Putting together a model sales week requires that you know your priorities, you get the priorities in the right order, and that you block the time to achieve the outcomes you need.
- Block Time for Prospecting: If you are going to get your prospecting done, you have to schedule it first. There are too many distractions, too many demands, and too many interruptions in a salesperson’s day to leave this to chance. Before you schedule anything else, block time for the most important activity a salesperson can take: opening relationships that open opportunities.
- Block Time for Face-to-Face Sales Calls: A modern sales professional creates the most value when she is face-to-face with her dream client. Face-to-face sales calls provide the greatest opportunity for value creation and the greatest possibility of advancing your sales opportunity. The quality of your results is the quality of your calendar as it pertains to appointments with your dream clients and clients. Schedule your sales calls. As these get scheduled weeks into the future, make sure to block time for prospecting each week.
- Block Time for Nurturing Activity: After prospecting and face-to-face sales calls, there isn’t a higher value activity than nurturing your dream client relationships. The best opportunities for producing killer sales results lie with your coldest non-opportunities, your dream clients who are presently using a competitor. The top 20% of salespeople make that ranking by focusing on the dream client that, when eventually won, put them on the top of the leader board. Block time to nurture these relationships and to make yourself known as a value-creator now.
- Block Time for Sales Call Preparation: Because face-to-face sales calls are one of the best opportunities for you to create value and advance and opportunity, there is no reason to wing it. Instead, block time to plan your sales calls, to write an agenda, and to rehearse and plan the sales call. Even if you are good in front of a client, this will make you even better and more effective.
- Block Time for Follow-Up Activities: Building the trust that underlies the foundation of all relationships means keeping your commitments. You are going to have a lot of follow-up activities as a result of your sales calls with your dream client and your clients. Effective time management requires that you block time for the follow-up activity, instead of bouncing around from one task to another. Block time to complete all of your follow up from your prospecting activity, your sales calls, and your existing client requests. Keep your commitments, and block off the time to do so. (Don’t forget to send Thank You Cards).
- Block Time to Respond to Voice Mail and Email: Many of you might have expected to see this at the very top of the list. It doesn’t belong there. The important communications come directly to your cellular phone. Instead of letting the constant, never-ending barrage of emails and voicemails dominate your day, choose two or three times that you will respond to email and process your email then (a lot of people like 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Block time to respond to and process email and voicemail; don’t let it dominate your calendar.
- Block Time to Update Your Sales Force Automation: Your sales force automation software isn’t for your sales manager’s benefit; it is for your benefit. Your results are the sum total of your relationships, and you must manage those relationships. Add the notes from your sales calls, the new contacts, the action items, and the progress you have made in advancing the deals in your pipeline to your SFA. The best time to do this is with the last half hour of the day, while the conversations and ideas are fresh in your mind. Block a half hour each day to do this follow-up work.
- Block Time for Personal Improvement: This work can be done outside of your normal work hours. You can listen to an audiobook while you drive to sales calls, or you can read a chapter of a book each night while you wind down. Regardless of what it is you want to do to develop your three-pound power plant of sales effectiveness, block the time to do so. Your personal and professional development is your responsibility.
What activities make up a model sales week?
What outcomes do you need to obtain during a model week and what activities lead to those outcomes?
How do you prioritize the activities and outcomes you need?
What happens to your results if your priorities are in the wrong order? What tends to get missed or dropped?