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Double Your Sales Results in 2016 without Investing a Dime

December 3rd, 2015

Many private business owners burn up millions of dollars of profit every year by tolerating mediocrity from their sales team. Are you one of them?

If so, follow these steps to dramatically increase your bottom line in 2016.

Every salesperson on earth spends 100% of their time each day in one or more of these 5 areas:

o   Easy (Comfortable) Sales Activities

o   Hard (Effective/Productive) Sales Activities

o   Developing Skills and Strengths / Improving Effectiveness

o   Non-Selling Activities (customer service, reporting, administration, etc.)

o   Wheel-spinning (surfing the Internet, texting, goofing off, CYA…)     

Two of these activities contribute directly to your revenue growth. Two others rob your company of massive quantities of profit. The fifth can be a silent killer.

You’ll notice that the last 2 activities listed have absolutely nothing to do with sales. In fact, they cost you sales. Unfortunately, many salespeople spend a huge percentage of time in these 2 costly activities, burning up thousands of dollars every day. 

No matter what kind of company you own, your company is a SALES Company. Sales is the life blood of every company, so even if you know nothing about sales, one of your primary jobs as CEO is to make sure that sales actually happen. That’s right - YOU are responsible. If you have a sales manager in place, they can certainly help. If not, the job is entirely yours. Either way, the vital job of sales leadership and driving sales results is foundational.

The first step in the process of increasing sales is to understand that change starts at the top, so decide that you will change first. Decide that whatever ineffective practices you tolerated yesterday will not be tolerated tomorrow. Since your company is a Sales Company, begin this highly profitable process by declaring that effective immediately, every salesperson in your company will spend their time selling, and that Wheel-spinning will not be tolerated. Then, make sure the decks are cleared to eliminate (or dramatically minimize) the volume of time your salespeople spend in Non-Selling Activities. This means that you may need to shift some customer service, crisis management, reporting, and administrative activities off their plates. If you don’t provide your sales reps with these distractions (or excuses), they will be left with nothing to do but sell. Time = Money, so if you do nothing else, math says these simple steps will significantly increase your top (and bottom) lines. But I’d encourage you to read on…

Next, you’ll want to minimize the time your people spend on Easy Sales Activities (ESAs). ESAs fall into two categories: Necessary ESAs and Worthless ESAs.

Some Necessary ESAs include:

  •        Demonstrating (at the appropriate time, not prematurely)
  •         Preparing proposals (once, not multiple times)
  •         Entertaining (with discretion, when appropriate)
  •         Calling hot, pre-qualified leads
  •         Giving presentations (at the right time)
  •        Sending certain emails (note: some salespeople send emails to avoid conversations)
  •        Developing trusting relationships with connectors and influencers

Worthless ESAs include:

  •         Wasteful Internet surfing (often disguised as “research”)
  •         Excessive small talk
  •         Texting and other device addictions
  •         Spending too much time with peers (instead of Decision Makers)
  •         Self-promotion
  •         Talking when they should be listening
  •         Avoiding accountability

Both Necessary and Worthless ESAs live squarely inside most salespeople’s Comfort Zone.  Easy Sales Activities are Easy because they are comfortable. For this reason, most sales reps consume their time on ESAs in lieu of the much less comfortable (and profitable) Hard Sales Activities (HSAs). Some examples of HSAs include:

  •         Consistent prospecting
  •         Asking “tough” questions
  •         Being Assertive (never aggressive)
  •         Maintaining a Success Recipe and executing it with discipline
  •         Calling key targets and Decision Makers, including cold and warm leads
  •         Active, empathetic listening
  •         Shutting up
  •         Avoiding Premature Satisfaction™
  •         Practicing consistent time & event management
  •         Maintaining an UnConditional Commitment to continuous improvement
  •         Uncovering true buying motives
  •         Proactively seeking accountability
  •         Leaving one’s Comfort Zone

Human nature drives employees to do things that are most comfortable first, often leaving little or no time for vital activities that may be less comfortable. For salespeople, there are many comfortable activities that appear to observers to look like “selling,” when in actuality they replace effective, productive selling. It is not difficult or unusual for a salesperson to spend weeks or months of time in these very comfortable, low-return activities. Tons of hidden profit resides in this simple fact.  

Superior salespeople know that Time = Money, so they spend 90% or more of their time in either Hard Sales Activities or Developing Skills and Strengths.  Most salespeople choose to spend less then 20% of their time in these 2 critical areas.

In order to blow away your sales goals in 2016 without spending a dime:

2. Decide to be a Sales Company
3. Declare that you will no longer tolerate ineffective low-return activities from your sales team
4. Help your salespeople understand:

a.      the 5 ways they currently use their time

b.     that Time = Money. Your money and Their money.

c.      difference between productive and ineffective activities

d.      the massive sales/profit potential of leaving one’s comfort zone & using time effectively

      5. Hold your sales team accountable to your new, effective, productive sales culture.

If you’d like to share your experiences or results, or if you have any questions, feel free to email me at joe@zthree.com. I’d love to hear from you…

All the Best in 2016!

Copyright ©   Joe Zente  2015.   All Rights Reserved.