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Eating that Frog – How to Manage Your Sales Activity!

How many of you have kept to the diet or exercise regime, that you pledged you were going to stick to at the beginning of January? I know that my resolution of not eating sugar lasted less than a week! Those that manage to keep to their resolutions often have a coach, support group or friend by their side which helps keep up the resolution and accountability. As we all know keeping to a regime is challenging!

I often hear, from business owners, during coaching and consultancy sessions, that time management and juggling all the different balls in the air at one time is a constant battle particularly when one of these balls is managing the sales pipeline.  As a small business owner, myself I understand the constant time battle, but also know that selling needs to be a daily activity! So here are my top tips on how to manage your sales activity effectively:

  1. Break down your Sales Forecasts:  Set yourself manageable monthly and weekly sales targets. Working, only, to one big annual number is like looking at the top of the mountain rather than breaking the climb up into manageable parts. Look back at previous years so that you are aware of the peaks and troughs that happen throughout the year.  Identifying the implications of your revenue model and what it means for your annual sales forecast will also help to indicate which months need particular focus for finding new business to hit the annual sales target.
  2. Pinpoint your Critical Sales Activities.  Determine what you need to do each day and each week to ensure that you are constantly building your sales pipeline and be scientific about these activities.  Whether it be attending a weekly networking event, having 5 meetings per week with prospective clients or sending out 10 quotes a day, identify what these critical sales activities are, the time it takes and the process you should go through to convert a prospect into a paying customer.  Finally, remember that you will always need more prospects than you think – not all possible business will convert!!
  3. Eat that Frog First.  Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”  To put this into a sales activity context – without sales you don’t have a business so your sales tasks are one of the most important tasks of the day and maybe for some, much like eating a frog, not the most pleasant. Discipline yourself to eat that frog first and start the day by making your sales calls, approaching your linked in contacts and sending sales proposals so that procrastination doesn’t take over and you get this vital task out of the way first thing!
  4. In the corporate sales world sales directors and managers hold weekly team meetings and 1-1 sales catch-ups with each member of their sales team to understand what prospects are in the pipeline and for the sales person to report against their KPIs. In this spirit, you need to hold yourself accountable and have those ‘sales meetings’ whether that be by yourself or with a fellow director, so that you can measure how you are doing against your sales targets and critical sales activities.  Alternatively contact Leapfrog and we can be your sales coach and manger! We do this for several business owners including the founder of Thinking Partnerships  who said about our process “Joanna provides a great framework and some useful tools to help build a sales pipeline, to understand your market and your ideal client.  She then works with you to help set some challenging sales targets and to make sure you push yourself well out of your comfort zone to achieve them.”

Good luck and don’t forget to Eat That Frog First thing

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