“Execution is the single greatest market differentiator. Great companies and successful individuals execute better than the competition.”
– Brian P. Moran, The 12 Week Year
If you want to be successful in growing a company as a business owner, or growing a territory as a sales rep, you need to execute consistently. You can have a great vision, amazing products, and all kinds of great intentions. But the marketplace only rewards ideas that get implemented.
Execution needs to happen in the three core areas of your business that touch your clients and prospects. Let’s consider each of these in turn.
Larry Levine, my podcast co-host and author of Selling From the Heart asks a great question:
“How do you expect to be found in a world where nobody knows you exist?”
– Larry Levine
This question needs to be answered by both companies (marketing) and sales reps (mini-marketers).
In the quest for more sales, most companies and reps want to get in front of prospects. But if you don’t have a strategy to Get Found you’re going to severely limit your success. Marketing and prospecting become overshadowed by the urgency of closing deals and supporting clients. When this happens, the funnel dries up.
Business Executives: How consistently do you execute on marketing? Are you present in all of the places your prospects go for answers? Do you have a team working to consistently execute? (If not, reach out and I’ll introduce you to our team at Convergo.)
Sales Professionals: In our digital world where buyers vet sales reps online, you must be mini-marketers. Ignore this at your own peril. Do you have a consistent strategy to market yourself and build your brand? Are you present every day on social? (If struggling in this area, you need to meet Larry Levine and the Authentic Social Selling Workshop.)
No profession requires consistent execution more than sales. How much money is left on the table every month by well-dressed sales reps with tons of knowledge that struggle to execute a consistent prospecting strategy?
It reminds me of Stephen Covey’s four quadrants. Every task lies on a grid of “urgent” and “important”. There are many things that are urgent and important when it comes to managing a sales territory. However, the biggest success drivers are found in the “not urgent but highly important” tasks:
- Prospecting: Building your network.
- Education: Developing your knowledge so you can bring substance to your sales conversations.
As a sales professional, I’ve wrestled with getting consistent in these areas. Over the past six months, I’ve been developing a strategic prospecting system that helps reps prospect efficiently while learning insights that help them be more effective in the field.
- HubSpot Sales Hub powers automated prospecting sequences of emails and calls
- Fanatical Prospecting training equips reps to be hyper-efficient and effective
- Vertical Market content and training educates reps to drive great conversations
- D&B Hoovers Avention focuses reps on the best targets while providing real-time triggers
If you’d like to learn more about the strategic prospecting strategy, message me or watch our latest webinar: A Prospecting Strategy to Grow Net-New Business in 2019.
If we want to grow net-new business we MUST become great at executing a prospecting strategy.
There is no other way to consistently grow. Outside of this, all you’ll end up doing is flipping the customer base!
Most of the companies I work with excel in this area. They are great at customer service and good at sales, but weak in marketing. Even if you’re great at customer service, I’d like to challenge you to up your game.
The question I’d like to ask is, “What is it like to be your customer?”
Customer Experience (a.k.a. CX) challenges you to examine every interaction your customers have with your company. Here are a few questions to get you thinking about this:
- From the time a customer hits your website (or Twitter and Facebook) looking for help, what happens?
- How easy are you to do business with?
- What’s it like when a service technician arrives in a customer’s office?
- How easy is your bill to read? What if there’s a billing problem?
We can learn a lot from companies like Apple. This week I purchased my new iPad with the Apple Pencil that magnetically attaches to the side of the device–great innovation.
The experience of unboxing an Apple product is one of my favorite things. It’s obvious that someone spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to unbox and set up a new device.
Recently I purchased a mini-PC to drive the digital whiteboard in my office. Let me just say, the unboxing and setup experience was not pleasant. In fact, it reinforced my love of their competitor, Apple.
What’s your experience? Smart companies are digging deep into their customer experience and making it awesome.
Execution Requires Systems
How do you execute consistently in marketing, sales, and service? You have a system.
- Energy (and)
A good system helps you execute consistently and measure your results. It’s documented. It usually involves some good software. It’s also measurable.
Most companies have systems for their customer service and billing. Do you have a strategy and system for prospecting? Do you have a strategy and system for marketing? If not, contact me — I love talking about this.
Let’s be known as those who execute well!
*This article originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse on January 29, 2019.