Productive vs. Busy – how do you know?

56 dials

25.58% phone time

4 new opportunities

$15,109 revenue

Too often I talk with inside salespeople who get caught up in a frenzy of behavior  tracking. Why? Because that is what their sales manager is talking with them about.

Now the numbers I’ve posted only give part of the picture AND they happened on four different days!

  • 56 dials, resulted in 20% phone time, 3 opportunities, and $0 in revenue
  • 25 1/2% phone time came from 15 dials, 1 opportunity found, and $39 booked
  • 4 new opportunities were found in 15 dials, on the phone 15%, and placing $1,355 in orders
  • $15,109 came on a day with 18 dials, 18% phone time, plus 3 new opportunities.

Why am I telling you this? What does it mean?

If you are caught up in the activity – instead of focusing on the results you want, you are being busy instead of productive.

Today, think first about the result you are looking to have happen. BIG PICTURE first (what one of my bosses called the “10,000 ft. view”), now imagine you’re able to zoom in like on google maps;

What is the first destination you have to reach on your way to the BIG goal? (Staying with the map analogy – to drive from Boston MA to Chicago IL, where am I going to stop for the night to rest?)

 What is the most important thing I need to do to end up there at the end of today? (Perhaps it is as easy as – get in the car, fill the tank with gas, hop on interstate 90 WEST and drive)

Now that you have played along – how are you going to measure those actions today? Those are the behaviors and things to keep track of (keeping the gas gauge off E, making sure to continue westward bound travel, seeing if my time estimate to my first destination is still on track throughout the day).

Now the most important part – do it.

My April 8th post was about the Inside Sales Behavior Pyramid… I’m not going to rehash that today – if this topic resonates with you, you may want to check it out.

Once you’ve determined your first destination; scroll down, register, log in, and let us know where you’re going AND what you’re doing today to get there.

Stuck in the Sales Process?

Julie Adams who writes a weekly blog about selling, asked an interesting question on LinkedIn: “How can we unstick sales that have gotten stuck?”

She has been speaking to a lot of businesses having this problem just now where the uncertainty in the market seems to be causing an unusually high amount of procrastination from buyers.

Here is my answer:

Right now I talk with my prospects about the two risks they are balancing:
1. the risks associated with doing nothing
2. the risks associated with doing something

That engages us in a conversation where we both leave understanding exactly what the risks are in their world.

Sometimes – I learn the risks of doing something are greater than those for doing nothing

Other times – they realize that doing nothing has more risk; that is when the process begins to move forward again (and sometimes quickly).

What do you do to get all that sticky goo off and move forward?  Scroll down, register, log in, and let us know.

Sales Super Heroes?

Jeb Blunt of Sales Gravey wrote an article for his eMagazine called “Salespeople are the new Super Heroes” – of course he went on to use the analogy to make his point, he is really good at what he does.

Of course my brain turned left somewhere and I started thinking of all the different super heroes there are out there. Which then took a right turn into a 1999 flash back to Mystery Men (a movie about ineffective superheros).

Where is my meandering brain taking you? How does this apply to inside sales? What am I talking about?

Well, here goes: there are multiple perspectives on how well we are doing as inside sales super heroes. The views might include, the one:

  1. in our own head (I think of myself as one of the Biker Mice from Mars personally)
  2. our prospects have when we call them (Stuper Duck? The Shoveler? or something more effective)
  3. customers who know us well (Wonder Woman or Superman perhaps?)
  4. buyers who don’t really know us but trusted us with a purchase (Robin instead of Batman?)
  5. the stuff our boss thinks (I shudder to think of what some of my ex-bosses would say…)
  6. people who like us in the office (they will hold your cape, unless you’re an Incredibles fan “No capes”)
  7. those who don’t like us in the office (envision a super villain perhaps)

Regardless of who’s perspective we are talking about, the trouble comes up for us inside sales super heroes when the picture in OUR head doesn’t match the one in THEIR head (who ever they might be).

It is critical that we take responsibility and make sure our intention (what super hero we see ourselves as) and the perception of the person we are communicating with (how the other person views us) MATCH.

So if I see myself as one of the Biker Mice from Mars and that is how I want other people to perceive me I need to make sure I present:

  • someone who thinks before she acts
  • is loyal
  • and brave
  • talks it out instead of fighting when possible
  • will fight if pushed

If that isn’t what they get when I’m communicating, I’m the only person to blame. So when you wake up tomorrow and get ready for work – who do you want to present? what inside sales super hero is going to show up at work?

Make sure the one inside your head, is the one other people get to meet.

Scroll down, register, log in, and let us know who your inside sales super hero is and how you make sure other people get to meet that persona.

How to Motivate Your Prospects to Buy Now

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Even if you think you know the consequences…. don’t tell your prospect

It is so much more powerful to be in a conversation, ask questions, and have the prospect tell you why it is critical for them to take action now! Enjoy the article, Lynn

In these trying economic times, sales have slowed down considerably – people just do not want to spend any money.The future is so uncertain right now that both consumers and businesses want to hold on to their money, just in case they need it for an emergency or even for survival. Right now, most people are in fear of loss, and this fear leads to inaction. In today’s market, even if you have been showing your prospect that it makes total financial sense to buy your solution right now, and that there is a clear ROI (Return on Investment), you are probably finding that they are still not motivated to buy right now. You see, in this economy, it’s unlikely that something as simple as a great ROI will motivate your prospect to buy. Actually even using the words ‘Return on Investment’ probably sends shudders down your prospects’ spines! We all know what has happened to a lot of “investments” lately. So, if having a great ROI will not motivate your prospect to buy now, what will?

As I mentioned above, people are holding on to their money in case they need it for emergencies or for survival. So, if you can link the purchase of your solution to an emergency or survival, you might just get your prospect’s attention, and they will be motivated to buy now.

How do you make that link?

You make the link by focusing on consequences. If your prospect does not take action and buy your solution now, there are going to be consequences as a result. What are these consequences? What will those consequences be to his/her revenue, costs, competitiveness, or viability in three months, six months, and 12 months? What sort of pain or emergency will these consequences create? How will these consequences impact their ability to survive in an evolving economy?

Remember, only BIG consequences motivate people to buy now. So, starting now, if you want to motivate people to buy now, think about and find BIG consequences.

For each and every prospect for your solution, determine the specific consequences he/she might incur if they don’t take action right now. How? You find out these specific consequences by asking lots of questions.

Even if you think you know the consequences if your prospect takes no action, don’t tell your prospect the consequences. First, you don’t know their business well enough to list their specific consequences. Second, if you tell your prospect the consequences, he or she will probably decide that such consequences do not apply to them.

Provided it is clear your intention is to help your prospect – versus to sell them your solution – with careful questioning, your prospect will tell you the consequences of his indecision to purchase your solution right now. In fact, with careful questioning, you will probably find that this is the first time that he/she has really thought through the consequences of inaction if they don’t solve this particular problem. They will probably be grateful to you for taking the time to help them get this clarity!

Provided you have uncovered BIG consequences – consequences that will create an emergency or that will impact survival – your prospect will be motivated to take action now, even in today’s economic conditions.

Start today – focus on uncovering BIG consequences, and you will motivate your prospects to buy from you now.

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at

Mayday, Mayday… This call is about to CRASH!

When is the last time you wished there was someone around to come help you?

At we have found three of the most common reasons inside salespeople yell mayday are:

Ok so there are really four – sometimes it is the dreaded COMBINATION MAYDAY where mixes of two or all three happen at the same time.

Hey Lynn – what is your least favorite example of the dreaded combination mayday? When my emotions are running wild AND I can’t find an expert to grab on the call with me to pull it around!

Want more? Check out this month’s edition of A Chip Off The Block

Then come back, log in, and share your favorite questions OR sentence strings you use to continue sales conversation gone wild.