Not that I needed any proof that hard work, works, but it’s a love hate thing when I’m reminded of that fact. When I focus on the right things and put in the hard work, the results happen.
For most of December, January and February, I was cold calling like a mad man for Socially Booked. Our pipeline was growing. We were doing demos like crazy. The response was overwhelming. Resorts were interested in what we were doing, they liked our approach and things were flying. It was getting to the point I felt we might be overselling and wouldn’t be able to handle the demand. Over selling a product or service, is almost as bad as having no sales at all. You end up leaving a trail of unsatisfied customers. That’s not good.
In March and April we began to make some changes, added a new developer and shifted our focus from selling to other things. I didn’t make as many calls each day. I only followed up on the hottest of opportunities. I stopped “cold calling,” working only the warm leads and the companies that were showing interest. Now we are at the end of April and I can tell we got soft. We’re not doing as many demo’s. There aren’t as many new opportunities in the pipeline. We’re not talking to as many prospects as we were just a month or so ago.
It’s not that we don’t have a good pipeline. And, the truth is, we may still have more business than we’ll be able to take on next year, but things have certainly slowed down since I stopped working so hard and lost focus on sales.
Sales is like a living organism. It requires constant care and feeding. If you let it go too long, things will die on the vine. Fits and stops will kill the pipeline. Losing focus will lengthen the sales cycle. Focusing on the froth can only last so long, before there is nothing left. Sales isn’t a part-time job.
Knowing this, I’m constantly amazed at how much non-sales stuff leadership can throw at sales people. We derail them with unnecessary reporting, projects, and stuff that detracts them from selling. The best thing leadership can do is keep the sales team selling. Don’t distract them with non-sales stuff. Don’t ask them to report for reporting sakes. Don’t ride them about CRM updates 24/7. Don’t pile on additional work, the clients are plenty good at that already. Sales time is critical. The less sales time a sales person has in a day, the less selling is done. The less selling that’s done, the less sales there will be. This is a fact, I’ve seen it before, and I just witnessed at my company Socially Booked and it’s never good to see within your own company.
Let you sales people sell. Keep them focused on selling. Anything else has a cost.