They say that in sales, patience and drive are key assets for sales people. That’s because selling is not a walk in the park. It can be challenging especially given that buyers these days have such high expectations in choosing a product for purchase and in how they should be serviced.
Sales reps need to have the patience and drive to keep going—no matter how many times phone calls are unanswered, how many proposals are turned down, or how many different kinds of objections they hear.
Putting in the work—even if that means doing a specific task many, many times—is important. In fact, persistence is key. Don’t believe us? Look at these statistics that prove that being persistent can yield results:
- 92% of sales pros give up after the 4th call, but 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes. (MarketingDonut)
- The average salesperson generates roughly one appointment or referral from every 209 cold calls. (Baylor University)
- 50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact, but most reps give up after just 2. (InsideSales)
- It takes 8 cold calls to reach a prospect. 72% of all sales calls aren’t answered. (Baylor University)
- Only 2% of sales happen at the first meeting. (MarketingDonut)
- Stay vigilant. 83% of prospects who request info don’t buy for 3–12 months. (MarketingDonut)
- 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back. (YesWare)
It’s not easy, yes, especially if the initial results are disheartening. But one way sales reps can practice persistence is to develop daily productive work habits.
What does this mean?
Many successful people have their daily habits. Everyone from Warren Buffett to Jeff Bezos has their own daily activities that allow them to be productive. But there’s a common thread in all their habits: discipline.
It is said that discipline is probably the one trait most associated with achievement. Doing something constructive and gainful consistently, over and over again—even when it’s difficult and sometimes even discouraging—makes the difference. This is what sets the really successful, achievement-focused people apart from the others.
So as a sales rep, how do you make sure that you develop these productive, healthy work habits? Sales productivity is an issue in the workplace, especially since several studies have shown that the average employee only really works for three hours out of the eight-hour workday. For starters, you must have a checklist of things that you have to do every single day.
But if there’s anything sales has taught us, it’s that sales is a numbers game. So we would recommend that you quantify your tasks each day. This helps you determine if you are on track to accomplishing a goal.
To do this, you’ll need your sales data and analysis. Say, for example, that in the last quarter, you were able to close three deals out of the 20 prospects you contacted. Your closing ratio is 3:20. If you want to double your win rate, then you’ll need to double your efforts in prospecting, qualifying, and nurturing too.
Break down the steps you take when trying to close a deal. Then begin quantifying those. Here are the tasks that you should start quantifying:
- Cold calling
- Sending emails
- Social selling
- Sending proposals
- Appointment setting
- Creating pitches
- Following up
Then based on your numbers, set your minimum “values” for each task for a specific timeframe.
- Make a minimum of XX qualifying cold calls a day; XX calls a week.
- Make a minimum of XX follow-up cold calls a day; XX calls a week.
- Send a minimum of XX introductory emails a day; XX emails a week.
- Send a minimum of XX follow-up emails a day; XX emails a week.
- Connect with a minimum of XX contacts on social media a day, XX contacts a week.
- Create and send a minimum of XX proposals a day, XX proposals a week.
- Create a minimum of XX pitch presentations a day, XX pitch presentations a week.
- Set appointments for pitch presentations with a minimum of XX contacts a day, XX contacts a week.
- Follow up on proposals or pitches with a minimum of XX contacts a day, XX contacts a week.
And so on.
Of course, part of the data you need to establish your quantifiable values is the length of time a lead takes in each stage of the sales funnel. You can’t enforce a number of follow-ups to make if certain prospects haven’t even moved from the initial qualifying stage.
This whole process of quantifying tasks is one reason why conducting a sales pipeline analysis is not only healthy. It’s critical to your success.
Begin quantifying your sales tasks and push yourself to achieve even just bare minimum values (of course, more is always better). Stay focused and disciplined and we guarantee that you will see results.
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