With the beginning of March and just a few short weeks before the end of the Q, life in the world of us in the profession of Sales is totally focused on what we can bring across the finish line by the end of this month.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and while most normal people are already thinking about the 3 F's of Family, Friends, and Football, guys like me are calculating just how many selling days there are left in the year. The Answer:
at Best, there are 22 selling days left in the year !
- First, you should thankful that there are 22 !
- Second, 22 is a maximum number !
-The obvious days of this Wednesday & the immediate days after any of the holidays are not included.
- Even if you and your Champion are around post-Christmas, the probability of everyone involved in the process is zero !
-And, btw, there are a huge amount of other end-of-year distractions much more important than you between now and then.
- So, now is the time to plan out every possible day that you can own of those 22 days.
One of our most highly respected, most resourceful and most energetic sales leaders, Colleen Honan, CRO at Brainshark, refers to this detailed selling process as "Your Plan to Make Plan", which gets right down to what I call "Selling on Streets not States":
- In a quarter, in a month, and certainly in these 22 days, planning is not about strategy !
- It's about planning out next week's daily activities and the following week's tight travel and calls !
- It's planning travel at a street-by-street, city-by-city level travel to maximize your efficiency !
- It's about re-doing your Discovery Checklist and asking questions about prospect's holiday plans.
- Nothing is worse than having a commit and then learning that the Purchasing Manager is skiing.
- It's about taking today/tomorrow and making tons of calls and emails to get December meetings,
- At the very least, you should be reaching out to wish your prospects "Happy Thanksgiving!"
Clearly, THE MOST ENERGETIC SALES LEADER I know anywhere, any company, at any time !
In addition to being a superb sales pro, a Hubspot evangelist and director, a highly experienced and acclaimed speaker, he has just published his most recent book on The Inbound Organization-How to Build Your Organization Using Inbound Principles, not just "another" inbound marketing book, but a fundamental guide for both selling and marketing in today's totally changed customer world !
Download now, skim over this weekend, see what nuggets you could use for these 22 days, then read it completely over the next couple of weeks !
So, that's it here on a Monday morning! Time to get moving, but before you do...
Tufts- "Content in Context" Marketing projects
Have a great day selling something today!
When I grew up in Greater Boston, we had one "device" in the house, and that was one AM radio in my parent's bedroom. No Internet? We would never have even been able to comprehend the concept. No, no Internet. In fact, no TV.
There's no Black Friday in B2B Selling!
The fact that the holiday season kicks of with Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, and then just plain old "Discount Day" all day, every day between now and the 24th, doesn't mean that the same should hold true for those of us in B2B sales. Sure, everyone on both sides of the table knows that we have quotas to meet, and, in most cases, the pressure's on to hit plan in the next 17 days. BTW, "17" is really expanding the days to the max, and not taking into consideration the reality of kids' vacations and that large numbers of decision makers are going to be skiing during many of those precious days between Christmas and New Year's.
Pressure, Pressure, Pressure!
My partners and I live in the real world, and we're also under the gun to hit our sales targets, but, as execs running lots of companies and a wide variety of sales groups, we know that most discounts are not necessary! In fact, the data shows that typically good salespeople do abnormal things at this time of year and give out discounts just because they think incorrectly that everyone is price buying, and that they need to do the same.
The reality is that it's just not true, and, in fact, it only becomes true, when we don't focus on selling value, and instead we start our sales processes at the bottom rung of the ladder with non-decision makers who push us to talk about price rather than focusing on the larger business case of explaining financial value.
Price Selling" is at the very bottom rung of The Selling Ladder- "The Approved Vendor" Rung.
- Even in the heat of the next 16 days, our total focus and actual rally cry needs to be totally driven to the top two rungs of The Selling Ladder-"The Strategic Adviser" and the Trusted Partner" rungs.
That's where the money is, so we must have absolute focus on the financial value to our prospects and customers and not on the price.
A bit of help on pricing to value comes from our friends at Hubspot in one of their posts this week
1) Don’t Talk About Price Right Away
HubSpot Research found nearly six in 10 prospects want to discuss pricing on the very first call. But introducing cost into the conversation before establishing value can commoditize your product. This mindset hurts you and the buyer. He’s thinking about sticker price instead of ROI.
2) Highlight What Sets Your Product Apart
Once you’ve found your differentiators, figure out which resonate with each of your buyer personas. A startup employee who wears several hats will appreciate your product’s simplicity, while a corporate employee with a single function will like how customizable it is.
3) Position Your Product Strategically
Although badmouthing other companies will make you look insecure and unprofessional, you can -- and should -- ask your prospect which other vendors she’s considering. Her answer tells you how to position your product.
Oh, yea, did I mention "17"? Thought I did!
The issue of a finite time now also needs to be driven by the fact that days are not 8 hour days. I mean, they could be, but in fact, we know from our buddies at Salesforce from tens of thousands of professional salespeople that sales reps aren't spending most of their time selling. In fact, reps spend an average of 64 percent of their time on non-selling tasks, including administrative and service related tasks, traveling and training.
Okay, now do your math on just 17 days!
The numbers are in....
I've been roaming the sales cubicles of lots of companies most of last week and this. Probably 20 plus companies in 10 work days. Opening doors into the heads of heavy-hitter sales leaders along with young, hard working BDRs. Asking the tough questions of hard-charging, get-out-of-my-way 35 year olds and also to a few 55 year old trail-beaten veterans who still hang on to "the old days" of relationship selling.