There’s still plenty to do.
Back in 2006 I coined the term “Sales 2.0” (see the logo on this website). My concept of Sales 2.0 was, and is, “taking the sales profession to the next level”.
In my opinion we’ve come a long way since 2006 but we still have a long way to go. The posts on this blog are going to continue to be about how sales people can sell more, and sell more easily, by using techniques and tools they may not be using today.
If you want to sell more, please drop by here from time-to-time for free resources.
In sales, we’re still at-best getting a “C grade” as a profession. In 2018, as in the previous decades, only half of sales people made their quota, 54.3% to be precise, according to CSO Insights and their latest research report on the topic.
Given that InsideSales.com reckons there are about 5.7 million professional sales people in the U.S., that’s a lot of unhappy people. (My assumption is that as a sales person, you are unhappy when you don’t make your quota. Not only are you unhappy, but you also have an unhappy sales manager, owner, CFO etc.) Let’s call it 3 million unhappy people.
Back in 2006, I came up with a framework for prospecting/getting a meeting. I believe the framework holds true today.
The reason I focused on prospecting/getting a meeting is that was, and is, the biggest bottleneck in the sales process for a huge majority of the companies in the world. (I recently conducted a survey of small business owners/entrepreneurs and this is still the #1 challenge in growing their top line.)
The framework has three elements:
- Prospect profile and contact data: know who you are targeting (business types, geography and type of people in the company)
- Trigger events: listen for changes in these firms and industries and be there when they happen
- Relationships: build and use relationships to get you in the door (way more easily)
I will go on at length about each of these elements in future posts but you get the drift.
It turns out that we’ve made more progress at the top of this list than at the bottom. We’ve got lots of tools/databases to get prospect contact details now. We’ve got quite a lot of tools to monitor trigger events (although not “unobservable” ones.) Where we are still far off are tools for building relationships, and leveraging the “social graph”, we still mostly have one big “gorilla”, Linkedin.
Going for an A grade
My goal is to get more sales people and their companies to an “A grade” in selling, to get more of you sales people to quota and more business owners to a happy night’s sleep.
To this I believe we need to get a lot better at “getting in the door” so we remove the bottleneck in the sales process. I believe we can use the framework above to get smarter and more efficient in our selling. The details of how to this is what I will be writing about here.