Teaching kids how to ride a bike is tough. When the training wheels come off, it’s frightening to see the handlebars wobble out of control and their size-3 feet fly off the pedals.
And what happens with they stop pedaling?
They lose momentum. They haven’t built up enough speed at the beginning of the ride to stay upright, and their bike tips over. If they’re at the bottom of a hill and at a complete stop, it takes more pedaling to get the momentum they need to make it to the top. With practice, they learn over time the necessary speed and gear shifts, and soon they’re riding hands-free with a friend sitting on the handlebars.
Sales momentum is a lot like riding a bike.
Especially if we’re reaching out cold, we’re at the bottom of the hill. There’s no momentum to fuel the conversation forward – it’s up to sales reps how hard they want to pedal in order to move the deal along. Just like pedaling, sales momentum accumulates from consistent effort. The more you put in, the more improvement you achieve, the faster you make it up that hill.
So how can we generate sales momentum and make sure our deals are constantly moving forward?
There’s nothing worse than coming to a meeting that was not properly planned by the organizer. It’s unproductive, wastes time and the agenda isn’t clearly laid out with next steps. Your prospects feel the same way, no matter what stage they are in your sales cycle. It’s imperative to plan ahead, from your first outreach to final call, and every follow up in between. Properly plan your strategy so each touch point drives value and drives the conversation forward. Properly plan the timing of your outreach, and leverage your resources to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. There are powerful workflow tools like Mixmax to help you prepare and automate touch points ahead of time. There’s no reason anymore to forget a follow up, when you can schedule send dates and personalize every email automatically. Mixmax recently integrated with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, so your strategy can easily incorporate cross-channel touch points. There’s no slow down in momentum if you spend time setting yourself up at the beginning.
Be selective and thoughtful in your delivery, which comes with proper planning. What are you trying to say with each touch, and how can you make it refreshing while clearly getting your point across? Eliminate unnecessary outreach that doesn’t drive value – No more “just checking in” emails, and instead try telling them exactly what you’re requesting. Be yourself and add your personality. At the end of the day, people want to do business with people they like, and your outreach is a preview of what it’s like working with you specifically. If you do what everyone else does, you’ll get the same results as everyone else. Spend time thinking of how you can separate yourself from the masses aside from your company’s unique offering.
The key to building momentum is to test, measure and optimize your outreach. What worked to get you to the top of the hill? Did you pedal faster, did you ask your mom to push the back of your bike? Maximize efforts in the areas that were successful, and set yourself up to have success with future prospects. We have so much performance and customer data at our disposal, and it’s beneficial to carve out time to actually make sense of it. Figure out which metrics are most valuable to your sales cycle and test the ways to improve them. When something is working, try to scale it elsewhere in your strategy. Many of your prospects are experiencing similar challenges, but they aren’t all dealing with them in the same way. In other words, you wouldn’t sell to Coke the same way you’d sell to Pepsi and you can’t assume their business models are the same. Testing your approach and tailoring it to each individual is key to building the right momentum necessary in each deal. Pedal hard now before the next hill arrives!
Get the Real Scoop
Trust moves the sale forward and builds strong rapport. If your deal is stalled, it’s important to find truth and understand the real reason behind the halt. What is your prospect telling you or not disclosing? What’s the real objection and what do you need to do to get past it? Are they not totally bought in? Are they unclear about your offering? Where do they see the highest risk? It’s up to you to get the truth in order to move past any objections, whether they’re real objections or attempts to brush you off. When the wind picks up, you have to pedal harder. When a deal is stalled, the momentum has to pick up too. It’s time to ask the difficult questions.
Consistent effort yields momentum. Momentum is the driving force in sales, and what keeps you from tipping over on the “bike”. While falls are inevitable, you have to brush off your scraped knees and push forward – Prospects can’t and won’t always do it for you. You have control over sales momentum, with a bit of preparation and follow through. Leverage your workflow tools to get dialed in, prepare for every interaction ahead of time and have honest conversations that move the deal forward. Look back every once in a while to see how far you’ve come, and maybe to wave at the competition behind you too.