If business is a battlefield, then sales are the front lines.
It’s where we encounter the greatest risks – and the greatest rewards.
However, too many salespeople put all their energy into surviving the battle and not enough into ensuring they stay on the battlefield.
Most salespeople do everything in their power to convert qualified prospects and wonder why their calendars are empty. They’re putting the cart before the horse.
To sell more, we must ensure we are setting up as many opportunities to serve as we can. That means ensuring we have more meetings set than we think we need. Without prospects to sell to, it doesn’t matter how good our sales process is (we’ll never get a chance to use it!).
Instead of hoping we have a packed calendar, we wanted to learn how the best salespeople systemize their appointment setting. To learn how it works, we sat down with Bill George, VP of Sales at Ewing Foley, and a former platoon sergeant in the US Army Reserve.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: Bill said to create a packed calendar, you’ll want to take the time at the beginning of every day to prioritize the opportunities you have in your CRM or in your database. Some will rise to the top, either as more closely aligned with your ICP or by their decision-making capability, so ensure they are the first ones you’re reaching out to for future appointments.
Once your opportunities are prioritized for outreach, look at the accounts you have in your CRM or database that don’t have identified opportunities. Those are the next group you’ll want to prepare to reach out to.
R – Repeatable: Before you begin banging the phone to set appointments, Bill said the first step in making this a repeatable process is to examine each opportunity you have and ask the question, “What value could I deliver to this person, given where they are in the sales process?”
If you’re just calling to ‘check in’, don’t.
The second step is to establish different value packages for each stage of your sales cycle. Depending on where someone is in the buying process, they’ll have different questions and concerns. You can build in answers to those potential objections for each stage of the sale to ensure your email templates and messaging are addressing them before they hold up your sales cycle.
Third, examine where your greatest impact lies. Are there any days of the week where your prospects tend to be more available and receptive to talk? Are there certain geographies in your territory that are always fruitful on certain days of the week? Take a clinical approach and ensure you’re scheduling your time to maximize those high-value windows.
Fourth, identify where any lack in your results is stemming from. Until you know where the cause of something is, you won’t know if setting more meetings will solve the problem. Ask if it’s really a lack of activity/meetings that’s the problem in your pipeline, or if it’s a lack of quotes, or a lack of closed sales that’s causing the issue.
I – Improvable: To improve how packed your calendar is, assess how you’re using your time and who you’re contacting. Are they aligned with your ICP? Is there an overt or hidden need for what you sell in their lives? Bill says another way to improve your number of meetings is to remember that not every meeting needs to be scheduled! If you’re in an industry where you can visit your prospects, make the time to drop in and create meetings on the fly!
M – Measurable: Bill says that measuring revenue is a lagging indicator and will always keep you playing catch-up on your calendar. Instead of simply measuring closed deals, he says to examine how you’re being incentivized to book meetings. If your team isn’t compensating you monetarily for the meetings you book, create a way to incentivize yourself with a favorite meal or enjoyable activity.
Next, measure how you stack up to your teammates. If you’re leading the pack, what could you share with the team to pack their calendars? If you’re lagging, ask your teammates what they do when they see a lot of white space on their calendars.
We must get to the front lines before we can get into the battle – and that means ensuring we’re using our time and resources well every day!