In the late 90s, I remember a chap of enormous sales pedigree bemoan to me about the then latest crm buzz. There’s always a new sales software fad, he said as he shook his head disapprovingly. It’s just like dieting, he further mused.
His theme was that just as there is always a super-amazing, must-follow new diet de jour, so crm too has its latest, game-changing must-have vendor, app, module, or approach. And the implication was very much that selling nirvana would still prove as elusive as reducing the march of global mass obesity.
The latest diet sweeping the planet is the 5:2. You pretty much eat what you normally would for five days each week. But on the other two, you restrict yourself to just 500 calories. In total. Throughout the entire day.
There’s the usual sewer of celebs saying it’s life-changing. And so many bandwagonning recipe columns, blogs and chefs queuing up for easy eyeballs.
I even know people ‘on’ it as I tap away today.
I was intrigued though, from a selling perspective. Could this treatment be applied to Sales?
I mused that the unappetising parallel was most likely with filling your funnel. Cultivating the dormant market at large to become tomorrow’s hot leads, and eventual prospects.
This work is lowest on the effort-results scale in many a rep’s mind.
Wizened sellers are wont to recount stories of entire days of cold calling without a single bite.
Yet the salesperson that could not benefit from more in their pipeline is a very rare beast indeed.
So if everyone would be better for more prospecting, when should it be done?
Well, in true 5:2 style, the obvious answer would be 4:1.
There are five weekdays, so how about devoting one of them to canvassing?
This needn’t be an entire day in one huge mouthful. That may prove soul destroying for many I’m sure. So splitting it up and spreading it across the week is a winner. Myself in my most recent prospecting had bouts of around three hours, punctuated with mini breaks each 45mins or so. And productive it was too.
How much of your overall time is dedicated to this essential activity? Imagining you are not one of the tiny number that get all their leads handed on a plate, is it already a fifth? And if not, how can you make it so and unleash all those svelte results that will be the envy of others?