Professional selling is just that: Selling. It’s not taking orders or holding a customer’s hand. It’s selling. That means it involves actively prospecting and developing new business. Too many companies are struggling today because they thought they had a sales force that could sell, but discovered all they were really doing was taking orders. Today’s economy is very quickly separating the professional sales people from the customer service order takers.
One of the first things anyone can do to determine if they and/or their salesforce is actually selling is by measuring the amount of time spent actively prospecting. This does not mean time trolling the web or driving around looking for potential customers. What I am referring to is the amount of time salespeople are actively engaged in the prospecting activity of talking to customers. If a salesperson has even the least bit of hesitance in being willing to prospect, then he or she truly isn’t a salesperson. I’m being blunt because as I work with numerous leading companies nationally and internationally. The number one issue I hear from CEOs and other company leaders is their salespeople are unwilling to prospect. No matter how how full you contend your day already is or how long your customer list is, you as a salesperson must spend time actively prospecting. My recommendation is at least 60 minutes per day or 10% of total work time.