It is easy to get distracted in a sales career. One of the worst things that can happen is that you don't keep an eye on your "more probable" buyers - those buyers who seem close to making a decision, have an eminent need, and are qualified buyers.
Have you lost track of a pending sales opportunity? Does your focus shift?
On one hand, I'd like to say that there is no excuse for this, however, I know it happens all the time because of poor tracking.
You have this "lead" in a spreadsheet, not a CRM system, and you can't set a next action in a spreadsheet. Even if you use a spreadsheet and calendar combo, there are still ways the opportunity can miss getting transferred to the calendar.
Regardless of whether you have a sophisticated CRM system or manila file folders at your desk (I hope not), one way to keep track of upcoming potential sales opportunities is to have a Hit List. Think Top Hits rather than a Mob Hit List - but either way, you jot down / type in those top sales opportunities that are probable and qualified. along with who your contacts are and their contact information. With your CRM system, you should be able to print a report showing all of your 30-60 day potential deals. They should be moving forward. Help your buyer to make a decision and bring the opportunity to closure through more conversations and by showing them the return (ROI) their company will likely gain by making this decision.
I like to print out my list and keep it on my desk where I can see it. By doing this I'm reminded visually of those who are interested in our services and stay top of mind. We will check their social posts and see what they are talking about, tying that into a conversation when possible. Check this every day.
The other list I like to keep is either a list of industry counterparts of my clients, if I am an industry rep, or a geographic list if I'm a regional rep. If you always have that on hand, there is someone to contact, research, and propose to.
Other lists you should have if you are a newer sales rep:
- List what sets our company apart from others in the industry. This is a confidence builder
- List all the objections that can come up when speaking with buyers. (it's a finite list)
- List the buyer types that you and your peers call on regularly and their habits, wants, issues, and aspirations
- list showing the steps in your sales process if it is not clear to you
The main point is that you need to plan, strategize, and stay organized in order to excel in a sales career. It is too easy to get distracted and to move so quickly that you don't take time to plan ahead - you simply react. Reacting only works so long, and then you start missing out on opportunities.
What other lists and tools do you use to keep on top of all of your sales opportunities and the system you go about moving deals forward?
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized 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.