The top-performing salespeople understand the importance of territory sales planning. They know that if they create a plan and work the plan they’ll outperform their peers. But John Smibert believes that a strategic plan applying the 80/20 rule is. He fleshes out what that could look like in this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast!
It’s no secret that the top salespeople are great planners. They routinely run a SWOT analysis and look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a key strategic planning tool. You also need to identify your target and objective. Your company may give you an objective but you’re the boss of your own business. You certainly need to plan for what your company expects from you but why not shoot for more?
Put the quota aside. What do you need to do to achieve your objective? Then look at your territory—identify where opportunities are likely to be. What 20% of accounts will get you 80% of the value? Secondly, look at your ICP. Who are they? Do some research, identify them, and focus activity on them alone. If you don’t have a plan you grab onto the first opportunities that come your way. You’ll find that you’ve filled your pipeline with average opportunities at best.
John hears a lot of sales managers complain that they don’t see the right level of activity from their salespeople. But if their salespeople have a plan in place that has been thought through strategically, less activity is sometimes good. But John nails down some dos and don'ts that can help you focus in the right place.
Learn how to say no. You don’t want to chase every opportunity that comes through the door. The top salespeople say no far more than yes because they know where the value is.
John recently co-authored a book called “The Wentworth Prospect” about a young lady who progressed well in her sales career with the help of a coach. It’s based on a true story about a woman John actually coached. This woman—named Sue—was selling cybersecurity solutions. She had learned the product well and had studied cybersecurity in university, so she had developed some domain expertise.
John asked her where she wanted to focus her territory. She stated her goal was to approach mid-level organizations but that she didn’t have an industry chosen. So they did some research and landed on a focus in the banking and finance industry. Why? She had a background in banking. She knew she had a unique perspective to bring to the table, her product fit well, and they were an ideal customer.
In that year, because she eliminated 80% of her territory and focused on the 20%, she blew her quota out of the water. All because she created a plan that she followed diligently.
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