Salespeople are taught that it’s all about closing the deal. That it’s all about connecting with prospects and pushing them down the sales funnel. Today’s guest, Ian Moyse, points out that spending time on closing the deal may not always be in your best interest. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to find out why.
Ian Moyse is the EMEA Sales Director at Natterbox and an expert in telephony. He is known as a cloud social influencer. Thinkers360 recognized him as one of the top 100 #B2B Thought Leader and Influencers to Follow in 2020. He’s also a panelist on the sales expert channel, was awarded the prestigious UK Sales Director of the year award, and is one of the top sales experts.
Ian states that “Productivity is about doing the right thing, not just doing something”. It’s about hitting the results, not the metrics. Ian’s definition of productivity is doing the right things in the most efficient manner to secure a sale. There is too much focus on pure activity. Sales leaders want to push their reps to make more calls and force more connections. But more activity doesn’t equal qualified leads.
They’re also focusing on the wrong activities. Sales leaders want their rep to make a hundred calls to get 50 connections to get 5 leads—but what if a rep could make 50 calls to get 10 connections and 5 leads? The focus needs to be moved from ‘more’ activity to connecting with the right people.
The level of activity needs to be different for every rep. Some reps need 20 visits to get 5 sales—others only need 10 visits a month. Each salesperson is an individual and needs to be treated as such. Everyone’s personalities and strategies are different, so we can’t hold them all to the same strategies and expect the same results.
Ian points out that we need to take a step back and think about the fact that we all block calls and filter emails. Most people won’t answer a phone call with a number they don’t recognize or respond to an email from someone they don’t know. And while email seems to be the preferred mode of communication, it can leave a lot open to interpretation. You cannot properly understand someone’s tone and verbal cues through a written message—but you can with a phone call.
It can also take 5 days of email communication to knock out what could be covered in an hour-long call. Ian states that you must be willing to switch modes of communication based on the information you need or the topic being covered. Email is more of a communication dialogue while a phone call is more conversational. You must keep in mind the differences between them.
Productivity is about getting to the end result in the most effective and appropriate manner for your company and the client. The end result is not always a sale. Finding out that a potential customer is not a good fit still being productive because you’re reducing time spent on something that won’t achieve the desired outcome—a sale.
Ian points out that sales reps need to learn multi-level questioning while actively listening. Taking a deep-dive with a potential client on the front end and listening to their needs will move you towards the desired outcome, or help you disqualify them. Ian believes many salespeople are so bent on closing the deal that they ignore key disqualifiers.
A great salesperson has to learn how to see those red flags and make hard decisions early. The amount of time you could spend on large bids will eat away at your productivity. Bring in your sales group and management to give a listening ear and let the bid go if it isn’t a good fit. You don’t want to waste your resources.
According to Ian, this mantra can save you a lot of headaches and give you better odds of closing a sale. He points out one way to put this into play: make a cold call a warm call. He suggests doing that by researching the person in advance. Learn facts about his or her business and different angles you can use to connect with them. You may not use all the information, but you are better informed and prepared.
He has another mantra closely tied to the first: Plan, Prioritize, and Push aside. You need to plan for your day ahead of time, schedule and time-block key things that need to get done. Then you must prioritize those things and push aside interruptions and distractions. If you qualify what needs to be done now, it’s easier to focus on the tasks at hand.
Listen to the whole episode for Ian’s thoughts on productivity, his ‘Ninja inbox’ strategy, and more.
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