Have you ever felt like you’re the new Cuba Gooding Jr. (or Tom Cruise!) pleading with your sales team every month to “Show me the money!”? Is your next thought, “Help me, help you”? If you’re a “Jerry Maguire” fan, then these thoughts may bring an inward smile even when anxiety and frustration levels are running high and your sales pulse is racing.
Living on that 30 day clock can be a rough ride. The beginning of the month typically feels “ok”. But, as the time line shortens, the anxiety meter creeps up. Four weeks become three, three become two, and then you’re facing down that last week of the month, sweating it out, trying to be optimistic while running around begging your sales team to close what they can to avoid missing that monthly “Holy Grail”, the almighty monthly Sales Quota Goal.
I remember slapping my forehead on more than one occassion after realizing a highly valuable lead had been taken down on a sticky note by someone who wasn’t sure what to do with it. It was then given to someone else who might be passing by the sales department sometime soon and they would just stick it on a door for a sale person to follow up on. UGH!! I used to lament the thought of those missed opportunities and what they could have meant to our sales scorecard each month. This is no way to conduct effective sales prospect management!
We are all looking for ways to better our sales teams and more easily meet sales goals. For this, we need to employ sales prospecting methods that positively drive sales.
Here are five sales prospecting methods that are sales drivers.
1) Prospect constantly. Don’t wait for the sales pipeline to shrink – keep it full! Be sure your sales team is prospecting daily. Set weekly goals for each team member and be sure they are met.
2) Everyone you meet is a potential prospect. Yup! Once you start talking with people, even if they are not a direct prospect for you, it’s pretty easy to compare notes and come up with people they know who may be exactly the kinds of prospects you need. So, next time you’re at that soccer game…prospect and cheer!
3) LinkedIn – now this requires a little work but, it’s so worth it. Start looking at the people you know and the people they know. Ask for introductions and create an easy inmail you can provide your best connections that helps them connect you to their connections. If you’re not doing this today, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at how easy and successful prospecting can be using LinkedIn.
4) The iPhone camera – do you know how many times I’ve snapped a picture of a company van, sign, advertisement or even a screen shot, providing me all the info I need to make a call to a prospect right up my alley? It gets even better, walk right up and introduce yourself! People love to talk and will easily guide you to who you should talk with at their company – in fact, most will make the introduction for you. How good is that?
5) Ask for a referral. Yes – it really is that simple. When you’ve done a great job with a sale, ask then if your new customer knows anyone who may benefit as well from what you are selling. In fact, you can even ask prospects you are working with who aren’t right for you. They may know someone who is right for you and it never hurts to ask. You may miss a great one by not asking.
Putting these 5 sales prospecting methods into play will go a long way in keeping that sales pipeline full.
You may also want to consider using sales prospecting software to record and track leads. Whether your organization is large or small, introducing consistent methods and sales tools to your salesforce simultaneously provides you the benefits of a centralized lead, prospecting and report database that will definitely “Show you the Money”.