How do you start a sales sprint?
Just choose one aspect of your sales process to accelerate. You can achieve a lot in 13-weeks.
You can strengthen your pipeline, convert more proposals into projects, build a bigger network.
First things first. Evaluate your current commitments. Then eliminate all non-critical activities from your schedule. I call this clearing the decks.
First case study: A salesman was bawled out for having not submitted his expense account to the bean counters … for a whole year! To put this into perspective he was one of the company’s top 5% performers. He put target achievement before administrivia.
That’s the first way to clear the decks. Only work on performance related tasks. Delay, or ditch, the rest.
What sales activities do you need to prioritise and focus on?
Second case study: A bunch of average salespeople complained bitterly about their company’s order intake system, which took up a day of their time each week. An assistant could be been doing the work, but the company didn’t provide one.
Now, they could have clubbed together, hired a virtual assistant using their own cash, and solved the problem. That would have freed up 20% of their time to put more money in their back pockets. Being average performers they found lots of excuses not to follow through on this idea. As far as I know many years later they are still complaining.
That’s the second way to clear the decks. Eliminate work that must to be done, but doesn’t play to your strengths. Delegate it.
What support do you need from others, so you can free up more time for selling?
Third case study: I was running a sales training academy and delegates asked me to schedule 90-minutes each day … for them to stay on top of their sales commitments. We negotiated a slightly shorter lunch break, plus an hour immediately after that.
But you know how sales activities aren’t always that desirable? It turned out that much of my delegates’ 90-minutes was being spent on procrastination activities – Facebook, Twitter, the news, chatting over coffee … to name a few.
They wanted to perform better, but it was easier for them to procrastinate and avoid the grind. Noticing this I was able to intervene, remove the distractions, and hold the delegates accountable for doing the work.
That’s the third way to clear the decks. Remove all distractions.
How will you manage your distractions?
By the way, once you’ve decided to commit yourself to a 90-day sales sprint, cleared the decks and created a plan … you must find yourself an accountability partner too. Otherwise, even with the best willpower, it’s likely your sprint will turn into a walk.
Now, what’s holding you back?