I was recently asked by a buddy who is CEO of a company about something I had written a while back on selling and non-selling activity. Then a couple of days later, another friend who is an executive with a CRM company asked me a related question. Below is the question asked by the exec at the CRM company and my response. Please know I do not make any claims of being an expert in sales or CRM software. I just run experiments with my sales teams and see what works and does not work. Also, I fail a lot. Like, a whole lot. Then I learn.
Question: Chris, I have a Sales Manager question for you… I was reviewing a database the other day of one of our clients. While the activity of the salespeople was high, the activity was not producing the desired result. Outside of the Account Executive’s gaming the system, from a sales perspective what other issues could the AE’s be experiencing.
Here is my reply – Yes, it could be the salespeople “gaming” the system, but it could also be the quality and or “flow” of the accounts in the pipeline. A crucial part of success in using any CRM is a steady In-flow and offsetting Out-flow of Prospects/Accounts. It takes both Activity and Prospects to drive results. Think of them as sales pipeline fuel. One more thing. What type of Activity is happening? Is it Selling Activity or Non-Selling Activity? Selling Activity can most easily be described as “are you voice-to-voice with an Account/Prospect” or more simply, are your lips moving. Now there are other types of selling activity, but it really comes down to are you putting an “Ask” in front of a prospect and presenting them with the option to say Yes or No. To express this thought in a written formulaic manner, the equation would be (Prospects X Selling Activity) X Product X Sales Ability = Revenue. Notice that in this equation I used multiplication signs. I did this because if you get a zero in any area you are D.O.A. regardless of how great you are in the other area(s). Multiplication by Zero is Zero. Lastly, above I use the word Account and Prospect interchangeably because an active account is always a potential candidate to buy more.
Below is a listing of Selling and Non-Selling Activity that I put together a while back. Hope this helps.
In closing, on Wednesday I plan to write on my participation in the Mel Robbins 35-day Mindset Reset Challenge #MindsetReset. That’s the reason I used the photo on this article. I promise it will be worth a read. Until then, Find Your Adventure and Live Your Life. Speaking of adventure, click here for a link to a video of how some of my friends who work on Kilimanjaro choose to start their day.
- Face to Face Meetings with Clients where we “Ask” (planned and unplanned)
- Phone Calls where we include an “Ask”
- Phone Calls where we Set Meetings and we include an “Ask”
- Emails and Text where we include an “Ask”
- Written Letters or Cards where we include an “Ask”
- Networking Events where we include an “Ask”
- Offering up Professional Knowledge to Clients that include an “Ask”
- Social Communication involving an “Ask”
- Discovery Meetings With Clients that include an “Ask” (next meeting)
- Following-Up on All Above. Seeking Engagement.
Everything else is in my opinion admin work or a “gettin’ ready to sell” activity.
*Ask is where we seek client engagement in order to get a Yes or No on a proposal/purchase. We use our selling skills in order to guide the process to an outcome that is mutually beneficial to us and the client. Engagement is defined as action taken by the client at our request. The key here is at our request.