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Sales Meeting Minute

Time spent prospecting

How much time should you put into prospecting?

The question is a bit of a puzzle.  Ideally, there would be a reference book that lists, by industry, how much time you should invest in prospecting activities.  Unfortunately, there’s no reference book. 

Why?

How much time you invest will depend on the number of prospecting activities you plan, the nature of the activities, and the intended results of the activities.

More importantly, different salespeople have different goals, and these goals will necessitate different amounts of time prospecting.  Introducing a new product or opening a new territory may take more time than continuing to cultivate an existing market where you already have exposure. 

If your efforts are primarily passive, where you have little, if any control of the outcome - direct mail or e-mail for example - you will likely have to do more and it will take longer to see results.  If your efforts are more proactive, where you have considerable control - cold prospecting or generating and then calling on referrals for instance - you can invest less time. 

Since there is no simple formula, you must consider your prospecting objectives and then carefully track your activities and results.  Then, you can decide how much time you want to invest and choose the activities that will allow you to achieve your objectives in that time period.

 

Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler.com





Achieve your resolutions

Early into the New Year, year after year, many of us make promises to instill change in our personal lives. Whether it’s an effort to exercise more or read a book every month, it seems like just about everyone thinks about their individual goals and makes at least one of these resolutions.

While our intentions are good, the truth is that by sometime in mid-March, most of us have all but forgotten these “commitments". In fact, researchers at the University of Scranton state that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions are successful in achieving them! 

Leadership teams should consider the following points when determining organizational goals for the coming year…

​​1. Make the goals specific and relevant.  Many organizations commit to doing things differently in the New Year in order to infuse positive change, but they often fall short because they fail to outline the steps needed to make those changes come to fruition.

  • This can be a daunting task, but laying out a specific path to achieve company goals is critical to success.
  • If company goals are relevant, challenging and attainable, you will get buy-in from employees.

 

2. Track the progress of the goals you’ve set.  It is important to revisit your list of goals and analyze progress to gauge whether or not you are advancing. If you are making progress, be sure to celebrate those victories. If you are not, determine what isn’t working and implement specific adjustments to get back on track.

  • Not enough organizations commemorate the small victories on the journey toward each goal. As you reach certain milestones, those achievements should be celebrated!
  • This is as much about motivating your team as it is about honoring what you’ve accomplished.

 

3. Stay the course.  Often when a company is struggling to reach its goals, it is because leadership has not given serious consideration to the steps above. When leadership loses sight of the prize or waffles on the best way to achieve success, the ripple effect can be devastating.

  • Sometimes when goals are not being met, leaders panic and change the action plan midstream. This sudden change in direction will inevitably be a major blow to employees’ confidence in the leadership team. 
  • Keep in mind that changes to your company’s strategic vision only delay the completion of your objectives. 

None of these steps are easy, but achieving organizational success rarely is. When building a leadership team, be intentional about getting the right people in the right positions. Leaders who can successfully motivate employees to reach a common company goal will benefit everyone. By following these steps, your business will have a much better chance of joining the ranks of companies achieving their resolutions this year. 

©Steve Schaffer - Sandler Training Partner 

 

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler.com



Are you ready?

It’s over and as you assess 2013 and begin the New Year I trust you are filled with optimism and goals for building your company to the next level of success. It’s been an interesting year and I am thrilled to be working with companies that have planned their future with vision and behavior that resulted in a stronger top line, engaged staff, and vision for 2014 and beyond. What changes have you made this past year that supports your five year vision? Have you simply maintained the status (Latin for the mess we’re in)?

I’m always intrigued to see how people approach problems (the chance for you to do your best) and how they put their imagination (the one weapon in a war against reality) to work. Some people know what they should do but can’t get out of their own way (Laziness: Nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired). They would rather do what they are comfortable with than changing even though they know it isn’t helping but they justify it anyway. They procrastinate (putting off tomorrow what you put off yesterday until today).

You need to ask yourself - is it time to move to an excellence business model where you ask of yourself more than others do?. You will actually work less, have less stress, and enjoy yourself more if . . .

A blind person’s world is bounded by the limits of their touch; an ignorant person’s by the limit of their knowledge; a successful person’s by the limit of his vision.

Good luck (being ready) in 2014.
 

Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler.com

 

 



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A time to sell...a time to tell

Salespeople attend networking events with the objective of finding potential customers.  Many, however, are ill-prepared for the task.  They don’t have a planned strategy to properly develop opportunities they might uncover. 

The result? 

As soon as someone shows an interest in the salesperson’s product or service, the salesperson drops into “sell” mode and begins a sales pitch.  In less than a minute, the alleged prospect stops listening and begins formulating his exit strategy.  “That sounds interesting, I’ll keep you in mind if we ever need anything like that,” he says as he begins to back away.

It’s important to remember that a networking event is not a sales call.  It’s not a selling event.  Think of it as a “marketing” event—an opportunity to identify people who have enough interest in your product or service to engage in a future discussion.   

Whether your sales pitch consists of a description of the features and benefits of your product or, alternatively, a series of probing questions to uncover the prospect’s needs, both are inappropriate for a networking (marketing) event. 

So, what is an appropriate conversation for a networking event? 

When someone asks what you do, start with a problem-oriented description of your product or service. 

We help manufacturing companies who are having problems meeting production quotas re-engineer their manufacturing processes to increase production efficiencies and reduce waste.

If the person shows interest, continue with an outcome-oriented description.

Our clients typically see production increases in the neighborhood of 15-25% and a significant reduction in reject rates—all of which is accomplished without increasing absolute production costs.

If the person shows further interest, perhaps asking, “How do you do that?” or a similar question, resist the temptation to drop into “sell” mode and, as so many salespeople do, explain your product or process in detail.  Instead, stay in “marketing” mode and provide an example that illustrates what you do and the advantages enjoyed by your clients.

A recent client was under pressure to increase production throughput.  By simply speeding up the production process, however, they doubled the reject rate, which severely undermined the initial goal.  By carefully analyzing their production process and restructuring several key steps, we not only enabled them to increase production by 22%, but also reduce the reject rate to less than half of the previous low number.

Now, if your prospect wants additional information, it’s appropriate to suggest a more suitable setting within which to have a more in-depth conversation.  You can suggest, and schedule, a phone call or face-to-face appointment.

If you approach networking events, whether formal or informal, prepared to have “marketing” conversations, you’re more likely to uncover prospects with whom to have subsequent “selling” conversations.

 

Copyright 2013 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected] toll free at 1-866-645-2047.



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About the Author

John Glennon is an authorized licensee of Sandler TrainingSM in the Interior of British Columbia.

John is an accomplished sales person and manager with over 17 years sales and sales management experience. Beginning in sales in 1990 as a sales representative, he progressed to territory manager, sales manager, division manager and national sales and marketing manager roles throughout his career.

In 1997, John became a student of the Sandler Selling System. This introduction changed his sales career and over time propelled John and his career to new heights.

Successful in accelerating growth through strategic leadership, John knows firsthand the value of a sales training approach that follows a learning philosophy of ongoing reinforcement. He is experienced in driving the behaviours, attitudes and techniques required of an effective sales team.

Sandler Training is offered on a regular basis from their Kelowna, BC training center and through innovative distance learning programs to the rest of the BC Interior.

www.glennon.sandler.com




[email protected]
1-866-645-2047




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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