In the midst of making calls, sending emails, studying industry trends and responding to inquiries, salespeople are also expected to know what to do and when to do it throughout their day.
Unfortunately, hoping salespeople do the right thing at the right time is a recipe for responding to whichever fire is burning hottest. In order to effectively plan our days, we need to take a few minutes at the end of each day to review results and map out the best use of our time the next day.
An old saying attributed to Abraham Lincoln is: “If you give me four hours to cut down a tree, I’ll spend three hours sharpening my axe.”
A little time in planning means massive time saved in execution.
Why is this something that needs to be done each day? It’s because our priorities as salespeople change on a daily basis, depending on our company’s needs, our goals and prospect inquiries. Setting a plan once a month or quarter will guarantee we’re always playing catchup.
When we sat down with Greg Carbone, we discovered that he has a way for his salespeople to reflect each day on their goals, their activity, and ensure that they’re thinking about the best use of their time.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: The trigger for consistency is the end of each day when we are mapping tomorrow’s schedule and planned activity. To ensure we’re planning for the future, Greg recommends we first look at the past. Specifically, past results and future goals. If we have 20 proposals due out and only two have been delivered, our activity in the coming day will be different than if we’ve already sent 18 proposals.
R – Repeatable: If we’re simply sitting down and looking at all the tasks we could be doing the next day, we won’t be using a system. Instead, we’ll be hoping we make the right choices that lead to progress. Rather than winging it, Greg advises we map out what steps we want to go through each day to determine the activity we generated and the results we achieved, whether it’s introductory conversations with prospects or completed sales.
This ensures that we focus on the things in our control, such as making calls, sending messages and even administrative tasks like entering notes in our CRMs.
I – Improvable: Running a self-assessment is only the first part of the equation. The second part is making changes based on what we learn. If we notice that we sent a lot of emails in the last week and haven’t received many responses, it may be time to change up how we’re reaching out the next day and switch to a different platform like phone or social media messaging.
Of course, if you’re looking at your activity and results and don’t know what to change, reach out to senior salespeople in your company or in your network for advice on improving. The fact you can provide hard data on your activity and results will provide a more experienced salesperson all they need to guide you to more success.
M – Measurable: To measure the results of a self-reflection and planning session, we can look at hard indicators like increased conversations, proposals out the door or new clients. However, Greg advises we also focus on more intangible factors like reduced stress because we are operating from a plan.
If sales leaders are asking their salespeople to use a self-reflection and planning session each day, they should also measure whether their salespeople are taking the time to self-reflect by reviewing their reflection notes and ensure salespeople are operating from a daily plan.