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Your Customers

Customer acquisition activities are simply the most important thing sales people do on a daily basis.  It is the lifeblood of any business because quite frankly nothing else matters without customers.  All other business functions become useless without customers - finance, operations, IT, administrative, and customer service.

Sales people need to be relentlessly focused on new customer acquisition and there are a lot of factors that contribute to a successful hunt for new business.  Obviously, sales and marketing need to work closely together to create a system for lead generation.  This is imperative for success.  Traditional cold calling simply does not work anymore.  Your target customers are too busy for interruptions in this crazy business environment in which we operate. 

Focusing on revenue generating activities is the key.  When I talk about revenue generating activities, these are the things you must do every day to achieve success.  These include daily & weekly goal setting, following up with prospects, presentations, pipeline management, delivering value, and finally converting prospects to customers.   

The most important thing you can do to become successful in sales in to develop a system for attracting prospects, converting them into customers and getting them to buy more.  The most successful sales people have a system in place that accomplishes their goals.  You can model your system after people that have already achieved success in selling.  This can be successful small business owners, successful sales people or your own personal mentors. 

The system you come up with will eventually be your own even if you model it after others.  That’s the way it should be.  You should take parts of different systems and put them together ending up with a system that works for you.

It is difficult to be successful today when we’re in an economic recovery.  Businesses have less money to spend and are less eager about spending it.  Competition is as fierce as ever and people are busier than ever before.

 Enough doom and gloom though, it is so important to take some time to strategically think through your system.  Here are some activities and questions to help you along.

  • Goal Setting - What are your goals?  Today, this week, this month, this quarter and this year?  Put together your strategic goals personally and professionally.
  • Daily Writing - Write in a journal every day about your progress toward your goals.  What steps do you need to take to achieve them?
  • Organize Yourself - Be a fanatic about being organized (not anal, organized – there is a difference)
  • Time Management - Understand the value of your time.  Don’t waste it doing busy work – e-mails, internet research, and social media activities unrelated to your business success.  Remember, the key time during each day should be dedicated to revenue generating activities.
  • Lead Generation - Model a successful lead generation strategy and put that in place.  Hint: create a formalized system for referrals.  If you don’t have any customers, work your marketing to automatically create qualified leads.
  • Social Media - Utilize social media to assist you in your lead generation strategy.  Create valuable content that will attract qualified prospects.
  • Metrics - Understand your metrics.  This is important and most sales people have no idea what metrics are important or how to track them.  Sales metrics relate to lead generation, pipeline management, sales cycle time, lifetime value of a customer and what their own time is worth.

Implementing these activities into your system and following through with them will put you in the top 5% of successful sales people.  As we talked about before, customer acquisition is the only thing that matters.  Spend some time putting your system in place and watch your sales increase dramatically.