This article was written several years ago, but we wanted to share because businesses and sales teams need to understand the importance of marketing.
Over the last 20 years I have learned a lot about building a business and crafting my sales techniques. So much can be centered on building your pipeline through cold-calls and the “classic” sales approach, but what I have discovered is that as a salesperson it is incredibly important to also be a great marketer. Especially if you are responsible for building your own network and do not receive internal leads. More important is your relationship building skills, but I’ll talk about that another time.
So what I decided to do in this article is give you 4 tips/must do’s that apply to marketing, but can be applied to a salesperson’s daily agenda and routine in building a strong pipeline. Although I have never held a marketing title, I have owned and operated several businesses and was solely responsible for the marketing strategy and decisions. I am always open for comments and thoughts on my posts and would love any feedback or additional ideas. So with no further ado, here you go.
1. Learn Your Lessons
In marketing it’s always important to learn your lessons from prior activities so that you know what worked and what didn’t. Same with sales. Making sure you know what worked and what didn’t, that either helped or failed to get you in front of the perfect prospective client, is extremely important. Though in a sales role you’ll hear the words “activity, activity, activity”, it is important for it to be smart activity. Some of the most successful sales people do more in 4 hours than others do in 8. Know what you did right or wrong and build on it.
2. Cultivate Your Strategy
This is simple. Make sure you take the time to strategize about where you want to focus your efforts and how you’ll achieve success.
I like to take time on Mondays to do this for the upcoming week, so that I am not all of a sudden looking down the barrel of a Wednesday or Thursday and thinking to myself, “What am I going to do today?” It’s important to not only look at the short term goals, but to think about long term goals when developing your strategy also. And as with all of my remaining points, always revert to point number 1 to make sure you don’t repeat unsuccessful strategies.
3. Prioritize Your Ideas
Once you have your strategy for what you are going to do that week, month, year, etc., make sure you are prioritizing the most important aspects of that plan. I like to make sure to focus on the items that bring the most value first.
This is important so that if your week fills up quickly and the next thing you know it’s Friday, you’re not leaving the most important aspects of your strategy on the table for the next week or possibly weeks after that. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on your priorities, so having this laid out will help keep you on track.
4. Measure Your Success
This is similar to my first point, but includes you having a method of measurement in place. Yes, this is also called goals, and it is also when I get to throw in the token famous person quote. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau.
I love this quote because it reminds me that it’s not always about just hitting the numbers. My wife and others know this about me; I love the recognition that comes with hitting my goals. Typically if you are being recognized by your peers, then either the dollar bills have already come or they are on the way! So make sure your goals are more than just numbers. Think about what you want to achieve in your personal life also. Keep this in mind; if you can’t tell whether or not your strategy and ideas were a success, then why are you doing them? Once again, please see point number one.
My advice is to understand that sales can be a lot of fun when you think of it as your own personal business. How are you going to market yourself? What is the best way to achieve this? Did it work or not? Have fun and for goodness sake, stop thinking that the only way to build your pipeline is through making 10 million calls to people that have no idea who you are, what you do, and why you are calling them. Build your brand and business by marketing yourself in effective and efficient ways.