Sales people need to put more time into closing big deals in 2018

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Sales people need to put more time into closing big deals in 2018

“Fear, uncertainty, and doubt had crept into my head. (I now know that this is a common event among salespeople.) It was devastating.” – Dean Minuto, The One Page Sales Coach.

Have you ever lost a huge deal and wished you had spent just a few more hours on it?

Doing the deep work, thinking about the upsells, and how the deal flow should go down.

If so, you’re not alone.

In fact the majority of reps we consult with regularly say things like, “If I just had another week, I coulda closed that one.”

Yet, time and time again we reps “can’t set aside” or “just don’t have” the time to slow down and really put the hard work it takes to close big deals in 2018, when the Internet has changed sales forever.

If this is you, then here’s what you’ll get from this article.

  • What exactly is occupying a sales rep’s time so that they can’t give the extra time to get these deals done
  • What sales reps that value their time are doing to make sure they set aside the time to really work on these deals
  • What you can start doing tomorrow with the tools you already have to get more time back into your day

If you are crushing quota and taking the end of the quarter off, then this article is not worth your effort.

However, if you want to find a way to get better and close bigger deals more often, then hopefully this will be useful for you.  

Just in case you are hoping for it, there are no magic wands or shortcuts. 

 

What the heck are Sales Reps so busy doing?

As you are probably aware, a core sales responsibility is providing prospects with compelling information that helps them justify their decision to buy.

So let’s use this as an example of where our time goes.

For many sales reps this means, spending time searching for the right case studies, the right product information, etc. and building compelling customized presentations for huge deals.

To make this even more difficult, the right collateral could be in your email, stored on your hard drive, buried in a sales portal, or on your company website.

The bottom line is finding the right collateral takes up a ton of time for the reps.

I call it playing “Sales hide and seek”.

Look, I do it too.

Our company is small with only a few reps and doesn’t really have a ton of products per se, but I recently found myself spending 30 minutes trying to track down a PowerPoint we used a few years back to add a single slide to a new customized PowerPoint I was building. Finally found it in Dropbox buried in a folder – btw poorly labeled by me!

How much time is spent just searching for the right materials?

So let’s imagine you have a hot prospect and you need to pull together some collateral-based on a one-to-one meeting to close a deal.

You set your mind on 5 files/key pieces of information

  1. Price Sheet
  2. Short Overview Video
  3. Installation Guide
  4. Comparison battle card with a competitor
  5. Link to the product on your website

It doesn’t take that long to find, right?  

Say 5 minutes per piece of information by the time you find it, check it, copy it and paste it into an email.

That’s just 25 minutes. Easy peasy.

But you aren’t working one account, you are working at least 10 – 20  prospects, all with different needs. So we’re up to 4 to 8 hrs a week (250 – 500 minutes), let’s call it 6 hrs per week?

50 work weeks x 6 hrs means sales reps are spending about 300 hrs per year searching for collateral to send to prospects. That’s roughly 15% of your year.  300/2000 for the math nerds.

From my conversations with sales reps and dealers, that’s a very optimistic outlook on the time spent, I bet that it’s closer 15 hrs per week searching for the right information depending on how complex your product or services your company puts in your bag.

So when you throw in group meetings, sales meetings, one-on-one’s, travel time, and logging calls in your CRM.  You’re left with 10 hrs or so a week to actually meet with prospects and work on the big deal you got going.

We all know this is not enough time!

What savvy Sales Reps & Dealers are doing to make sure they spend enough time on bigger deals to give themselves the best chance?

Quick question.

What do you like doing better?

Searching through emails, portals, and websites trying to track down the elusive golden nugget collateral, or…

… spending time gaining a deeper understanding of a prospect’s needs and building the types of insights that make you a trusted advisor.

Simple right.

However, even master salespeople fall into the trap of doing the former over the latter.

For example, Dean Minuto, master sales trainer, in his book The One Page Sales Coach painfully describes the moment when he realized this…

“Fear, uncertainty, and doubt had crept into my head. It was devastating.”

He then goes on show us how he overcame this.

First, take stock of where you are spending your time.

Take a look at your calendar last week.

Add up the hours you spent working on the big deal you got cooking.

And contrast that with the time you spent

  • Looking for product information
  • Logging activities in CRM
  • Making calls
  • Traveling
  • Sitting through meetings

I suspect the answer will shock you.  

Here’s my calendar for last week. I’ve narrowed the times where I worked on the one mega-deal we are working as a team.

That’s right 1 hour and 30 minutes total. Granted it was a short week with the 4th holiday in there.  So 1.5 hrs out of 32 were spent on the life-altering deal we are working on.

Makes me sick at my stomach to think about it.

Second, decide today how much time you need to spend next week to be 100% confident that you are spending 100% of the necessary time to win the biggest deal in your pipeline.

This will be hard. I promise you.

Here’s a possible list:

  1. Background research on the major players
  2. Research the company’s competitors and position in the marketplace
  3. List out all possible reasons you will lose the deal and write out what you will do combat these reasons
  4. Spend time with Marketing, product managers, your VP, or production to make sure your presentation, RFP, SOW, or proposal is airtight
  5. Practice your pitch or phone call

And so on for your deal. Is it 5 hours? 10? 20?  

Finally, now that you are crystal clear on what it will take to be 100% confident you are giving 100% of the effort required to win the deal. Block off time on your calendar today to complete each activity and title each block of time with what you need to accomplish starting with word CRITICAL.

For example, CRITICAL – Meet with Mary to list out the potential upsells for Acme Co – 1hr.

The reason I want you to use the word CRITICAL is that this will tell your co-workers to stop bothering you at all costs.

Of course, you need to meet all your other obligations like sales meetings too, so the time needs to be blocked off around these other meetings and time sinks. Yes, taking the kids to soccer counts.

So, how much time is left to search through your sales portal for the latest sales slick?

What can you start doing tomorrow with the tools you already have to get more time back into your day?

I am going to get crucified for saying this, but you gotta use every tool at your disposal to claw back your time including off-loading looking for sales materials to your Marketing team.

Most Marketers we meet with seem perfectly content to do the legwork for their sales teams, so I’ll put it in writing.  

  1. Bury’em with requests until they push back or give you tools that make it fool-proof to find what you need fast. Seriously, just keep emailing and texting them until their heads explode.
  2. Next, take the time to get all your login credentials for all sales tools provided to you in one place. If you’re fortunate enough to sell for a company that uses single sign-on good on you.  For the rest of us, I like the app 1Password for keeping track of all my login credentials in one easy place so I don’t have to keep resetting passwords all the time. I’m sure there are others that’ll do the trick.
  3. Install and sign in to all the sales tools your company provides.  We recently ran analytics for a large client on FatStax sales tool adoption and found out that roughly 40% of their dealer reps had never even bothered to install the super amazing sales app we built for them.  Come on man!  That’s crazy. How many hours do those 40% waste hunting and pecking for sales materials when they could have it on their smartphones in their back pocket?
  4. Set aside 30 minutes a day to log activities in CRM. 30 minutes is all you need, sometimes less.  Get it on your calendar and hold yourself to this time limit. When your VP or Sales Opps guy complains you don’t log things, just show them your calendar filled with CRITICAL to-dos for the biggest deal in your pipeline and the 30 minutes you spared every day to log activities into CRM.
  5. Put Marketing to good use by enlisting their help and demanding their time working on your presentations or proposals. Your Marketing and Product Managers have extraordinary knowledge about how products flow together and where to find the right materials. The best reps that close the biggest deals will always make them a critical part of the team.

Conclusion

While a rep naturally wants to spend less time looking for sales materials and logging activities into CRM systems and more time working on the huge life altering deals, our tendencies will always be to do busy work.  Thus we squander the time we should be putting in to make sure at the end of the deal, win or lose, that we don’t wish we had another week to spend preparing to win it. 

Come on man! We can be better than this.

 

 

Introducing: Galleries, a Sales Tool for Companies with Highly Visual Products

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Introducing: Galleries, a Sales Tool for Companies with Highly Visual Products

 

I’m VERY excited to announce the release of the all-new Galleries Sales Tool Plug-in for FatStax.

What is it?

Galleries is a free template driven plug-in that gives Marketers the ability to create image and video-driven galleries for reps to share with prospects during onsite meetings.

In other words:

It’s a simple sales tool for companies with highly, visual products like home or building products looking to make their reps’ lives super easy and grow their revenue in 2018. Read More

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use a Website as a Sales Enablement Tool

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

UPDATED 4/17/2018 with new data

A lot of companies wonder why they can’t just use their website to house critical sales information for their sales team as opposed to taking the plunge with a mobile sales app or sales enablement tool.

After all, your product information is already on your website.

And, most companies have websites.

Seems like a pretty logical conclusion to open up a browser, pull up your website and show your products to prospects, right?

Furthermore, pretty much everyone has a smartphone with enough signal to pull up your mobile responsive website do this.

So let’s call it like it is…

Read More

What we learned about Manufacturers’ Reps by analyzing 27,000 mobile sales tool users

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

What we learned about Manufacturers’ Reps by analyzing 27,000+ mobile sales tool users.

Can you believe that FatStax now has over 35,000 users that qualify as manufacturers’ reps, dealers, distributors, OEMs, etc.?

In fact, since launching our packages specifically tailored to manufacturers that sell primarily via distributor reps three years ago, these reps now make up well over 70% of all FatStax users.

Since we’re scientists by nature, we decided to analyze just exactly what all those manufacturers’ reps were doing with their sales tools in order to figure out how to get more of them to be badass super users instead wimpy, loser users. Read More

Notes on Tim Ferriss Branding Podcast

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

“FORGET ABOUT BRANDING, FOCUS ON WHAT FUCKING MATTERS, THE REST WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF” – Tim Ferriss – Branding Podcast.

I really loved Tim Ferriss’s recent podcast on Branding. Give it a listen please.

It’s a short 35 min easy listen during your commute and, it really made me think a lot about my marketing activities and my “personal brand”.  My opinion is this applies to both branding for product marketers as well as sales people working on their personal brand/style.

Read More

How I Got 200 Hrs per Year Back from One Simple Change in Marketing Habits

By | Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity
Updated 09/26/2017 with new insights

What would you do with 200 more hours per year? Seriously, what could you accomplish?

As a Marketer, there are two ways to increase your available time.

Way #1 – Work more hours.

Way #2 – Work normal hours and stop wasting time on unimportant tasks.

#1 is the norm and a sort of cultural badge of honor for anyone in a leadership roll. It requires us to do more of what we’ve already done: more emails, more meetings, more phone calls, more plane flights, and all of the stuff we are comfortable with these days.

#2 is super uncomfortable. It requires us to pause and take a hard look at what is taking up so much dang time and then stop doing those things or find a more effective, less time-consuming process to do them.

Read More

Trade Show Apps: Badge Scanner vs. Mobile Sales Apps

By | iPad Trade Show
Updated August 2017 – Trade Show App: Badge Scanners vs. Mobile Sales Apps

We spend a lot of time working closely with trade show managers and Marketers to help them deploy trade show apps to improve the QUALITY of leads captured.

For the most part, these trade show apps are simplified version of mobile sales app used by sales teams everyday.

This concept has seen a huge up tick for us in the last 6-8months as more and more folks are seeking solutions that are fully integrated into their Marketing Tech stacks.

Read More

How to get C-Suite Approval for a Mobile Sales Tool

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Hint: It has nothing to do with cost

Researching new apps for sales reps is only a small part of the overall decision-making process. If you aren’t the one signing the check for your mobile sales solutions, you’ll first need approval from your CFO, CMO, VP Sales, or other stakeholders.

And that presents a whole new set of challenges that rely on your presentation of two things: the existing problem(s) and the value of the solution. Read More

Simple Tactic For Manufacturing Marketers To Impact Dealer Sales

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools
Updated July 2017 with new insights and tips on mobile sales tools for dealers and distributors.

 

“With FatStax, I can deliver follow up information to my customers in minutes instead of days. In just a few clicks immediately following our meeting, I can send product videos, technical data sheets, color charts and literature that reinforces their buying decision.”  – Justin Chantel, Territory Sales Manager, Bradley Corp.

Now that is music to our ears.  Thanks Justin.  You are exactly who we are looking to serve my friend.

But how did we get there…

How often does your sales team ask, “What are we really getting for our marketing spend?”

I cringe every time someone in sales asks that question!

Actually it’s not a question, it’s statement that sales does not BELIEVE in marketing’s contribution.  The age old fight continues.

Maybe there’s just a bit of misalignment or internal chaos between marketing and sales.

I think we all know the impact of marketing on sales performance, but sometimes it is difficult to quantify. Wouldn’t it be really nice if people stop asking this question all together?

Read More

How to Plan a Successful Launch of Your Mobile Sales Tool

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

3 Things Before Your Sales App Goes Live

 

In a previous post about onboarding employees via your mobile sales app, I indicated that a new sales rep is only as good as the profit they bring in, which is essentially zero until they can ramp up their selling strategies.

It’s worth mentioning that the same holds true for your mobile selling tools. Until you can guarantee a successful launch of your mobile sales app, it’s worth absolutely nothing to your operations.

Granted, you want to get it up and selling as soon as possible. But there are a few key steps you’d be better off not skipping, even if it means delaying your launch date a little in order to start your strategy off right. Read More