 4 industries you typically prospect, so this means you would take one day a week and dedicate to one specific industry. It’s amazing how much more focused you become when everything you do for a full day is geared to a similar set of issues / opportunities.
You may not be able to dedicate an entire day to one niche, but you can at least dedicate a few hours or a half-day. The key is getting focused to allow you to become more confident. The more confident you are, the faster you’ll become. What an amazing concept – the more focused you are, the faster you move.
Focus is about doing one thing at a time, being focused on that one thing and seeing it through to completion. It’s not what you start that makes a difference – it’s what you finish that matters.
Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Result