Sales Time Machine: 5 Tips for 2023
The Sales Uncle Rico Moment
“Man, I wish I could go back in time… I’d take state.”Uncle Rico
We all have those thoughts: “Man oh man, if I only knew back then what I know now.” These Uncle Rico moments hit some of us constantly, and others not so much. I thought for the new year I’d do something a little different and share some of my hard fought and won wisdom on selling. So, I asked myself: what would I tell younger me on day one of my sales career? How can I help anyone that sells with the experience earned from my battle scars?
Here are 5 tips that will benefit any salesperson or sales leader and provide a re-center from the constant flurry of activity in the new year.
- Trust your “Spidey” sense. We humans have an innate 6th sense. We all feel it, it’s that “something is not right here” moment where are internal alarms go off and we get that strange feeling. Now this gets better with age and experience, but in sales, you must learn to trust your gut. One of my commanding officers in the military had a great phrase: “If there’s doubt, there is no doubt.” If you feel that something’s wrong on a deal, or that someone’s wasting your time, 99 times out of 100 it’s true. Don’t be your own worst enemy and get lulled into a false sense of security and trust your intuition.
- It’s OK to say no. One of the problems with selling is that there is opportunity everywhere. You just need to find the right ones and spend your time wisely. There are only so many hours in the workday, and just so much you can do with your selling capacity (More on selling capacity in a future post). Always ask yourself the question: is this an effective use of my time? If the answer is no, find a way to delegate it, get it off your plate, or just don’t do it.
- Sales is a numbers game. No matter how you look at it, sales is not rocket science, it is just a pure numbers game. You absolutely must contribute to building your prospects and opportunities EVERY SINGLE DAY. No excuses, no whining, and no sob stories. Touch 50 new prospects a day. Quality touches = increased pipeline. On the bike at the gym, send out 10 LinkedIn InMail’s. Sitting at lunch, look through your old prospect list in Salesforce and reach out. Got ZoomInfo or a prospect list from a conference? Do a mail merge in Word or use your CRM to send out a small campaign. Numbers don’t lie, and sales is pure math. Read more in Sales & Numbers
- Manage up. Believe it or not, your sales manager is there to help you, not to just poke you every day about what’s coming in this month or this quarter. Leveraging your manager is key to above average sales success. It is your manager’s job to remove hurdles and blockades to meeting your goals. If you’re just talking to your manager during your weekly one-on-one, or sales pipeline discussion, you are missing out. Involve them in deals, use their time to augment your time, bring them on calls with you, and involve them in any process friction that is slowing down deals or causing you problems. Delegate up and make your manager a true part of your extended team and make them accountable for your success and achievement. It is their job. Read more on a leader’s duties: Sales Leadership Core Responsibilities
- The work you do today dictates where you will be in six months. This is one of the most critical items on the list. In today’s world it’s so easy to ride the good times, and be in the moment when the deals are flowing in. But the relationships you make, the work you do, and all your outreach won’t put a penny in your wallet this month or this quarter. Always take time to build for the future and make investments now that we’ll pay later. Sales is both a Sprint and a marathon and being lazy today will hit you hard two quarters from now, and you’ll learn the lesson the hard way.
How about you? What would you tell you?