What goes into planning out a successful week for your sales job? In the first part of Planning Your Sales Week: Top Tips, we offer four factors to consider when looking to create a productive sales week ahead.
Schedule Time For Making Calls
It is important to schedule sufficient time to follow up with those leads which are warm enough to warrant a call.
Block out time each week to follow up with those leads you and marketing team have managed to push down the sales funnel to the touch-point of being receptive to a phone conversation. We in Canada are blessed with multiple times zones and a much bigger window of calling time each day than many countries. If you have a national (or international) territory, be sure to plan your calls to match up with the best times to call prospects based on their particular time zone.
A helpful way to capture bookings for calls is to provide a link in your signature which takes them to a calendar that’s synced with your email host. This gives the prospect an easy way to find a time which works for them and you. It also avoids lots of wasted time for you when you’d otherwise be sending emails back and forth or playing phone tag. There are lots of free tools out there designed specifically for this this purpose. Listen to the CPSA’s SalesProChat interview with Shanna Landolt to learn more about the how, what and why of scheduling tools.
Prepare for Your Sales Calls and Meetings
Scheduling time for calls and meetings is, of course, not sufficient in itself. The conversation must count. The best salespeople often set targets of numbers of EFFECTIVE calls per day/week and numbers of positive meetings had.
How can you give yourself the best possibility of success. Do your homework! Set time each week to prepare for your calls and meetings so that you understand your prospects business - including its needs and how your product or service can help.
Book Ample Time to Respond and Engage
Not following up with leads can kill businesses. Failing to reply to emails, messages through social networks, comments on articles or leads from in-person events is a huge missed opportunity and can mean the difference between making your quota or not.
If someone has taken time out of their day to make contact, it is - barring company rules around qualification criteria - only proper that they should receive a reply. Schedule regular slots when you know that you’ll be able to focus your energy on replying to questions and sales indicators.
There are lots of free or inexpensive tools out there which can help you centralise and channel your inbound-outbound communications. Buffer, Tweetdeck, Slack and Hootsuite to name just a few. These can be BIG timesavers when you’re looking to find ways to track inbound enquiries and leads.
A lot has been written about the notion of presenteeism. The best sales people can work to avoid the curse of presenteeism by having the structure, support and self motivation to recognise possible triggers and create ways to avoid unproductive hours.
No one can be on their game all of the time, of course. One can minimise, however, the impact of ‘down hours’ by setting targets, creating ways to recognise and reward high performers, and adapting duties based on progress and mood.
For example, if you’ve been calling leads for a couple of hours and getting a low rate of conversation or a generally negative response, you may feel low and need to switch it up. Consider jumping on a less-direct channel such as LinkedIn Navigator so you can then come back at a later time fresh and ready to make more calls.
Be mindful of what gets you motivated to stay on task and what can trigger a response which requires a change. Communicate that to your boss. The best leaders provide flexibility and recognise unique motivations and working patterns. Ultimately, you should be judged by your Sales Manager on your overall ability to stay the course and make a difference to the bottom line of the business.
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