Monthly Archives: November 2022

Plan for a successful 2023

When I was thinking about what to write for my last blog of 2022, I found this quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Planning is everything, the plan is nothing.” The difference between “planning” and “plans” can be summed up in one word: Change.

The two phrases that best sum up our business lives are “expect the unexpected” and “the only constant is change.” Planning is an active process, setting goals, objectives, and strategies, and reviewing constantly to keep us up to date with market conditions. Plans are how we document the results of our planning and can end up as fixed points that the business tries to fit around. The process of planning helps us know what we need to do to accomplish our goals and fulfil our vision for the business. It allows to us control the effects of the unforeseen and helps our team become aligned with our vision and understand the part they can play in the company’s success.

Throughout this year our blogs have looked at building for the future, and specifically how you can build a bridge between your vision for the business and setting and achieving the goals to get there. In a time of uncertainty, the only thing you can be sure of is that your plans will need to change.

YBDT’s Sales Success consultancy programme starts with identifying your specific sales needs using our unique gap analysis system. Once we have that in place, we can create a tailored sales process, supported by training and mentoring designed for your team as they adopt the new processes.

The key to the success of your planning is an overarching business development strategy. This gives you an understanding of the market and your place within it, creates detailed and time-based goals, and the activities to support them, along with realistic KPIs to measure your success. Having the basic strategic framework in place means you can adapt aspects of the process and support that with additional training. This means that as market conditions change, you can avoid tearing your whole sales and marketing system out and starting from scratch repeatedly.

YBDT’s strategic approach and long experience in supporting the creation and nurturing of prospects has proven effective for many clients. For example, Graeme Brown, MD of Sentinel group Security, said that for his company it is the combination of experience with innovation offered by our team which has resulted in the creation of a much improved and better targeted pipeline.

The best quote about sales and marketing in a time of economic uncertainty came from Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. When asked, “What do you think about a recession?” he responded, “I thought about it and decided not to participate.”  YBDT has the tools you need to step ahead of your competitors when they fail to look beyond the next dire headline. Get in touch to talk about how we can help you look forward to a positive, profitable future.

How to prioritise your follow up calls?

According to Wanda Allan, author of Follow Up Sales Strategies, 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact, yet 90% of sales people make three contacts or less.

I am sure you that you have heard this or similar quotes as there are many of these formulas around. Whether it’s making 5 calls, 8 calls or however many it takes to get an answer from a prospect, the point of follow up is that it is consistent and continues. To achieve this, you need to set up a follow up process which is part of an overall agreed sales process for your company. If you are not sure what I mean, check our demo sales process document here.

One of the key issues with following up beyond setting up an agreed process, is having time to do it. We are all very busy and that means that often, important but not essential activities like following up can fall by the wayside. Once this happens it becomes harder to keep on top of the follow up and utilise opportunities to build a relationship. Rather than taking an all or nothing approach, in this case, we would recommend prioritising your follow up list and setting shorter sessions which you can stick to.

So how do you go about prioritising your list? Well, here are three tips:

  1. Prioritise by intent: if the prospect is communicating with you and providing updates, they are ones to prioritise and keep speaking to. If you hear nothing back or communication is patchy than put those into a lower priority list.
  2. Stick to timelines agreed:  developing trust is a big advantage of regular follow up and keeping to agreed timing is key to it so make sure you set activity reminders. One useful time saving tip is to tie these timelines to your regular follow up sessions which become a part of your default diary.
  3. Consider their personality type: identifying your prospects’ preferences is very helpful in the process of building a relationship and prioritising opportunities. Use tools like DISC to consider their personality type to help you prioritise and remove opportunities from your pipeline. For example, if they are introvert and detailed, they may need longer to consider whereas if they are executive and direct, they may have moved on by now. 

What about those prospects on your pipeline who you are not able to speak to, should you give up? Personally, I would try a few more steps before you give up, things like:

  • Try different platforms for follow up, if you are struggling to get hold of a prospect, try different platforms like emails, LinkedIn messages or reaching out through a mutual contact.
  • Try speaking to other team members, are there any other team members you can reach out to in the company? Often you can get much more information form more junior team members that will help you move the opportunity on.
  • Send some helpful information, share some helpful articles you have come across to re-start the conversation or make some useful introductions if applicable.
  • Leave it for a bit, rather than bombard them with messages try and leave them be for a bit an get back in touch at a later date.

If you are still struggling to keep up with follow up, remind yourself that selling is a process of building and developing relationships that can take some time to firm up and yield results. Following up is an excellent opportunity to do just that, even if it feels very slow and frustrating at times. New leads coming into your business are often very initial and require a structured approach to close a sale. This varies based on your product and industry, but the higher the sales value, the longer and more interact the process is.

Our Team at YBDT can help you with firming and setting up your unique sales process. If you and your team are still not managing to cover this off, we can use our business development team to give you a helping hand. Get in touch to find out more and read about how we can support your follow up system here