Earlier in this series, we talked about the way a salesperson is often perceived: They’re juggling opportunities at different stages of the sales lifecycle while torrents of emails flood their inbox, and calls and text messages melt their smartphones. They always appear to be playing “catch-up” while never quite catching up. This is such a common view that we seem to have normalized this condition. We expect salespeople to be in perpetual motion—and many are measured on activity levels, especially when revenue performance is falling short.
But are these madly dashing salespeople the truly successful ones? If you take a good step back, you’ll discover that they’re not. They can’t be—because they don’t have enough of a solid organizational foundation to proceed steadily forward, successfully navigate through complexity, and consistently make targets. Whereas successful salespeople do.
And interestingly, the successful salespeople aren’t the ones that are immediately visible, because they’re not in hectic motion and making all that noise. No, they’re just calmly proceeding forward—and for that reason it is their names you’ll see on the leaderboards.
Consistent Pipeline Review
A successful salesperson always knows where opportunities stand—in which sales process stages, and in relation to the tasks and activities that need to be done to get them through each of those individual stages.
This could be referred to as a consistent, ongoing pipeline review. The successful rep is always looking through their pipeline, seeing which opportunities are in which stages, and evaluating the tasks that must be undertaken to get them through the next stages and to a close.
This can and often is done manually—although with the right technology, such as Pipeliner CRM, a constant manual review isn’t necessary at all. The CRM solution is in itself a real-time pipeline review for the rep that the rep can simply refer to as needed.
Underneath all of this is a knowledge and understanding of what must be done to bring each of these opportunities to a close. This has been worked out in the past—the rep now follows the successful routes laid down. Of course these routes must be tweaked from time to time, because nothing stays the same and markets, product lines, competitors and even economies undergo regular change.
But such a review—performed with automation or manually—forms the basis for the rest of a successful sales rep’s actions. Vitally, it provides the data with which to prioritize: Which deals should be worked on first? Which actions should be taken up first, within each of those deals?
With successful prioritizing going on, a regular workday can be planned with relative ease. Since opportunities and activities are already prioritized, the tasks that need to be undertaken—taken from those opportunities—can be confidently laid out.
Of course this, too, can be done manually, and has been for ages by successful salespeople. But Pipeliner CRM’s new Navigator feature actually automates this process, too; a salesperson need only open up CRM first thing in the morning and go.
So what does a successful salesperson focus on that others don’t? He or she calmly proceeds forward, knowing where to go, knowing the priorities and what actions to take next, and always making sure there is an organized supporting structure helping guide them through.
Stay tuned for more in our series on Focus and Clarity.
What kind of CRM solution does it take to remain focused and forging ahead at optimum speed? Download it here: