What are your sales reps waiting for?

When I was in my early 20's I sold (not very well) radio advertising for 96FM, a radio station in Perth.Photo Act now

I used to like to ease myself into my day with a coffee and a 30 minute chat with anyone I could find about yesterday's cricket results. One of my first Sales Managers, Barrie Quick always used to say to me "hit those phones, early Steve, call your prospects". At first I couldn't really see the point. Surely if customers wanted to place an Ad on our radio station they would call me. I didn't want to hassle them first thing in the morning! How naive was I.

Over time I learnt the art of calling prospects on a consistent basis with ideas of value. I also learnt the importance of always being on the look-out for new leads, so that I had regular people to call.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post highlighting the 5 biggest mistakes I see sales people making every day. I received some great feedback on this from Sarah.

Sarah is an outstanding sales professional. She knows what it takes to succeed in B2B selling in Australia.

In her opinion she believes the biggest mistake sales people make is they procrastinate. Here is a summary of what she sent me.

"Sales people have a tendency to do everything else they have to do in their day before they pick up the phone to prospect. So by 3pm when they’re done sorting their day and completing their admin they actually haven't done much to build their pipelines..."

As a Sales Leader you have a different skill set to your sales team. Your experience enables you to better prioritise each day. You know how to separate important priorities from the urgent ones.

I have seen so much time wasted by sales reps over the years. The sales world in 2011 makes it easier than ever before to fritter away a working day.

 Here is a list of the top 9 ways sales reps will be wasting their time today. You decide if its time well spent.

  1. Dealing with existing customers who do not want to buy anything
  2. Looking at Facebook and reading things about people whom they have lost interest in
  3. Watching You Tube clips of cats on skateboards
  4. Chasing up an order or a missing product
  5. Reading Twitter updates and then clicking on links to take away more selling time
  6. Reading junk emails about discount flights to the Gold Coast with 4 star accommodation
  7. Writing proposals for people who don't want to buy from them
  8. Sending more information to people who are drowning in data that won't be read
  9. Driving in traffic

If you can help your sales people build in a proper and professional approach to prospecting into their sales process in 2012 I am sure you will see much better results.

The best Sales Managers I work with are not actually selling. They are developing their sales people. They are always coaching, helping ingrain the right habits. This is the best legacy you can leave your reps. A prospecting routine needs you to be part of this.

You can measure their prospecting activity with a few simple questions each day:

  1. How many calls did you make today to prospects?
  2. How much time were you selling to new customers as opposed to servicing existing accounts today?
  3. Where do you think you lose most of your time each day?
  4. How can I help you to do more of the most valuable things earlier in the day?
  5. Where did you get those new shoes from, they look awesome.(Seriously, complements help a lot)

Posted in Sales; Tagged Sales, Management, Sales Leadership, Finding great sales people; Posted by Steve Herzberg

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