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I read dozens of articles outlining the single thing salespeople or managers need to do to drive sales success. It’s:

  • Constantly prospect
  • Constantly be developing referrals
  • Focus on target customers/ICP
  • Viciously qualify
  • Understand your customers’ businesses and problems
  • Develop strong relationships
  • Engage with insight
  • Facilitate their buying process
  • Create value in every interaction
  • Leverage a disciplined sales process
  • Develop business justified proposals
  • Closing is all that matters
  • Generate net new logos/customers
  • Retain and build share with customers and key accounts
  • Leverage social channels
  • Plan and execute high impact calls
  • Implement a Land and Expand strategy
  • Coordinate/integrate with marketing
  • …….

It turns out there really is no single thing that drives sales, we have to do the whole job.

Some people are better at some parts of this than others. Some do everything they can to avoid some parts of the job.

Whatever the reason, if salespeople aren’t balancing their time, appropriately, across everything necessary for success, performance will plummet.

If you like doing deals, but can’t stand to prospect, pretty soon your pipeline will be empty and you will have no deals to move forward. Conversely, if you are great at prospecting, but do a lousy job at qualifying and moving deals through the buying/selling cycle, all your prospecting success will be wasted.

It’s human nature to look for that “one” thing that drives success. Pundits, consultants, trainers, technology providers will tend to promote the “one thing,” which is what they are selling.

But, as I’ve written so many times, we don’t get to choose to do certain parts of the job and not others–at least if we want to be a top performer. We’ve have to execute across all aspects of the job. We have to balance our time and performance across all aspects of the job. We have to continue to develop our skills across all aspects of the job.