I was sales coaching and consulting with three different clients this week, and there was a recurring theme. Busyness often rules the day and we’re constantly shifting from one activity to the next, whether professional or personal.
So much of our role as leaders (whether self-leaders or leading a team) is navigation. Navigating sales challenges. Navigating team challenges. Navigating our own mindsets. Navigation is an unspoken sales strategy, but if you master it, you’ll accelerate your results and do so with more satisfaction.
How to Build Navigation Sales Strategy
What are some of the ways we can build the navigation sales strategy into our everyday lives? Several of these ideas came directly from my clients, and I wanted to share them with you.
- Time for space and self-reflection. There’s a need for time to process and space to reflect. It might be reflection on our path, or processing the outcomes of an event, or implementing coaching guidance.
- Realistic expectations of ourselves. It’s acknowledging that we have many, many tasks we could be doing and resetting the “accomplishment metric” to one of healthy realism. For example, if we know we can’t possibly get something completed until after a major deadline, avoiding the need to say “yes” to that task and setting it for after the deadline.
- Taming the email and calendar gremlins. One client came back from vacation to 2,100 emails, a large percentage of which weren’t urgent or necessary. Right then and there she took the time to set new rules for her inbox. Setting the rules is taking some time, but her emails are a much more manageable number, less than 100 needing some level of attention.
- Understanding the motivations of others. Knowing the personalities and motivations of those closest to you (whether in a work or personal environment), can help you to understand their point of view and decide how to best navigate conversations, negotiations, and outcomes.
- Proactively seeking coaching and guidance. In all my sales training programs, I offer the opportunity for participants to connect with me for individual conversations at their initiative. We’ll strategize on scenarios, and even role play situations. Those that take advantage of this are better equipped to navigate their sales or leadership situation to create a positive outcome.
- Set strategy for important events and growth activities. One client recently inherited over 100 new clients of their own to manage. One sales strategy is to categorize your clients or your activities into manageable chunks. You might organize your clients into tiers, with those at the highest tier getting the most of your time and attention. Having an upcoming marketing event? Strategize on key progress outcomes (your conversions) and organize around those outcomes. One client’s metric was turning introductions into quality individual conversations, and that became the key focus of her planning activities.
- Consciously shifting ourselves from reactive mode to proactive mode. When my brain is full of too many to-dos, the result is feeling like I’m in a frantic race from one activity to the next, reacting to whatever is front of me. It takes a full stop of what I’m doing in that moment, and then shifting myself once again to the strategic activities that need my focus. Or, if I do have several smaller activities to accomplish, proactively settling myself into those activities and giving them my focus using a timer on my phone.
- Making the ask. Whether it’s an ask for assistance, guidance, a conversation, or the next step – too many times we’re thinking about it too much, and that takes up valuable mental real estate and emotional energy. There’s a simple but powerful concept from author Mel Robbins, the 5-Second Rule. Whatever is it that you’ve been contemplating, you can make a significant shift by counting to five and then taking immediate action.
Does Your Sales Strategy Navigate Biggest Challenges and Opportunities?
Amy Franko is the leader in sales strategy and sales leadership coaching, helping you to design best-in-class sales programs that accelerate growth. To significantly improve the outcomes of your sales strategy, let’s schedule a conversation. Don’t let your competition get an advantage. Contact us to schedule a conversation with Amy.