What do commencement speeches and sales meetings have in common? I never thought that I would pose such a question until I was fortunate enough to attend a commencement for a very special person in my life, my girlfriend Katie. Her graduation was a great celebration of a hard earned achievement, but the commencement speakers were somewhere between bad and terrible. In fact, I asked over 25 people after the ceremony what they thought, and every single person mentioned that they thought the speakers left a lot to be desired. As I analyzed what made the speeches so difficult to sit through, I realized that many of the things that made the speakers ineffective also characterized unsuccessful sales meetings I had been a part of.
We’re back again to continue our blog series on how to increase new account sales. This week, we share with you the second best practice which is that top hunters maximize their prospecting time.
Top hunters value their prospecting time and make the best use of it by focusing on best fit accounts. As we spoke with top performing account acquisition sales people, the topic of effective time prioritization came up repeatedly. One particularly eloquent sales person put it this way, “All I have is my time. I can’t make up for time spent with a low quality prospect. Spending time with the right prospects can make or break me.”
In this part of the series on Best Practices of Top Sales Hunters to Increase New Account Sales, we share the first of seven best practices: Top hunters focus on acquiring new accounts. As we interviewed the top hunters, we kept hearing one word over and over again: Focus. Top hunters consistently mentioned focus as a key to their success. As one of our interview participants put it, “For me, it is all about focus: focusing on the right accounts, focusing on the right activities, focusing on consistency and focusing on winning business.” One of the other things that we noticed as we dug deeper was that none of the reps were in hybrid roles, having a mix of hunting and farming responsibility. We realized that a large portion of the success of top hunters could be attributed to their clear role definition. Their job role, expectations and compensation were all focused on a singular purpose: winning new accounts. While there are volumes written on job roles and compensation, it is especially relevant for new account acquisition because:
What would a 10% increase in new account revenue mean to your business? How about 20%? Imagine that for a moment. You’re probably thinking about the great sales rewards trip to Hawaii that you could throw, the organizational awards you might receive and certainly the big bonus check that might result from such a jump. It turns out that you aren’t the only sales executive focused on acquiring new accounts.
Our firm hosted a round table discussion with sales executives from Fortune 1000 companies, and a majority of the group said increasing new account revenue is their top priority. That a majority of the “type-a” personalities at the table would agree on anything is shocking, so we decided to take a deeper look at this topic. When asked why this was their top priority, the group shared several drivers: