Guess what folks...we are halfway through Q1 of 2021! Unbelievable. New year, new politics, but the same old problems we had last year in sales. People are not in the office (they are at home) and if they are, they don’t necessarily want visitors. So what is a sales person to do? From experience, there are several tactics that you can use to keep your sales game strong in 2021. Here are six of them.
- Be strategic. Plan your day and your work. Build a ranked list of accounts that you want to reach. Resist the temptation to only call on the easy ones. Connect with decision makers and influencers that can get you to decision makers. Set goals for yourself and keep your commitments. Having a written strategy and a tactical approach can go a long way to keeping you motivated when you hear the 10th “no” of the day.
- Be proactive. Every lead, every touch, every opportunity to connect is critical. The bad news: Budgets are constrained but the pressure is still on for results (across the board, not just in sales). Make sure you are taking the initiative in connecting with your prospects and existing customers. Inbound leads from websites, email, and google are nice, but you cannot build your career waiting on marketing to do its magic and bring leads to you. Be a hunter.
- Leverage technology. There are only so many hours in the day for you to work. If you can use marketing and sales automation to take some of the manual tasks off of your plate, your productivity will soar! Caveat: Do not use technology as a crutch so you don’t pick up the phone! If you can call a high value prospect and start a conversation, you short circuit the need for technology. Use technology for lower value accounts, repetitive activities, or to follow up behind your personal calls. We use HubSpot as a complete marketing, sales, and service platform. If you want to know how, I am happy to share.
- Be persistent. A single call or email to a contact seldom does the trick. Plan on 5-7 creative ways to try to have that first conversation. Be creative. Send them a single cookie in the mail. Send them a Thanx gift of a cup of coffee. Don’t copy your competition, move past their tired tactics and wow your prospect with your willingness to get creative to meet them. They’ll see that as an example of the energy you’ll bring to their account.
- Use teamwork. Sometimes it is just a personality thing. Pull in other members of your team, or mutual contacts to help get your prospect engaged. Shared voices and a mutually trusted person can go a long way to breaking down resistance and opening the door to a conversation.
- Solve problems. If you lead with your product or service, you are pitching, and no one likes to be pitched. Lead with the problems you solve, the situations you address, or the opportunities you provide. Talk about what they need and fully understand their situation before you even begin to talk about your “solution.” If you are a problem solver, you are giving and adding value. If you are a salesperson, you are taking and come off as selfish. Every. Single. Time.
These examples are a start, but just a start. I’m always happy to connect with salespeople, managers, and business owners who want to take revenue generation to the next level. If you want to chat, book some time on my calendar. If you have other tactics you want to share, please comment! Together, let's crush 2021.