It's been a tough couple of years in business and everyone is looking for that "magic bullet." Is it social media? Sales 2.0? Relationships? Negotiation skills? All are good sources and ideas for closing business, however, we still find that top performing sales teams execute the basics day in and day out. Some of day to day execution may not be sexy....but it works. Here are three basics to remember:
Basic#1: Consistent prospecting.
Great salespeople prospect when the feel like it and more importantly when they don't feel like it! They know that most salespeople get frustrated when they don't acheive instant results. The delayed gratification impaired salesperson starts looking at their personal Facebook page versus prospect websites. The result is cyclical sales cycles and missed forecasts.
Basic #2: Top performing sales teams are good at qualifying or disqualifying oppportunities.
They don't believe in filling a pipeline just so they can turn in a sales forecast. Top salespeople know that a pipeline full of suspects leads to complacency and less sales activity. They are diligent about working only on the highest value opportunities. Top salespeople guard their sales funnel like the federal reserve--not everyone can get in. Their philosophy: let the competition stay busy writing practice proposals.
Basic #3: They take the time to study, practice and learn how to quantify the cost of the prospect's problem or opportunity.
Top salesprofessionals walk out of sales meetings with three numbers : the financial impact of the problem, the strategic impact of the problem and the personal impact of the problem. Top salespeople know that today's buyer is guarded. Prospect's are not sure when the economy is going to recover and as a result only want to invest where they can see an ROI. Talk is cheap and numbers don't lie. Top salespeople make is easy for their prospect's to make decisions. New is always fun, exciting and can often be profitable. On your way to exploring new, don't forget to execute the "old."