Before you think you're sure, pick up a copy of Mike Weinberg's new book, New Sales Simplified. Mike has written a book about the basics. The sports analogy I like to use is that it's about blocking and tackling - the fundamentals that seem to trip up otherwise smart sales people time and time again.
Mike, known as the New Sales Coach, is one of the friendliest and most helpful pros I know in our field of training and coaching so it's no wonder that his book would be so enjoyable to read. Until I read his book, I didn't know how he had replicated success over and over for different organizations. He knows that the stories and simple message here can reach people unlike any complex theories around.
Have you thought of the big secret yet? It's something this blog has talked about a number of times - as Mike puts it,
Many people in sales are ill-equipped to successfully attack the marketplace.
They don't create enough activity.
The activity that is done is not the right activity.
There is no strategic plan in place.
People hear that proactive selling is dead, thanks to the Sales 2.0 movement and insist it is true.
Mike actually offers 16 reasons why salespeople fail at prospecting. But there is hope.
If you can't hire your own sales coach, which is something every organization should think about, then at least pick up New Sales Simplified for simple ideas to jump-start new efforts and help hone your skills in the fundamental ways you can regularly attract and create prospects even before they go to the web to search for your solutions.
[We recommend a good inbound marketing program to compliment your outbound efforts, which together with strong prospecting give you a stream of more qualified leads than you'll ever imagine.]
Stop talking about cold calls and rename them proactive sales calls. That's what Mike did. See what a difference that phrase makes? It almost makes you want to pick up the phone.
That brings me back to activity levels. I've seen this for years, yet it is rarely talked about. Mike hones in on it - and I think it is one of THE biggest secrets to success in selling:
How little time there is spent proactively selling.
Yup - seems simple, but it can be for complex reasons within companies - not always the sales reps fault.
If you do have enough time to work on new business, and you are struggling, chances are there are some simple issues plus some simple ideas to try which could undoubtedly help you fill your sales pipeline.
This is a great place to start.
What books are you reading?
What is the best sales book you have ever read and why?
Lori Richardson speaks, writes, and trains on sales strategies for B2B mid-market technology front-line sales teams. Why not sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter, “Sales Ideas In A Minute” or the award-winning blog rss feed?