Sales Prospecting. Appointment setting B2B. Trying to scale and get your sales team more productive? Thinking right gets you most of the way there before you make a call, write a script, or leave a voicemail.
An effective sales leader, or a top 10% sales rep, typically can conceptualize the big picture and understand the key drivers of what will get them the results they seek.
They can separate the few key issues that will most impact sales success. They prioritize them and know how they work. They tune out or deprioritize all the noise, interruptions, “good ideas,” and other principles that they know will not make the most contribution to sales success.
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Not so easy to do when there is an endless stream of “better” ideas and strategies coming at you full throttle endlessly. It’s a stream of constant “busyness” which lulls people into thinking they are doing something meaningful, on the right path and all that they can.
“Busyness” has no rational relationship to sales success, and in fact, “busyness” is often what keeps you from seeing the forest from the trees. Without a true sense of what matters most, you default to reactionary mode and doing what most do, or is popular at the moment, which at best guarantees you short-lived mediocrity.
The Infinity Pool of Strategies, Most Of It Crap, Just Keeps Coming
As a leader or a rep, if you don’t have a solid grasp of the basic drivers of marketing and sales success the odds of you making the right decisions to move your sales team forward is minimal. You are feeling around in the dark for something you won’t recognize if you do happen to bump into it.
A proper mindset and understanding of what makes marketing and sales work is much more valuable to you than binders of details about what to do in every scenario. Bottom line is without an understanding of “why,” people don’t implement consistently, even if it is painfully obvious that it is the right thing to do. Lots of sales leaders and wanna-be top performing sales reps that never will be refuse to do things that anyone with even basic knowledge would see are “no-brainers” and absolutely must be done to reach the goal.
Deer In The Headlights Syndrome
It is important to “know what you don’t know.” Many times reps, sales management, and call teams find themselves with a non-performing or under-performing program and are unable to move it forward despite their best efforts. So they call in someone with the experience to evaluate, correctly diagnose the situation and offer advice. So far, so good. But there is a problem.
“Change” Is The Problem. Not What To Do.
Change is always a challenge. But without the proper mindset and knowledge, change is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest.
When leaders have the right mindset and perspective, when faced with the right recommendations for change their response is “I get it,” “Of course” or “Now I understand why we were working so hard and getting nowhere.” With the right knowledge, the right things to do are recognized and acted upon.
But, what happens when the management of an underperforming team is presented with change recommendations, and they don’t have the right mindset or even a basic knowledge of what drives sales success, they freeze. Do nothing. Even when faced with a no-brainer, painfully obvious, only a knucklehead would not do these things types of decisions; they freeze because they are not familiar enough with the principles in play. So they freeze.
Giving Up Too Early Derails You Without The Proper Mindset
Even when you start to do the right things for sales and marketing success if your head is not in the right place, you are going to give up too early on behaviors that will lead to success. Why? Because you have unreasonable expectations and lack confidence in what you are doing. You are unsure you are on the right path, so you give up, even when you are doing the right things. I see this all the time. Teams that were so close to turning things around and then they just drive off the road. Or, they do the right things and win more often, but drift away from those things over time as they don’t have firm enough convictions about what works.
Reach, Frequency, and Impact. Understand, And You Are On Your Way
Three basic cornerstones of effective marketing are “reach, frequency, and Impact.” These concepts are not even marketing 101; they are so basic they are marketing one hundred and a half. In this internet and digital age, such basic concepts may seem quaint and old-fashioned, and there certainly are many more concepts to be layered on top of these.
I can say this with a strong conviction. Those who have the mentality of grasping sales and marketing basics are the ones who also grasp all the other principles in play and are reaping increasing marketing share and revenue. Those whose mentality has skipped the basics and moved on the more fun stuff, they are doomed.
Half Of Lead Generation Success Is 90% Mental
You need to have the right mentality and mindset to even have a shot at success when today’s infinity pool of “better ideas” keeps coming at you.
You will be too focused on outcomes and not focusing on the behaviors and steps that lead to those outcomes.
You will overreact to what (mediocre) people and most others think.
You won’t learn from mistakes and efforts that don’t quite work and keep going in the right direction. You will find it easier to give up rather than modify something that would work if you gave it enough time. ( I always found it curious that people have plenty of time for rework, do-overs and to keep getting distracted by flavor-of-the-month ideas from the infinity pool of idiocy, rather than just do it right the first time or giving a better idea time to work.)
You will have unreasonable expectations and give up too early on the best ideas and behaviors.
Get your head in the right place, understand, truly understand and be able to identify the key drivers of sales and marketing success, and you will have the right mindset to make the right decisions on all the details and stick to a plan that will get where you want to go.
PS: My personal “Go To’s” to keep the right mindset are 1) Managing Major Sales by Neil Rackham and 2) Direct Marketing by Edward Nash. The Rackham book is the best “big picture” view I have seen on what factors most impact multi-step process sales results. And the Nash book is just a classic of understanding direct response. This book was pre-internet but don’t discount it. Once you understand what he is talking about you will know more about how to get results in todays digital age.