In previous posts we have already mentioned time management as a major challenge in the life of a salesperson. This time the idea is to talk a little more about this specific subject and leave some tips on how we face this inbound sales challenge here at Sky Marketing.
The routine of an inbound salesperson is usually very busy, as he has up to 60 negotiations in progress in his sales funnel. To deal with this reality, in addition to a good CRM, having structured processes is also essential.
A good way to reduce the salesperson’s day-to-day stress would be if he could handle less business at a time. But at this point, the question arises: will I be able to reach my goal if I reduce the entry of negotiations in my sales funnel?
How we do at Digital Results
Our team realized that what matters is not a large amount of business in each salesperson’s funnel, but rather ensuring that those businesses are the right business and that they are moving through the funnel. An important metric to watch out for is the passage of business between phases of the sales funnel, as well as the conversion rate between them. But why talk about conversion rate and sales funnel movement when the topic is time management?
Believe us, one issue is directly linked to the other. Today, the sales team here at Blue World City has been able to improve the sales result by optimizing time, treating the sales funnel with a different look, with less business in the funnel at a time, ensuring a good flow of opportunities and with very clear criteria for qualification of leads and what defines a deal to be in one phase or another. So sellers have increased their conversion rates and the average number of sales per seller has risen considerably in recent months.
With the number of deals reduced and focused on the right opportunities, the seller is able to invest adequate time in negotiations, prepare better and deliver more value to its potential customers. The fact of being better prepared has ensured a more satisfactory closing number of deals.
To arrive at this “ideal funnel”, a mathematical study was carried out based on our history, goals and business model, which will vary a lot from company to company, so it doesn’t make much sense to expand on these points. However, some good practices that add to this project may help other sellers and companies that work with Inbound Sales to pursue their goals as well.
1 – Plan and prioritize your day
Spend the first hour of the day planning and prioritizing your tasks. This is the time for the salesperson to look at their agenda and map out which deals are most important and assess whether they are really ready for them. Prioritize your tasks according to the potential return that each negotiation can bring, after all the maxim “time is money” is a reality in the life of sellers. This view of the whole prevents the salesperson from wasting time that is not available with less important tasks.
Here at Digital Results we usually do this planning in pairs. We take 40 minutes to 1 hour from the start of the day to that time and most of the time we do this in pairs with another salesperson. This exchange of ideas is very enriching because your colleague often sees business opportunities that you had not yet noticed. Everyone benefits from this exchange of experiences, especially the potential client who will have their project well explored and with a greater perception of value.
The seller can also put daily goals into this schedule. These goals may not necessarily be for sales, but for important steps that need to be taken so that the healthy flow of the funnel is maintained, such as: passing 3 negotiations from the prospecting phase to diagnosis, in the same day.
2 – Organize your tasks into groups
Among the tasks of a salesperson, we can list some such as: prospecting and qualification of leads, organizing the schedule and sales funnel, preparing commercial proposals, investigating and understanding the needs of the lead, negotiation/closing, follow up emails, etc.
To optimize your time, try to separate your tasks into groups. For example, make all your prospecting calls, then take time to answer emails, early in the afternoon make the more investigative calls, which will need more concentration, and at the end of the day assemble your proposals.
For these different tasks we use different parts of the brain and each time we change activity our brain takes time to adapt and change focus. We gain efficiency when we organize ourselves in this way.
Tip: to learn more about the subject read: Your Brain at Work by David Rock and Focus by Daniel Goleman.
3 – Do one thing at a time
Still in this line of mental organization, do one thing at a time. Forget that story that we are multitasking. When we perform more than one task that requires cognitive activity, we are inefficient. Studies show that when we perform more than one task that requires thinking and reasoning at the same time, we waste 35% of our time. Not to mention that the error rate also goes up a lot.
4 – Follow the plan
Believe me, we often sabotage ourselves. Of course, not all your planning depends exclusively on you, especially since we’re talking about salespeople, who interact with other people all day, but the point here is: if you’re planning to prospect for leads from 10am to 11am, do it. Fulfill your commitment to yourself before stopping for that coffee or a chat with your colleague. These short breaks affect your focus and mental organization.
Imagine ending a very good call, where you and the lead had a great synergy, and you got another promising deal. Do you know the best time to make the next call? Soon after! You are already on the move, with your head ready and your chances of success are greater.
5 – Say no to procrastination
Many times we leave for later that task that we are not really in the mood to do and what happens? She stays for the next day and so on. Every day we think about it, we spend energy procrastinating on it and we don’t solve it. One day this task becomes a bigger problem, or it can even be the difference between closing a deal or not. So here’s the tip: do the things you don’t like first. Get rid of it soon and go to the next one.
6 – Use templates
Having ready-made scripts and templates also helps a lot to optimize your time so you don’t start from scratch every time you send an email, for example. But be careful, don’t treat your trades as if they’re all the same, they’re not. Remember your prioritization, the feedback each can give you and customize your scripts and templates for each case. Don’t just change a name and date, really customize. Each negotiation has its key point that should be commented on or some other particularity. Stay close to your lead.
7 – Have ready answers to recurring questions
There is no harm in that. Having pre-prepared answers to frequently asked questions allows you to be clearer, more direct and confident, thus increasing the lead’s credibility for you and your company. Think about what these questions are and define your best answer.
Our tips were based on the day-to-day here at Resultados Digitais and are good practices that have brought great results for the sales team as a whole. However, one last message is: test new paths.
Know your skills and adapt the tips brought here to what brings results for you. What we should avoid is stagnating in an unsatisfactory condition and thinking that by doing the same things over and over we will get different results, right?
I heard a sentence that sums up a little of the message this post wants to bring: “Don’t be hitting the tree with a cordless ax. It’s better if you stop, take time to sharpen the ax and then go back to straightening the tree.” In other words, stop to evaluate your sales process from the beginning, identify the points that can be improved, correct and good sales.