In every journey there is a point that you are halfway done…many call it the point of no return as turning around and returning to the starting point will become further than completing the task at hand. In just 2 weeks my company’s fiscal year will come to it’s halfway point and with that the pressure and challenges will only increase. I knew that taking on a Sales Position was going to mean daily, weekly, monthly , quarterly and annual goals and that as these targets and quests grow…so to does the pressure to succeed.
Reflecting on my efforts, successes and outright failures in the first 6 months; for me at least, is a great way to level set and get ready to double down and really focus on wrapping up my year strong. For most people though, the month of January is about new beginnings…new projects, new year, new credit card debt and I also look to 2012 with the rose colored glasses of a fresh start but for me, I start by looking at the previous year and chart out where I need to most improve before charting the course.
Managing time and managing effort are things that need to be broken into smaller more manageable chunks. Back in August when I looked at the growth path that was laid out for me and the expectations that both my boss and myself set in front of me it can look daunting and well considering the fact that there were targets that not only had I never achieved but that no one in my position had achieved I knew that I had to develop a better plan than trying to eat the whole elephant in one sitting!
Month by month, week by week and day by day I have challenged myself to be better than I was before. I have placed an conscious effort on focus and determination and a belief that 2nd place is just the 1st loser to help drive me.
I looked at a challenge that was put forward to all of the Inside Sales people this week…nothing like putting money on the line as a prize for just doing our jobs! This challenge was about the core part of our jobs…connecting with people and doing so consistently for the entire week.
For those who don’t operate in the pressure cooker of sales out there…we are measured on an arbitrary number known as Dials and Talk Time…I am not a power dialer and don’t believe that more dials makes anyone better so I set out to achieve the metric that was set in front of us…1100 combined (so the combined number of dials plus the number of minutes of talk time in one week). This is a number that has always been in front of us as the minimum standard and as a daily point of reference (220) it is not too hard to hit but doing that every day for a full week…now that is a challenge.
So I set forth on this challenge to hit that number with as few dials as possible. I wanted to focus on value, of help and of really connecting with clients both past, present and future. In the final minutes of the week, I had a client call me directly, just as my director emailed me that I was a mere 18.5 points away from the goal. At the end of the week…I hit the target and joined the power dialers of our group in an exclusive club of 14 people (15% of the staff).
As a Stats Guy (I look at all kinds of metrics to help myself gain perspective and perform at my best) I looked at what I had accomplished with just 275 dials during the 2400 minutes that I worked during the week and with almost 850 minutes of talk time I was laser focused for the entire week on supporting my customers with an overall time utilization of 35% (that is not taking into account the 3 hours of meetings during the week and the pre and post call work that I do for each of the connections that I make.
Most people look at me funny when I start telling them about time utilization and other stats but for me, I just love manipulating the numbers and putting them together in ways that let me chart out the right path forward. In that one week during the 850 minutes that I spent with my customers, I closed 4 sales, booked 15 new service introduction calls, closed 11 service activities and identified 6 new opportunities for engagement with my customers through our Consulting and Advisory Services…that to me is a pretty rock solid week and if replicated for the next 6.5 months will likely result in massive sales that equate to crushing the 75% growth target that I placed on myself.
So as you can see, reflection at the half way mark is a good thing. It lets you look to what you have done, lets you reflect on what still needs to be done but also and for me the most important part of the process…lets you build the adjusted plan that will deliver on your hopes, goals and dreams.
What did you do with the 2400 minutes of work this week? Did you hit your productivity goals? Did you accomplish what you wanted to? If you didn’t…what are you going to do next week to make sure you Git R’ Done!
Chris J Powell