Many of the salespeople and leaders I meet are always asking what makes a successful salesperson? Often, they are focused on sales training – ‘we must improve our closing, or we need to deliver a better sales pitch.’
Increasing sales skills and capabilities is important, but the best salespeople have one fundamental capability that everyone should be implementing: a routine.
A routine is a series of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly activities that they deliver without fail. They are persistent and resilient in everything that they do, and more importantly, every action is intentional – it’s planned.
A poor planner may still see good results due to their sales skills and capabilities, but a great planner who has a well-structured and executed routine is going to excel.
The three C’s are the most important factor within a routine: consistency, consistency, and you’ve guessed it, consistency.
As James Clear states in his book ‘Atomic Habits,’ it’s all about the one-percenters and the compounded impact that these can have over a year. If you can get 1% better each day by the end of the year, you will end up with results that are nearly 37 times better.
Consistently good is so much better than occasionally great, and routines and habits are all about putting frameworks in place that drive consistency in your activities.
One critical tool for team members in any sales or service role and will help create clarity and consistency is the DITLO (Day In The Life Of). Mapping out the key activities that you need to complete daily will drive excellent outcomes.
At the same time, you mustn’t just focus on what you do, but also think about the ‘why’ and ‘how’. This helps you understand the purpose and intention behind what you are doing, set goals and outcomes that you want to achieve, and measure the impact of your actions.
Here are five activities that you should build into your DITLO:
- Social Selling
- Pipeline management
- Learn and grow
- Review the day that was and plan the next day
1. Social Selling
Spend 15-30 minutes every day actively participating on social media. Where your target audience engages will depend on which platform they use. For example, a B2B organisation may leverage LinkedIn and use Sales Navigator to identify potential prospects and provide value through posting articles or videos.
A fashion retailer may leverage Instagram due to the visual nature of their product, and staff can connect through posting and engaging with their audience.
The key message is that if everyone in sales is consistently doing this every day and working closely with marketing, they are likely to be generating leads.
I like to use the following approach on LinkedIn to generate interactions with prospects:
- Content – post quality content that adds value to your network and prospects. Whether it be insights, thought leadership, tactics, and strategies that they can implement into their role – this isn’t the time to sell; instead, it’s the time to engage and provide value.
- Connections – Reach out to prospects to connect with them and add them to your network. This is the time for personalisation, be specific to show a genuine interest. Generic messages or no message with the connection request just don’t cut it.
- Conversations – Engage your connections in a conversation. You need to provide value to build trust and credibility with infographics, white papers or eBooks that are genuinely going to provide insight. This will help you create a conversation to take off the LinkedIn platform into a meeting.
Prospecting is always a challenging activity, so creating a consistent daily activity around this can be very powerful. One way in a team setting is to use a ‘power hour’ where everyone in the team completes prospecting activity simultaneously.
This reinforces the habit in the team, creates healthy competition and establishes a great way of learning. Team members can then review outcomes throughout and at the end of the hour with each other.
This is even more important in the current environment, where many team members are working remotely. Creating a sense of connection with their peers and having healthy competition can drive better outcomes and focus.
3. Pipeline Management
Following up on your pipeline is seen as one of the biggest challenges for sales professionals, and the number of calls needed to close a deal has more than doubled over the past ten years.
Building a daily expectation into your DITLO can drive the consistent behaviour of reviewing the pipeline, identifying deals that are not progressing and need action, as well as driving proactive contact with leads.
Be honest with yourself; how many deals in your pipeline should you have closed as lost?
Are they just stalled, or are they dead?
It can be challenging to let go of that opportunity that you worked so hard to generate, but it is now the time to break that emotional connection and let it go!!!
Where possible, leverage automation to help manage your pipeline, this does not mean ‘spam’ emails with no personalisation. Use revenue intelligence tools or your CRM to help with guided selling, prompting your next action. There are some fantastic tools on the market now that will remind you to reach out to an opportunity if there has been a lack of activity, or you can automate the generation of tasks in your CRM. Think about ways you can be more efficient in your role with the use of technology.
4. Learn and Grow
Excellent sales and service people ensure they are learning and developing every single day.
Whether asking for feedback from peers, leaders or even customers, they continuously seek ways to improve.
Again, with technology, they don’t even need to seek feedback; self-coaching can occur by leveraging tools such as Call A.I. Larger organisations may be using tools such as Gong or Chorus to record customer interactions. Still, even if you’re a sole trader, there are great tools out there, such as Otter or Fireflies, that can record your Zoom or Google meets.
These allow you to review the audio and transcript, search for keywords and themes to learn how you can improve your questioning or pitch etc.
Tools like these are helping your efficiency in meetings by providing you with a full transcript, and in effect, your CRM notes, but they are also improving your effectiveness in meetings through the reviews and learning that can take place.
5. Review the day that was and plan the next day
Great GTM teams are strategic in how they go about selling, and a critical activity that these individuals do is to review the day. By reflecting on the day, understanding what has gone well and what could have been done differently, these individuals can make changes from now on or keep doing more of the same.
This can then feed into their planning for the following day and consider where their time is best spent and qualifying and confirming their client meetings for the day ahead.
Individuals who are not strategic or do not plan their time well are usually the ones who are shocked at the end of the week when they have failed to deliver activity metrics, progress their pipeline and often fail to hit quota.
Remember, these five activities are only suggestions. First, identify what’s suitable for your industry and operating model. For example, you may not want specific roles in your GTM team self-generating leads, and therefore social selling is not ideal for them.
Maybe some of you are saying these are obvious things to be doing.
Yes, it is simple but be honest with yourself. Are you or your teams doing this consistently day in and out?
By executing on these every day, you will see the formation of habits, and as James Clear stated, those 1% improvements can make such a significant impact over a year.
Don’t delay; formulate your DITLO today and look to embed these daily activities into your routine so that habits are formed and success is a given.
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