Make a resolution to be more productive in 2013. Follow these 20 tips, and you’ll see your sales productivity will skyrocket.
- Learn a new sales approach Instead of getting stuck on one sales technique, keep your mind open and be ready to adapt to your prospect. Going into the sale with an open mind enables you to quickly adjust your sales technique to deal with different types of prospects. Start by evaluating your teammates. What do the reps around you do differently? Maybe one of them is particularly active on Twitter, or maybe one of them prioritizes cold call lists based on connections. Expand your repertoire so you have more approaches from which to choose when contacting a prospect.
- Ask your customers for referralsReferrals are the best types of leads. Ask your customers for referrals or offer your customers discounts on future orders in exchange for referrals. When asking for referrals, be specific about to whom you want to connect, and what you want your connection to say. Asking, “let me know if you have any connections that may be interested in my products,” will beget silence. Asking, “I see you work with Jan Owen at IBM Corp. We think she’d benefit from our office management software. Would you mind passing her the message I’ve written out below?” If you don’t make it very clear and very easy for your customers to refer business to you, they won’t.
- Get Social Spruce up your social presence. Take the time to build a presence on a social site you haven’t yet. If you don’t use Twitter, create a profile and start communicating with your customers on it.
- Be Social Get out and meet people. Go to events and conventions where you are likely to meet people from businesses who could benefit from your company’s products or services. Resolve to go to at least one conference this quarter, or to meet with at least one customer in person every month.
- Get Organized: Get your paperwork and files organized, which will free up more of your time for lead prospecting and sales calls. Take the time to clear out old files and delete outdated emails.
- Create Email Templates Reduce the time it takes you to write emails to your customers by creating email templates. Break your prospects into groups within your territory, and create a template for each group. Segment them out by customer niche. For example, if you sell office management software, create a template for retail offices and another one for large, complex organizations. Creating email templates can easily get pushed to the bottom of a task list because it isn’t a task that’s going to bring in direct revenue quickly. But it’s a task that will make every email you send to a new prospect throughout the rest of the year a little bit easier and a little bit faster.
- Delegate Tasks: Delegate some of your tasks to others so that you can spend more time generating leads, talking to prospects and keeping your customers satisfied. If you’re at the bottom of the totem pole and stuck completing monotonous tasks, such as entering data into the CRM, outsource it. Sites such as TaskRabbit connect you to people who will complete tasks for you for a small fee. You’ll make more money converting opps than you’ll lose paying someone to enter data.
- Set Daily Goals Begin every day with a single goal that you’d like to accomplish before you leave work. Don’t start another project until you’ve completed that task. Make a list of your goals so that you can refer to them regularly to keep you on track, and make sure every daily goal corresponds to overall goals.
- Stay Focused Create and use a “read later” bookmark file on your browser and a “follow up with asap” file on your email. This way, whenever you run into something distracting, you can save it for later and stay focused. If you stumble upon something particularly alluring, you will work quickly so you can reward yourself with it sooner rather than later. You can also designate certain hours of the day during which you’re signed on to your instant messenger to avoid unwanted distractions.
- Get Over Your Fear of Rejection Lost a huge deal? Missed your quota? So what. Life goes on. Sales reps that always overanalyzes their mistakes spend more time fretting over lost deals than winning new ones.
- Take Personal Time If you are overworked, you will not be as productive. Go away for a weekend, spend the night at home relaxing, go on a date or do something else that helps you relax and enjoy your life. Being at work when you’re exhausted and unmotivated will lead you to waste time browsing Facebook for distractions and sharing Youtube videos with all your friends.
- Maintain Relationships: Maintain relationships with your customers through occasional phone calls, emails or social posts. Your satisfied past and current customers are potential future customers and referral resources, as well as upsell opportunities. Make it easy for yourself to ask them for money and referrals in the future by staying in touch about other topics now.
- Give Quarterly Bonuses If you have a sales team, talk to your boss about offering quarterly bonuses. Research conducted by Doug J. Chung and K. Sudhir of Yale School of Management and Thomas Steenburgh of Harvard Business School found that salespeople who were offered quarterly bones performed the best.
Motivation and Salesperson Performance: A Comparison of the Effects of Cross-Situation Variance in Behavior and Overall Amount of Effort Expended; Working Paper No. 163, The Pennsylvania State University, Working Series in Marketing Research; Sujan, Harish, Barton A. Weitz; 1987
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