Chickens without heads are confused

Chickens without heads are confused

“You will never see my sales reps in the office – they must be out on the road.”

Here a prospect, there a client, everywhere a lead. To yesterday’s sales managers, the world is like Old McDonald’s farm. Except the chickens run around without heads.

Especially in these harsh economic times, do you press your reps to see more clients or find the right clients?

I would prefer that the sales rep spent more time thinking. Not analysis by paralysis or rabbiting on about marketing concepts, but objective-driven sales planning.

This “thinking” however needs to be focused

It would be ideal if, before the financial year even started, each rep knew exactly who they were going to call on for the coming year, which essentially means that each rep has their own sales plan.

If that sounds idealistic, consider the obvious in a B2B environment:

  • It’s not like your prospects or dream accounts are invisible and appear like magic. You know who you need to see. With some thoughtful desk research, you can easily identify those targets. Know your targets before the game begins, it’s too late finding them half way through the year.
  • Then, if you take your existing accounts, you have a pretty good idea of who will produce what sales in the year. You can then determine the frequency and method of servicing these clients to achieve your objectives.

Capture this information in a simple rules-based database so that the system helps you to manage your plan.

Now that you have your overall plan in place, manage it. Have your own sales meetings with your own agenda. You, your prospects, your clients and your plan. They’re all in your database. Ask questions of your database, the questions forming your agenda. Which customers should have bought by now? Who is buying less than expected? What is my new business pipeline looking like? Is there anybody that I have missed? Which clients should I introduce my Sales Manager or MD to? Why am I calling on these clients once a week? Are there any clients on my Phone Only list that should be seen? Am I seeing the right people?

Chickens without heads die.

Think about making every call an intelligent milestone within a focused and well-considered plan.

Gary Hendrickse
CEO Sherpa
August 2008

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency