One of the biggest challenges sales pros have is time and priority management. There is so much to do and so little time. That is why the top producers are always asking themselves…
“What is the most valuable use of my time right now?”
Their answer is built on three facts.
- The exact outcomes they seek w/ time frames
- Where are they in their fiscal year (end of month or quarter means bottom of the funnel focus)
- What does my funnel/ pipeline look like exactly
You know your sales goals, income goals and timelines. Check that box.
Where are you in terms of month end, quarter end and fiscal year end?
If it is nearing the end of one of those time frames and you have a stack of pending closes in there then the best use of your time is bottom of the funnel focus because you need to get a return on your time previously invested.
Three ways to close the sales besides just calling and asking if a decision has been made.
- Remind them of the hard dollar financial consequences of delaying the decision.
- Leverage clients. Get a great client to endorse you on a call with your # 1 prospect.
- Move up the food chain. Ask; what are you thinking? Keep qualifying. Is it really qualified?
Use LinkedIn. Find out who you need to speak to. Get a name and then pick up the phone.
We heard you wanted to fix ___, it’s costing you ____ we proposed __. What are your thoughts?
If you have no deals pending imminent closure then move up to middle of the funnel.
Too many deals stall in the middle and get pushed forward in the CRM and that isn’t good for anyone.
If you cannot answer these 2 questions then you are probably struggling with long sales cycles.
1. Why should the prospect change?
2. Why should the prospect change now?
The answers are:
- They have a major explicit problem
- The cost of their problem is huge
With that in mind do you know?
- With crystal clarity what explicit problem they need solved?
- With crystal clarity what metrics associated to said problem have to be moved & by how much?
- What their financial costs are from living with the problem? Is that in your proposal?
- If there is a compelling event forcing this decision? Do you know it?
- Why do they have to buy now? Why can’t they wait until next year?
- Can you meet their DMC? (better than anyone else)
If you know the answers you can decide: a) if it is qualified and b) if it is a valuable use of your time.
If you do not know the answers assume they are not qualified. Therefore, the best use of your time now is to qualify (by going back and getting the answers to the above questions) your top 10 opportunities to decide what is real and where you should be investing your time.
If you have no mid or bottom of the funnel opportunities’ or you do but they are all poorly qualified “C” level quality then the best use of your time is to prospect and fill the top of the funnel with “A”s.
Top of the funnel activities include:
- Cold calling (using the compelling value technique)
- LinkedIn (using the compelling value technique)
- Expanding inside existing accounts (with fishing questions)
- Getting referrals
- Webinars / speaking one to many is better than one to one
- Trade show booths / have the market come to you
- Buy a list: drip email campaign / have this going on in the background all year / drive the market to you
Depending on the time of year and the shape of your pipeline you should now be able to confidently answer the question; what is the best use of my time right now?
- At month, quarter and year end it is bottom of the funnel focus
- Make sure your mid pipeline is well qualified
- If you are light on funnel period then top of the funnel focus is right for you
If you have any questions or other suggestions on how sales pros can answer the what’s the best use of my time question please share them with me at email@example.com