Continually Assess Your Performance: The way Barry Maher sees it, ramping up your sales production starts with a candid look in the mirror.
“The most powerful strategy I know to increase sales productivity is simply to take a moment after each call to determine how you could have done it better,” says Maher, a sales trainer and speaker whose clients include brands like Merck.
The key to this tactic lies in being calm and consistent, performing the analysis whether a call was a success, failure or something in between. The call was a slam dunk? Review the particulars that led to the win so you can replicate it, and consider how you might have achieved an even greater result. Crashed and burned? Determine specific steps you could’ve taken to bring about the conclusion you desired. “If you never give up when things go bad and don’t get complacent when things go well, you should see strong – often amazing – improvement in your skills and sales results,” says Maher.
Take To The Cloud: For promotional product distributors, organizing pertinent information about suppliers and clients in Internet-stored files that can be accessed and managed from a smartphone is a major productivity lift.“In-the-cloud-access allows for retrieval on the fly, whether you are in the office or on the road,” says Kathy Whitburn, a strategic marketing consultant at American Solutions for Business (asi/120075). “The ability to complete tasks electronically allows you to navigate through the day more efficiently. This is critical, especially when you have to reroute into crisis mode without skipping a beat in the normal day’s business flow.” Learn more about cloud computing services and the companies that provide them in this analysis from TopTenReviews at http://goo.gl/M2qGG .
Create A Performance Calendar: You can stimulate greater success by having a detailed game plan for each day of the workweek. Promo industry veteran Josh Frey, founder of The Swag Coach Program, says his productivity begins with a detailed goal-and-action plan that is clearly articulated in an Excel document he calls a performance calendar tool. The document features annual, monthly, weekly and daily objectives for sales, gross profit, meetings with decision-makers, proposals and money in the pipeline. It also lists target clients. Importantly, the performance calendar lays out a weekly schedule that’s broken down into specific goal-advancing activities to be performed during chunks of time each day.“Fill in your tool with goals and then execute, consistently, every week,” says Frey.
Embrace Follow-Up: Sales trainer/speaker Diane Ciotta believes that “activity drives productivity.” And few activities, says Ciotta, help fuel sales production quite like strategic, consistently executed follow-up with clients and prospects.To be great at follow-up, adhere to a three-step process. Step one is about attitude. “Have that, ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’ mentality,” Ciotta says. Next, write down specific dates and times for when you will follow up. “It’s essential to actually getting the activity done,” Ciotta says. Finally, hold yourself accountable. Rigorously commit to following up when you say you will.
Strengthen Supplier Partnerships: Promotional product distributors can save time and be more productive by forging partnerships with industry suppliers. Certainly the strategy has worked for Andy Olson, an eight-figure annual biller who works as a strategic account manager at Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601). Strong partnerships with reliable suppliers have helped Olson become a highly productive seller. For Olson, an important benefit of these relationships is that the vendors he’s partnered with are proactive, routinely presenting him with product and branding ideas based on what they know about him and his key customers. To reap such benefits, start by identifying excellent suppliers and building a relationship.