Sales is the battlefield of business, with unknowns around every corner.
If we’re going to win on this battlefield, then we have to stop trying to control every outcome and focus on what we CAN control – ourselves.
So how can we ensure that we identify the things we can control on any sales call, and ensure those things stay front and center?
Steve Heroux, the founder, and CEO of Sales Collective recently shared how any salesperson can maintain control of their mindset – and skillset – during a tough sales call.
During our interview, he discussed a framework that helps salespeople better prepare for tough calls and recover from rejection quickly.
Since 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 in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T-Trigger: According to Steve, the trigger for this system begins by identifying what IS in our control. What does our perfect ‘at bat’ look like if we prep ahead of time, keep our questions in front of us, and set great follow-up?
Next, identify those items that you can control in every buyer conversation. This includes connecting with a prospect on LinkedIn before the meeting, showing up early, and being prepared. This allows us to know that we’ve done everything in our power before we face the uncertainty that comes with every prospect meeting.
R-Repeatable: Once you’ve identified your trigger, the next step is to make this system repeatable. Steve said this revolves around role-play. If we don’t role-play our preparation, conversations, and follow-up steps, it will be difficult to execute them under the stress of a high-value account meeting.
Steve made the point that high performance comes from repeating the same steps again and again until we can execute the basics consistently, no matter what is happening around us.
Map out the elements of success that are within your control before, during and after your sales call, and run through them with a peer or a manager to ensure you’re completing them competently.
Another way to roleplay is to record yourself doing your demo or responding to objections (either from actual prospect conversations or from dry-runs by yourself) and assess how you could get better at just one or two areas before facing that situation in front of a prospect.
I-Improvable: Steve emphasized the difference between consistency and intensity when it comes to identifying what’s in our control (and recovering when a call goes out of control).
This means taking time each day to identify ways to gain more control of your sales calls and improve those areas that are in your control, and you can improve. Most salespeople go about this the opposite way, investing hours into a single improvement and never revisiting it.
By taking just 15 minutes a day to assess, identify ways to improve, and spend that time improving your craft, you’ll be one of the top-performing salespeople in your industry.
M-Measurable: Finally, Steve said we should measure this system’s success based on daily performance indicators rather than key performance indicators.
To measure our daily performance indicators, we need to identify what three or four things we can do that make it extremely likely a sale will be made. That might mean getting a prospect into a meeting, or issuing a proposal, or moving a prospect into a particular pipeline stage.
Once we identify the areas in our control that increase sales conversion, we can measure how many times we drive the things that create those outcomes each day.
This way, we can take a sales cycle that may be months or years long and have clarity on what we can do today to maintain control of our customers’ success, and our sales career.