There are many good reasons to have a sales blitz. If you want to accelerate the creation of new opportunities, an intense focus on increased activity can ramp up the number of conversations, meetings, and, ultimately, new opportunities. If you have an initiative that is time sensitive, applying more resources, more time, and more energy to communicating that opportunity with your clients and prospects provides another good reason to have a sales blitz. If you want to shake things up, generate some excitement, and offer something for a sales group to do together, a blitz might be just the thing. However, if the only reason you are considering a sales blitz is that you are behind on your results, a sales blitz is a poor strategy.
The Right Time to Prospect
One of the questions people ask most often is: “When is the best time to prospect?” The person asking wants an answer that includes a day of the week, the time of day, or both. The right answer is six months ago was the best time to prospect if you need new opportunities, and the second-best time is always right now. If you didn’t prospect six months ago, you are not going to catch up in a day.
A sales blitz is either a proactive initiative or a reactive response to a lack of prospecting discipline.
- Accountability: If there has been no accountability for creating new opportunities, a sales blitz may provide a short-term increase in the number of opportunities in your pipeline, but it does nothing to solve the longer-term problem of consistent opportunity creation. Instead of a day-long campaign, you need to create a culture of accountability.
- Structures and Cadence: If the reason you are not creating enough opportunities is that there are no processes and structures in place to support the sales team in acquiring those new opportunities, short-term relief does nothing to address the root cause of the symptoms. If prospecting means calling this prospect and that dream client sporadically and without an intentional pursuit plan, making a full day of calls will not improve your results.
- Training and Development: There are a few variables to success in making calls and booking meetings. One is the ability to trade enough value to command an appointment. Another is your conviction, how deeply you believe you deserve your prospect’s time. There is also how well you communicate these things. Even though it is out of fashion to role play and prepare, there isn’t a better or faster way to develop—as long as you immediately put it to use and pick up the phone.
It is a mistake to use a short term approach to a systemic problem. The method doesn’t match the significance of the problem or the impact on your results. Solving systemic issues requires a long-term approach.
The Prospecting Discipline
There is an enormous difference between eight hours of prospecting in a single day every three months or so and 90 minutes of focused prospecting daily. Because salespeople only do two things, create opportunities, and capture opportunities, it is not unreasonable to expect that prospecting must be a daily discipline. (Yes, I’m aware salespeople are asked to do all kinds of things that are not opportunity creation or opportunity capture, but if you want to improve your results immediately, limiting non-sales related work is as good a place to start as any.)
There is no way to cram prospecting. Spending an eight hour day making calls is not the same as making an hour of calls every day. It is a mistake to believe that you can do all the prospecting you need in a day. You are free to think that a sales blitz is enough to make up for bad habits, but you are not free from the consequences of a decision to try to make up for the lost time.
One of the reasons you can’t cram prospecting is that one of the factors that dominate prospecting results is the ability to reach people to ask for a meeting. When you limit that request to a single day, you give up the opportunity to make multiple touches in close succession that you reach someone to ask them for a meeting. It is difficult to be persistent when you go long periods without reaching out to your prospective clients, and because you go away for a long time, you reinforce your client’s decision to ignore you until you go away.
Have Your Blitz
If you are going to have a sales blitz, you might as achieve a better, longer-lasting impact by framing it as the day when you will reclaim your prospecting discipline. The hundred or so calls you require during your initiative is to kickstart daily hour-long or ninety-minute blocks, as well as the accountability that ensures change, the structures and cadence you install, and the training, development, and coaching to improve results.