I was always a good student. I suppose it helped that I earned $2 for every “A” on my report card, but in truth, I really did like to see proof of my hard work. My brother, on the other hand, didn’t give a whit about school, so on the day he brought home a report card with three F’s on it – he literally buried it in the backyard and said he lost it on the way home. My mother told him to just ask the teacher for a copy, and let it go. Just about the time the after-dinner dessert was being served the dog came in through the doggie door with the dirty report card dangling from his mouth, and presented it like it was a prized bone. All these years later, I think my brother is still in time-out.
The truth is that without a report card; without accurate data to analyze, sales navigates wearing a blindfold. That means lost revenue, wasted time and slower company growth. There are two important things that data collection does to help increase revenue.
- Collected data can be used to create reports that organize and summarize data, allowing for evaluation and enhancement of the sales process.
- It provides statistics for sales analysis so that the data can be studied to gleam insight into improving business performance.
The Question Is…
Do you sell yourself short by skipping activity documentation; do you bury the proof of your achievements, or do you do your part to help grow your company?
Common Reasons Documentation is often Skipped
- The pressure to make more calls, have more conversations, and close more deals creates the urge to rush onto the next call, in lieu of taking time to document activity.
- The documentation process is too complex and time consuming.
The fact is both of the common reasons documentation is sometimes skipped are valid concerns because time does matter, but so does the ability to have accurate statistics.
What if you could send a follow-up email; leave a voicemail; make yourself a note; schedule your Next Step – and have it all documented in icons on an Activity Timeline – in about a minute and a half? Would it be worth it to you? Would it be worth it to your company? What would you have to have to accomplish that?
- Simplified Process all on one page
- Prepared Email Messages
- Prepared Voicemail Scripts
- Convenient Note Field
- An Intuitive Calendar that efficiently schedules your Next Step
- An automatically updating Activity Timeline that clearly shows what has already been done.
ShadeTree Technology’s Incite2 – a Salesforce add-on makes that and so much more possible. Minimal mouse licks completes your tasks, and because everything you need is all on one efficient page you get to save time and increase revenue with a lot less work.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts;
Your thoughts become your words;
Your words become your actions;
Your actions become your habits;
Your habits become your values;
Your values become your destiny.”
The truth is that in an effort to keep things simple we often do them the most complex way. It’s just human nature, or is it? Think about it; how many versions of the sink or swim story have you heard? Is there anyone, anywhere who doesn’t know someone whose father threw them in the water, to teach them how to swim? What about no pain, no gain? How many believe that if you don’t learn it the hard way, that you don’t thoroughly learn it? Is it possible that we were taught the hard way and then adopted it as the only way?
Five Missteps when doing it the Hard Way and
What to Do about Them
1. Failure to Organize
Cold calling is hard enough, but tackling it without a plan is harder. Take advantage of your ability to create lists in Salesforce. Lead pages already have a “Status Field” but if you add such to your Contacts pages – you now have the ability to create a productive list to work from based on status. Calling just got a whole lot faster.
2. Neglecting Research
While many step over the research step in their day, likely because it’s time consuming and only a few calls in an hour actually net a conversation, doesn’t mean there isn’t any value in being prepared. When you know a company’s product, you know what you can do for them. If you know about their achievements and recognition’s you just might get your foot in the door. If they have newly acquired another company, you may be able to play to that fact. While it may not be practical to dig deep for every single call, even if you just use the account note field in Salesforce to note small details as you learn them, you’re better off than having no research. Buy your lead generators a cup of coffee once in a while – and they might just be willing to make a few notes for you.
3. Skipping the Call Script
When you ad lib the conversation you give up control. The Internet has a wealth of information. With just a little research you can find the elements of conversation that are most likely to get you a second call. You have just seconds to get it right, and quite possibly only one crack at it. Leaving it to chance can be sales suicide.
4. Lack of Follow Up
Despite the fact that you make hundreds of calls a week, it’s important to always keep your word. In the sales jungle, it is truly survival of the fittest. You have to do ten things right to erase one wrong thing. Best practice: If you say you will call back on a certain day; at a certain time – do it. If you promise to only take a moment of their time – do it. If you are asked not to call them again – don’t. Find someone new to call. Make your word your bond. Follow up, and follow through.
5. No Time Taken to Document
Documenting all activity may be the last thing you want to do when you hang up the phone, but failing to do so means that the numbers fed into analytics will give back a false reading. It is a numbers game, and everyone’s paycheck depends on them. You should know that without documenting where you’ve been, there is little chance of knowing where you should go.
It is possible to take control of the process, and success can be achieved doing things the easy way.
Every sales organization has one over-arching objective to which all other activities are in service and that is to meet or exceed its revenue goals. For sales teams, that is how “victory” is defined.
If you run a sales team, odds are pretty high that you’ve been focusing on the following in order to ensure your team is positioned and prepared for success: Read more
All inspired and resourceful reps that expect or intend to blow past their quota start their day in the same dedicated manner. They ask themselves two fundamental questions:
1. “What should I do today?” (Prioritization)
2. “What do I need in order to do it?” (Execution) Read more
Want to know the best way to get a prospect to call you back or respond to an email?
Communicate in simple language how your solution helps your prospect:
- Improve or better execute their business strategy
- Lower the risk of achieving their business strategy
- Solve a problem that is impacting their business strategy