When it comes to a professional sales career, it pays to understand the things that are truly important to your business and your sales progress in your market. I like to call it a constant focus on growth and service. The client is at the centre of the process and the assessment.
When you are really productive you tend to remove the ‘peaks and valleys’ from your sales year and your sales performance. Generally everything gets a lot easier from a results perspective, but you have to keep up the personal momentum.
So how do you get this productivity and systemisation into your business plan and sales focus for the year? Here are some tips that I have gathered from many years talking and working with sales teams in different industries:
- Use your time very well. Protect your time from the frustrations of servicing time wasting people. In professional selling you are totally accountable for the way you use your time and doing so with the right people. Some clients will take a lot of your time so you should understand the value of some clients over others. It might sound a bit selective but that is the way it must be.
- Know your priorities in the working day. Some things on a daily basis will have to be done over others. In normal sales markets and industries the prospecting process and client contact cycle should take priority over everything else. When you do this correctly you can keep the orders and sales coming in with little disruption. It also helps you see the changes to your clients needs before that has a major impact on your sales results and income.
- Make sure your key clients are treated differently than ordinary clients, and are contacted as part of a key account management program. You may choose to ‘coach’ them, ‘partner’ with them, or provide exceptional service to help with their bottom line. When the client knows the true value of your products and services, the ordering and sales process is quite easy.
- Note the ‘selling seasons’ that apply to your products and services. In most financial years you will have 2 or 3 ‘selling seasons’ where sales and orders are easier. You get to know these cycles by understanding your clients. How long does a selling season run for in your industry? When do they start, and why do they stop?
- Seek referral business leads from all of your good clients and prospects. It is easier to convert new business from a referral than it is in anything else you may choose to do in prospecting.
- Assess your clients for the repeat business opportunity they can give you. Also assess the size and frequency of the typical order that they place with you. Soon you will see some clients bring in most of your business annually. The Pareto Principle applies (80/20 rule) where about 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients. You just need to know which clients are the best ones to work with.
Perhaps you can add to this list. The issue is that you really do need to understand your market and the sales and income you can build from it each year. Become a productive salesperson that works to a client contact system.