Sales Coaching: Moving from reactive to proactive

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In the world of sales, the transition from being reactive to owning your sales day can be the difference between struggling to meet your targets and achieving your goals with confidence. The first step in this transformation, besides sales coaching, is to ask yourself a fundamental question: ‘What do I want to achieve?’ While the answer may seem obvious, it’s essential to distinguish between two critical objectives – the minimum, which is your sales target, and the maximum, representing your sales goals as a true sales guru.

The key to achieving your sales targets and goals is relatively straightforward in theory – create and close sales opportunities. But, as any experienced salesperson knows, the actual execution of this strategy can be quite challenging. That’s where the importance of following a meticulously crafted sales plan comes into play.

Let’s illustrate this point with a simple analogy. Imagine your goal is to bake the most delectable chocolate cake. You have two options at your disposal:

Option 1: You receive a list of ingredients, but it’s up to you to decide how much of each ingredient to use and when to use them during the baking process.

Option 2: You receive a list of ingredients and a clear, detailed recipe to follow. The recipe outlines precisely when to use each ingredient, the required quantity, and the time allocation throughout the process to ensure a successful outcome.

It’s evident that option 2, with its clear instructions and precise recipe, is the path to success. In contrast, option 1, without explicit guidance, often leads to a baking disaster. Sales, like baking, requires a well-defined recipe for success.

So, what comprises your sales recipe? To begin with, sales is a numbers game, and you have a specific sales target to achieve. The path to achieving this target is simple: ask more people. The problem isn’t that salespeople meet too many people; it’s often that they don’t spend enough time on prospecting activities, resulting in too few opportunities in their sales funnel. To overcome this issue, focus on continuously filling the top of your sales funnel.

When planning your day and week as a sales professional, ask yourself whether your activities bring you closer to or farther from your goals. Your number one priority in sales planning should always be ensuring a constant influx of opportunities at the top of your sales funnel.

Here’s a breakdown of what your sales planning should encompass:

1. Revenue targets: Start by determining the revenue you need to deliver for the month, breaking it down into weekly goals.

2. Source of revenue: Identify where your revenue will come from, considering both existing accounts and new business.

3. Opportunity meetings: Determine how many new opportunity meetings you need to have daily or weekly and allocate the necessary time for these.

4. Prospecting activities: Plan your prospecting activities, including the number of new business opportunity meetings you must conduct.

5. Customer and account management: Allocate time for customer and account management calls and meetings to ensure customer retention and growth.

6. Prospecting time: Calculate how much time you need to allocate for prospecting to achieve your desired prospecting results.

7. Proposals: Define the number of proposals you need to create on a daily/weekly basis and allocate time for this crucial step.

8. Closing deals: Determine how many deals you need to close daily, weekly and monthly to meet your goals, including time for follow-ups.

9. Admin and email: While essential, administrative tasks and email management should not be top priorities it’s necessary to allocate a specific amount of time for these.

10. Other tasks: Acknowledge other tasks that demand your attention and allocate time accordingly.

Transitioning from a reactive approach to owning your sales day requires a well-structured plan and the discipline to follow it. With a clear sales recipe in hand, you’ll not only increase your productivity but also move closer to achieving your sales targets and goals with confidence. Remember, success in sales is not just about working hard; it’s about working smart.

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” – Thomas Edison

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