Lessons from the Front Line: The top 5 useful metrics to Create Structure and Discipline in Sales
If you have ever tried to balance working full time and effective parenting you know the routine—limited hours in the day, one minute you are in a professional meeting full of C Suite executives, the next minute you are getting a call from the school and wondering what could have gone wrong. Add that to the “I can do it all” attitude that tricks us into thinking we can do it all well. One of the lessons I have learned from being on the front line managing a business and a household is that this attitude thrives in an undisciplined atmosphere. Discipline becomes the best friend of a successful salesperson.. Here are my top 5 tips—learned in the school of hard knocks--for creating the structure we need to manage our time and energy well:
1. Utilize your CRM
A good CRM (Salesforce, HubSpot, etc.) -- is invaluable. It will organize your prospects, influencers, sales funnel and pipeline. The CRM will link to your calendar, track your notes, and notify you of tasks you’ve set. All of this organization allows the sales professional to manage important relationships without letting the details slip through the cracks.
2. Organize your Contacts
Once you create contacts within your CRM, take the time to organize them in useful “buckets”. One bucket should be “influencers”. These are people you need to know because of who they know and how long they have been in the business community. Another bucket can be “personal contacts”—whom you know always take your calls. Create another bucket for “Prospects”—people who are likely clients if you invest in the relationship. Whatever you call your buckets or lists, the key is organizing them in a way that is useful to you and your business.
3. Create a Weekly Activity Plan
A weekly list of goals sets the tone for getting things done and promotes the type of discipline you need for success. Put all of your tasks on a spreadsheet with weekly benchmarks and month-to-date status. This spreadsheet helps you be accountable to yourself, and it should be with you all the time. Creating a structured flow of expectations will train you to complete each task, line item by line item.
4. Have weekly meetings
Regular face to face meetings keep you accountable and on your toes. I meet weekly with our company president so that we keep lines of communication open in spite of our hectic schedules. Whether your supervisor is another salesperson or the CEO, I benefit the most when I have specific goals for our time together. But even if our time together is a quick check in, I glean a fresh perspective and pick up information that improves my ability to do my job.
5. Carve out office time
Creating a single day to remain in the office is an excellent strategy. My designated office day is Monday, a day when I rarely set appointments. It’s the day when I am available to others in the office, when I schedule my next week’s activities, and a time to make phone calls and wrap up loose ends. Having a routine and predictable office day also helps me complete tasks, write notes and do other important follow ups.
Using these proven strategies will create order and effectiveness in your work life, which, as all working parents know, promotes order and effectiveness in your home life.