Here is my weekly email with some insights and ideas pulled from conversations I had on my podcast.
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Are You Wasting Valuable Sales Time?
Here’s a crazy stat for you. Did you know that salespeople spend more time on admin than they do actually selling things? I’m not even joking – 22 percent of the time is spent on sales, 23 percent on admin, 12 percent on order processing, and 10 percent on planning.
Oh, and only 6 percent on lunch breaks. Too bad about that last one.
To me, it feels like all of these things should be taking the backseat to selling – but alas, that’s not the world we live in. Or is it? In 2022, we’ve got software tools and gadgets for just about anything we could possibly ask. Whether it’s customer management, scheduling, or even something as small as a digital business card, there’s an app for that.
(And more recently, there’s an AI for that, too. Machine learning is being used more and more in sales to automate the busywork and free up time for selling. But that’s a story for later in the article.)
The point is, there are ways to be more efficient with your time – you just need to know where to look. So without further ado, here are five tips on how to be a more efficient salesperson. Get ready to spend more time selling and less time shredding!
1. Find Leads Faster
Way back in June 2021, I spoke to Yoni Tserruya, co-founder and CEO of Lusha. If you’ve never heard of Lusha, it’s a lead-generation tool that allows salespeople to find contact information for leads in seconds.
“Lusha is a crowdsourced B2B data company, which helps salespeople and marketing people find their next customer. We do it by providing them accurate business data and insight about technologies and the buyers so they can easily identify and connect with the ideal profile,” Yoni explained in our interview.
If you’re a salesperson, you know how painstaking it can be to find the right contact information for a lead. It’s a process that often takes hours – and even then, you’re not always guaranteed to have the most up-to-date information.
Imagine if you could find that information in seconds? And not only that, but what if you could be sure that the information was accurate? That’s exactly why I wanted Yoni on my show – he’s created something truly valuable for people like me, and I admire anyone who fills a gap so efficiently.
“The main aim of Lusha is to build the largest salespeople community in the world. The more salespeople are using the product, the better the data become; salespeople help us to validate the data and provide the best B2B data quality in the world.”
Of course, an alternative is to find yourself a good PPC agency that will help you to create targeted ad campaigns and get in front of your ideal customer. But cold calling is still a well-used sales tactic – and considering that it takes 6-8 cold calls per prospect to get a conversion, any time you can save with a tool like Lusha is valuable.
2. Clean Your Data
If you’re running a team of salespeople, chances are, they’re spending between 20 and 30 percent of their day selling your product or service. The rest is administrative work.
It’s simple math – the less time spent on admin, the more time spent on sales, and the more sales you’re likely to make. One of the best ways to tip the scales in your favor is to provide your sales reps with clean, organized data.
Going back to my interview with Yoni, he was the person who made me think about this more seriously.
“If you provide [your team] with a higher quality of data, or you help them prioritize the leads based on criteria like industry, number of employees, or technologies, they can spend more time selling, because you actually help them with automation and data to prioritize the work.”
There’s just one problem with that; you’re not decreasing the time spent on data sorting, you’re just transferring the work onto yourself. So, how can you speed up the data cleaning process?
It may or may not surprise you to hear that artificial intelligence is our best solution to date. There are now AI-powered sales tools specifically designed for lead prioritization – and as author Victor Antonio noted in his book, Sales Ex Machina, tools like this can erase human error.
What if you could feed a vast and complex data sheet into a machine, and have it come out the other side as a clean, organized list of leads? That’s exactly what these tools are designed to do – and they’re only going to become more common (and more necessary) as time goes on.
MadKudu is one of the front-runners in this space, and it’s also worth checking out h2O.ai, a company that focuses on making AI solutions available across all industries.
3. Eat Your Frogs Early
“Top performers organize their day into distinct time blocks dedicated to specific activities, concentrating their focus and eliminating distractions within those blocks.” – Jeb Blount
I quote Jeb here for a couple of reasons: one, because I’ve personally found this to be true, and two, because it’s such a simple yet overlooked strategy. (Oh, and a third reason – Jeb is the most quotable salesman on the planet. But that’s just my opinion.)
If you’ve ever read some of the prominent studies around multitasking, like the one discussed here, you’ll know that switching between tasks comes at an enormous cost to our productivity.
Here’s why: multi-tasking is a myth. When you ‘juggle two things at once’, you’re really just switching between them at a rapid pace. But all that mental energy takes a toll, and you wind up spending more time overall on both tasks.
Switching from a phone call to writing emails to catching up on client paper work is only going to prolong the amount of time you spend on administrative tasks – which is why I recommend that you eat your frogs early (the frogs in question being your administrative work.)
Set aside the first block of your day to handle every single admin-related task you can think of. That way, you’ll stay one-track minded until it’s time to switch over to cold calling or meeting with clients.
4. Automate Your Cold Emails
Whether we like it or not, emails remain a prominent sales strategy. It’s just unfortunate that they’re such a time suck.
For a while now, we’ve had access to tools that make the process easier. MailChimp, Constant Contact, and HubSpot Sales are just a few of the more popular ones.
But what if I told you there’s a way to automate your cold email process even further? Tools like Phrasee and Lyne.ai use split testing data to determine which of your emails have the best chance of getting opened, and using that info, they craft emails for you that are more likely to get responses.
Sometimes I can’t believe we live in a world where this is possible. It’s insane, and it’s great news for us salespeople.
5. Keep Your CRM Up-To-Date
Customer relationship management tools are super helpful for keeping all your info in one spot. They quickly become a pain in the rear, though, when you’re pressed for time and can’t continually update client profiles.
The answer? Use integrations. Make the movement of data between platforms so seamless that you hardly know it’s happening.
Some of the best integrations to use, depending on your needs:
- Call logging. Set up your CRM with a platform like LiiD so that every time a sales call is made or received, it’s automatically logged in your CRM.
- Emails. Integrate your CRM into Outlook or Gmail so that you can automatically log emails and have them appear in your CRM, as well as easily access customer data while you’re crafting emails.
- Social media. Automate posts and outreach by integrating your CRM with Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
- Data and surveys. If you use services like Type Form and Survey Monkey to collect customer data and feedback, integrate them with your CRM so you can automatically populate fields.
- Team communication. You can connect your Slack to most CRMs to prevent switching between tabs and reduce the risk of forgetting to update your CRM with important customer info.
These only scratch the surface, by the way. Do some research and see what other integrations might be helpful for you and your team – there’s a whole world of possibilities out there.
It was Yoni Tserruya who gave me the idea for today’s newsletter with his incredible service, Lusha. I want to wrap up by directing you over to his interview on my YouTube channel – we spoke about his incredible journey with bootstrapping Lusha, and he’s got some great insights into the sales industry as a whole.
In the meantime, look into your administrative processes and see where you can make some changes. By automating the tedious and time-consuming tasks, you’ll be able to focus on selling, which is what we’re all here to do in the first place.
Oh, and don’t forget to leave your tips and tricks in the comments. I’d love to hear how you stay efficient in your sales process!
Success Story Podcast
If you like the content in this newsletter, I host a Top 10 Business podcast, (with over 20m downloads) called “Success Story”, where I interview entrepreneurs, executives and other high performing individuals so you can learn lessons and insights from the world-renowned leaders.
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