It is not enough in selling anymore to just show up and be effective at working a sales territory. You need to plan, strategize, and prepare for success. You also need to be aware that a number of strategies will get you closer to prospective customers - not just one. At Score More Sales we call the multiple strategies in prospecting the Sales Pipeline Success Puzzle. Put all the pieces together, and you have the whole picture - which means you have new sales opportunities.
It always works to add at least one more strategy to any seller's single strategy routine. You say your industry is special? Your market niche is different? I doubt it.
Take Joe for example. He sells SaaS cloud services. Joe has a massive work ethic and sends out over 200 individual emails to prospective customers each week. He does not like to use the phone much, and has never had a formal plan to contact strategic partners who could refer him multiple opportunities on a regular basis. His company does not offer him much support in marketing or social tools. Joe has to be entrepreneurial in order to succeed.
After several conversations, Joe identified a list of 20 people in adjacent industries - so not people who work at competitive companies but rather those at companies that compliment what Joe does. They, along with Joe, run into many of the same companies every week. Traditionally everyone contacts these companies on their own.
Joe felt that the 20 people he listed were all movers and shakers - even some real industry experts and influencers. Joe knows all of them - some more than others, but he has no regular conversations with any one of them.
Here's what Joe did. In January he kicked off the new year making regular contact with each of the 20 strategic individuals - people who could refer him in an ongoing way into potential sales opportunities. Joe made 4 calls a day initially to reach all 20 of these contacts. He found 3 who were not interested in collaborating and sharing ideas, so he changed those 3 out to 3 others who would be a much better fit. Two of the last three people he identified, it turns out, helped him to find four potential sales opportunities he was not aware of. Joe ultimately closed two of the deals, adding $48K/year worth of net new business within 45 days. Not bad, since Joe's two new clients helped him blow out his Q1 quota.
What did Joe do? He was open to a new strategy. He added it into his normal week, and put a plan to regularly call his "Power 20" as he calls them - all individually - to offer them insight, ideas, and leads. They do the SAME for him.
Interested in hearing more about the Sales Pipeline Success Puzzle? Click here (FREE DOWNLOAD), and stay open to diversifying your prospecting strategies if you are focused on just one or two ways to reach potential prospects.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the "Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.