SalesFitRx BLOG

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SALES PROCESS INEFFICIENCIES LIMIT SELLING TIME: FIX IT!

Battling_Cage_302_shadowI know a young man, 10 years my junior, who played baseball every year from t-ball through college. He was confident he had a great swing by the middle of his high school years.

That was when a former major league all-star put that boy in his place.

It was at the Jim Rice Baseball School in Tampa, FL and Ron LeFlore was that pro player. Jason was the high school player who took exactly three swings in front of LeFlore before the pro stepped in and stopped the session of batting practice.

LeFlore gave the kid three simple steps, creating a far more efficient swing, and the kid went on to completely miss more than 20 pitches in a row.

Jason was frustrated, and he expressed it. Ron asked him a single question: “Between you and me, which one of us is a major league all-star?”

The kid sighed and the pro assured him that by the end of the week he would be hitting the ball better than he ever had only ifhe chose to trust LeFlore. Jason chose to trust him.

Friday morning came and LeFlore stood behind the batting cage as the kid stepped up to the plate. The first pitch came out of the pitching machine and LeFlore called out, “Left field!” The kid hit it to left field. Then, “Right field!” And a line drive shot over the head of the second baseman.

This went on for two dozen pitches in all, and every one of them landed wherever the pro commanded them to go.

The kid went on to lead his league the next year with a .543 batting average, as well as in several other categories. This came about because someone knew how to fix the inefficiencies in Jason’s swing.

I TOLD YOU THAT TO TELL YOU THIS…
Inefficiencies in your sales process are costing you more signed sales contracts than you may believe. The Ron LeFlore you need to fix your situation will be the voice that’s helping you spend more time in direct selling activities. Period.

CEO and Co-founder of Seismic, Doug Winter (@SeismicSoftware) wrote an article for @Entrepreneur magazine two weeks ago titled: Eliminate Inefficiencies in Your Sales Process So Your People Can Focus on the Sell.”

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Winter’s article is this:

“Knowing that content is the fuel to the sales engine, it would make sense to give the sales force access to the sales materials that help them sell from the place where they spend the most time: within their email, CRM or both.”

WHAT I LIKED
Winter makes his case without wasted effort. An article about correcting inefficiencies would not be as credible if it was longer than it needed to be.

In the article, Winter draws from a variety of sources to paint a picture of the truth; there’s a lot of wasted time and effort where a good thing has become a bad thing because it’s taken the place of the best thing.

That best thing is Selling Time.

Winter discusses this issue through the lens of content marketing and how it’s the fuel to the sales engine.

It’s a quick read, and the article can be an important part of the ammunition you need to bring about change in your sales organization (whether you’re a sales rep, manager, director or executive).

And yes, SalesFitRx is all about helping sales professionals, and sales teams, locate more selling time. If you haven’t yet looked into how the web and mobile app does this, I recommend finding out today. There’s also a 30 day risk-free trial available (no credit card required).

As for Jason, he was asked by the owner of the baseball school to stay an extra week, at the owner’s cost, and he did. Much like a week of pure selling time, this bonus week for the kid was pure profit.

LeFlore was able to further develop him into the player who went on to consistently frustrate opposing teams’ managers until the end of his playing days.

It was all because the kid was willing to make a change in order to achieve greater success. Will you?

[Reading Time of Winter’s Article: 2:30 minutes]


QUESTION ::: What types of work activities take up too much of your time each week?

Let’s talk about it…

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SELLING TIME – BUYER PERSONAS – SALES HIRING ::: FSG LINKS

Selling_Time_392_shadowThis week’s links target how to increase your selling time, how to improve your buyer personas, and how to be more effective in your sales hiring.

Come back daily and be sure to visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

MORE SELLING TIME :::

Kurt_Sima_115x116_shadowThe Center For Sales Strategy Blog
A Sales Strategy to Double Time Spent Selling
VP/Senior Consultant Kurt Sima (@csspartners) for The Center for Sales Strategy sees the importance of getting back time. For the sales professional, that should mean getting back selling time. Read how Sima recommends making that happen. You may pick-up a few ideas.

KEY QUOTE: What percentage of time do you spend selling? There is one way to find out: conduct a time audit for a week. Better yet, have everyone in your sales organization conduct a time audit. The data might surprise you.”

This post quickly caught my attention because this is exactly why the web/mobile SalesFitRx app was created. I may only be the primary blogger for the SalesFitRx site, but I wouldn’t have ever signed-on for this role if I didn’t first believe in the value of the app’s award-winning technology#findmoresellingtime
[Reading Time: 1:30]

PERSONAS :::

Katie_Martell_111x110_shadowSales Wars Blog
6 Reasons Your Buyer Personas Are Wasting Sales Time
Co-Founder/CMO of @myCintell [and ska afficionado] Katie Martell (@KatieMartell for @quotafactory) put together this excellent breakdown of the breakdown of your buyer personas. Personas can be a vital tool in gaining a stream of sales, but only if they’re built well and effectively updated when needed.

KEY QUOTE: “Unfortunately, although 73% of companies use, or plan to use buyer personas, the majority (85%) of companies are not using them correctly (according to the ITSMA).”

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, and this post helps you work out what you need to know. #weakpersonaswastesellingtime
[Reading Time: 5:00]

   +++++

Pat_McAnally_110x113_shadowSiriusDecisions Blog
A How-To Lesson: Figuring Out What’s Top of Mind for a Persona
Research Director, Portfolio Marketing, for @siriusdecisions Pat McAnally (@patmcanally) gives us more help with our personas. This is a great nuts and bolts/how-to resource to take you through a specific process to better understand your buyers.

KEY QUOTE: “There is something viscerally satisfying about seeing the alignment emerge. This exercise also helps institutionalize persona knowledge within the marketing organization, providing a firm grasp of the data so insights can be incorporated into downstream deliverables.”

Learn from what’s been consistently successful for others. #personasarepeopletoo
[Reading Time: 3:00]

SALES HIRING :::

Nancy_Bleeke_113x113_shadow-1Sales Pro Insider Blog
Selecting Top Sales Candidates: How to Determine if They Can (and Will) Really Sell
President of Sales Pro Insider, Inc., Nancy Bleeke (@SalesProInsider), goes incredibly in-depth to help you understand effective processes for choosing the right sales candidates.

KEY QUOTE: “Want to select top sales candidates? Identify and follow an effective selection process. Use a combination of subjective and objective data gathering points to make the best decision. Then don’t let time pressures, lack of focus, or shortcuts reduce the probability of selecting top performers who have the right skills and will to succeed.”

Make the right choices through asking the right questions and making careful observations. There will likely be some all-stars in your hiring when you do it right. #itsnotafantasydraft
[Reading Time: 5:00]

 

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

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HOW TO INCREASE SALES: FIND SELLING TIME IN YOUR CURRENT NON-SELLING TIME

Time_Is_Money_334_shadowYou have a finite amount of hours for your sales activities.

That’s true, so how do you optimize your time to maximize sales?

I just read the article Nancy Nardin (@sellingtools) published on LinkedIn titled, “Accelerating Revenue: The ONE Measurement That Matters Most,” and I quite simply could not agree with her more…

“The most important measurement that determines revenue growth is the percentage of sales capacity that’s utilized for sales interactions (and whether that percentage is increasing or decreasing).”

There are existing hours that, when converted over to true selling time hours, will bring about more sales. That’s not an opinion, that’s just a fact.

This is key:

“Measuring Quota attainment percentage and other key performance indicators (KPIs) is important. But here’s the problem; they don’t tell you whether reps could be selling more and what’s preventing that from happening.”

So, do you think you already get your maximum amount of selling time? Are you really making the most of your time? Research [consistently] says that you are not…for that matter, pretty much no one is:

“…several research studies have all shown that the average B2B salesperson spends less than 35% of her time selling (defined as interacting with a prospect). That means, of the total number of 215 selling days (our available sales capacity) 140 days are used for something other than talking with a prospect.”

Those hours are currently disguised as any number of tasks, and Nancy does an excellent job of telling you where so many of these hours are. You need to read her article to see all of them in her list.

You can increase your sales by 40% simply by trimming 1 hour of time each day from the above tasks.”

Thank you for putting together this information for us, Nancy.

>> Don’t miss out on subscribing to Nancy’s YouTube channel as well. <<

It’s no longer a secret that finding non-selling time to convert into selling time is at the heart of what the SalesFitRx web and mobile app does for sales professionals and sales organizations as a whole. This is a rare mention of the award-winning app, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention it.

If you read this far into the article, you’re a perfect candidate to increase your sales with help from this tool. Their offer of up to 70 days of free use of this true difference maker will probably interest you.

QUESTION ::: If you’re honest with yourself, where do you already know you can be saving time in your day to create more selling time? What’s stopping you from making that change today?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

 

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS :: MASTERMIND GROUPS & TEXT MESSAGING FOR SALES?

Strategy_Chalkboard_290_shadowThis week, I have some extremely useful resources, as always from some very credible sources, relating to strategies and tactics you can start using today to be more effective in your selling.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources, through my years of experience, to help you continue growing in your sales career:

STRATEGY :::

Harvard Business Review
Make Time for the Work That Matters
Although this article wasn’t written specifically for sales professionals, this piece by Julian Birkinshaw (@jbirkinshaw) and Jordan Cohen (@cohenjo) can certainly help you be more effective in your sales career.

The work that matters most for sales teams is selling time, and the work supporting your selling time, to make it as effective as possible.

Try out the interactive tool linked at the beginning of the article to get an idea of what you could consider dropping or outsourcing. There are a lot of excellent application opportunities for sales professionals in this resource.

AliceHeiman.com’s Blog
My Sales Secret – My Mastermind Group
Fresh off the plane returning from this week’s Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco (which SalesFitRx also attended), Alice Heiman (@aliceheiman) is apparently in on the business secret that may possibly be one of the single most important reasons I’ve been able to achieve what I have in my own sales career. It’s the developing and engaging in Mastermind groups.

Alice explains what they are, a bit about what this strategy has meant to great people in history and how you can create your own mastermind group.

Also, don’t miss the free, downloadable How To Create Your Ultimate Mastermind Team PDF file (linked near the end of the blog post).

TACTICS :::

Selling Power
Four Selling Skills You Need in the Social Age
Social Selling is a hot topic in the sales industry. Are you growing in this skill set? Kurt Shaver (@kurtshaver) efficiently and effectively leads us through four important selling skills in the age of social media.

JebBlount.com’s Blog
7 Keys to Using Text Messaging for Sales Prospecting
This certainly wasn’t an option during my first decades in sales, but it can definitely be helpful when you can align the right message to the right person at the right time on the right device. Jed Blount (@salesgravy) offers some great advice.

Don’t miss the section toward the end titled, “7 Keys to Structuring Effective Text Prospecting Messages.”

Attach.io
101 Sales Email Templates You Can Use Today to Close More Deals

Finally, this resource from @attachio is a good one to bookmark in your browser. Why start from scratch when you can modify a message that’s already written along the lines of what you want to accomplish?

Just make sure to modify each template enough so it doesn’t end up being too similar to other emails in the prospect’s inbox (in case others use this resource as well).

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS: DISTRACTIONS, METAPHORS & COACHING IN THE MOMENT

Friday_Sales_Links_small_shadowCome back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature:

TACTICS & EXECUTION :::

TheSalesBlog.com
Eliminate Distractions And Do Good Work
This is an excellent reminder to be a good steward of the limited time you have each day. Increase your selling time by remembering how good things become bad things when they take the place of the best things.

JillKonrath.com
[INFOGRAPHIC] Words That Sell: Using Metaphors to Drive Sales

An effective metaphor can definitely assist you in getting closer to “Yes.” This infographic from presentation and sales specialist Anne Miller, along with the list of scenarios offered by speaker/author/sales specialist Jill Konrath, give you a lot of helpful direction and ideas in about 60 seconds of your time.

RESEARCH :::

Harvard Business Review
SteveWMartin.com

What Top Sales Teams Have in Common, in 5 Charts
HBR.org offers a concise article from the results of this extensive research. It’s good information to know and hold up against the traits of your own organization. You may very well have some low-hanging fruit ready to harvest.


TRAINING :::

BillCaskey.com
When To Coach In The Moment

I believe too many opportunities for coaching sales professionals are lost when you fail to coach individuals in the moment. There are times for this kind of coaching and other times when scheduled coaching meetings are best. Listen to this audio blog post, from Bill Caskey, to learn more about when to stop in the moment and strengthen your team one member at a time.

Openview Labs
Sales Training Is a Line Not a Dot
Too much of what is learned in training is lost within the first 30 days following training sessions. Daniel Chalef offers an approach to help that knowledge and understanding stick with trainees longer. I can see this being effective in many organizational situations.

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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