Being a sales professional is similar to running your own business. In most situations, you will be fairly left up to work on your own and empowered to make decisions in terms of how you manage your time and how to manage your business. With that being the case, there are clearly things you can do, and not do, to impact your success. Below is a summary of three “C’s” that can help to drive sales excellence.
The day in the life of a sales person can be very chaotic. One thing impacting this is that a sales person will be responsible for many different tasks. They will be responsible for outbound activities like finding new opportunities, working to close existing business, and taking care of existing clients. But then there are also a number of internally focused tasks like administrative work, training, and research. With diverse workload, it can be challenging to manage consistent levels in different areas.
One way to ensure consistency is to effectively manage your time and to add structure to your week. This will help to ensure, regardless of the noise of the day, that you will be able to give attention to the areas that need activity for a defined amount of time every week.
As mentioned, the typical sales person will be responsible for a number of different task and responsibilities. When this is the case, it can be very easy to get bogged down in one task and not give enough time to another. For sales excellence, it is critical to be able to work with concurrency allowing you to focus on many different areas at one time.
An example of this is that a sales person will always need to find new prospects. But at many given times, a sales person might have some identified prospects that need attention to close the sale. If that sales person focuses most of their time on the identified prospects and eases up on looking for new prospects, when or if the current prospects sign up, there will be a lull in the pipeline afterward. Concurrency would be still looking for new prospects while working to close the existing ones.
Every sales situation is competitive in some way or another. That being said, just work hard and working in all the areas that you need to is not completely enough for sales excellence. The remaining piece to complete that is competency. Competency refers to being competent in the field you work in, the product you sell, and the industry that you sell to.
The key to operating with competency is to continue to learn and develop. It is common to go through a company’s standard training programs and then ease up in the area of continuing to learn. But that simply is not enough to ensure sales excellence. There is always more that we can learn about the company we work for, the products we sell, the companies we are trying to sell to, etc. That being said, it can be good to periodically step back from trying to find business to take an inward look to try to build on the existing knowledge that you already have.