The best way to stop being reactive is to ask how you can make your targets while doing as little work as possible. What activities are important? What things can you do to make every minute as useful as possible? It starts by knowing your territory and your plan for your territory. Then you must employ some creative laziness. Learn more about Steve's unique strategy in this episode of Sales Reinvented.
A territory can mean many things to many people. Usually, it’s a geographic territory. Most salespeople believe the bigger the territory the better. Steve says that’s a lie. A focused territory where you know the customers well is better than a large territory where you’re stretched thin. A broader region leads to more challenges. Why? You may agree to take on a new client without making certain they fit in your plan.
What do you sell? What problems do you solve? Start there. If you don’t know this, you won’t know the types of companies/people you should have in your territory. Once you define your ICP, which specific companies have problems you can solve? Are your company’s customers in a particular industry or sector? Look for people similar to your existing customers. Then you can categorize companies and plan your approach.
Steves’s answer probably isn’t one you’d commonly hear. Great salespeople are lazy. If you want a life outside of work you have to plan and strategize. You need the ability to strategize and learn quickly. You need to be creatively lazy.
If you get inbound leads, you can't just jump on them. Look at your territory. If the company isn’t part of your ICP, don’t waste your time on them. Refer them to someone else that is a better fit for them.
Steve worked with a lazy account manager who took long lunch breaks and went to football games during the workday. But he was a planner. He looked at opportunities, how to get them, and who he needed to talk to to get them. Once he had a strategy in place, he followed it. He didn’t have to work that hard because he strategized well. If you’re lazy, you don’t do things because you’re “supposed to.” You only do activities that help you reach your goals.
What are you trying to achieve? What are your end goals? What’s the best way to achieve your goals? Do nothing that doesn’t fit in your plan. Avoid distractions. You can outsource those things. Ruthlessly focus on what gets you where you want to be.
For one of Steve’s first sales jobs in Australia, he was told to cold-call people and sell his software to expand their clients. He called food distributors, manufacturers, etc. He learned his company’s software wasn’t suitable for them. They could modify it but didn't have the manpower to do so.
So Steve went back to his manager and asked him to allow them to focus on who they served best. So the two salespeople doubled down on their niche and his company became the top-selling publishing software in the world. You need to have the right piece to the puzzle. Match what you have to offer to the people that need it in your geographical territory.
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