Compound Sales Prospecting Routines bring Compounded Results

The back-squat brings compounded results

As I reluctantly showed up to my local budget gym last night to perform the “dreaded” back-squat, I looked up and there – written on the turquoise-coloured wall – were the words “start pulling your weight”. A subtle reminder that while squatting weight can be uncomfortable and often avoided – like sales prospecting – getting to work is essential if you desire meaningful results.


Although I appreciate this is not the first exercise analogy used to teach a lesson in sales, I wanted to share some of my experiences of the back-squat, which I believe can be applied to
help others get more in less time with their sales prospecting efforts.


So, without further ado, let’s jump right in. 


1. Firstly, why the back-squat analogy? Like effective compound sales prospecting routines that target the right ideal customers, the back-squat is a compound exercise that targets “several muscles or muscle groups at one time” (Verywellfit.com). With the right form, coaching, and consistent execution, compound prospecting routines can produce phenomenal results much faster than isolated activities. When considering your compound approach to pipeline development, I recommend you first…


2. …Get your form right. Like reaching out to an ideal customer or prospect for the first time – whether by “cold call”, social outreach or otherwise – jumping straight into performing an overloaded back-squat without the right approach, can do some damage. To your sales pipeline, your credibility, and your lower back. Like this poor chap found out.

So, before you start blindly pulling (or squatting) your weight with unsuspecting prospects, I’d first recommend investing time upfront crafting compelling customer value statements to reflect the roles of the people you’re targeting. This is important because it will increase the likelihood of gaining access to individuals who have the political and economic power to influence and make a purchasing decision.


This doesn’t mean a pitch about you, your unique products or services, but rather a short message of value that focuses on legitimate business reasons for engaging. For example, it might be that you’ve noticed a “trigger event” online within their industry or organisation which highlights a key business driver or outcome they’re trying to achieve – and an area you believe you could potentially help them with. This is important because it gives context and shows to your prospect you’ve taken time to care – immediately setting you apart from others competing for their attention. For example, a business driver for your prospect could be customer retention, employee turnover, or market share.

This is important because it gives context and shows your prospect you’ve taken the time to care – immediately setting you apart from others competing for their attention.

Secondly, you want to include as part of your ‘message of value’, some movement and metrics in there that are relevant to your ideal customer.  Movement can be things like reducing cost, minimising risk, increasing revenues etc. Think of a few movement words of your own here that are relevant to the customers and sectors you’ve served before, and that could be compelling to the right people. And where possible, include some metrics – or outcomes – you’ve achieved for others. For example, it might be that you’ve managed to help others reduce admin costs by an average of <insert> percent, or increased revenues by <insert> percent etc.


In the box below is a simplified message of value example for an enterprise software company. 

A leading food service distributor was able to increase their revenues by 8 percent and reduce their admin costs by 52 percent in just 3 months.

For further ideas on crafting compelling messages of value to reflect the people you’re targeting, I’d also recommend you check out the work of Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling. SNAP is an acronym for Simple, iNvaluable, Aligned, and raise Priorities. Her book includes a simple formula that will help you gain access to your ideal customers and prospects – and where inspiration for ‘getting your form right’ has come from. 


3. Consistency over intensity. If I return to do a back-squat after missing a week or two, I know my muscles are going to get sore. And when this happens, it makes the next planned workout in a couple of days’ extremely painful because my muscles will not have recovered in time. The same is true for sales prospecting. If you get out of the way of either for whatever excuse – too tired, busy, or too sore – it becomes impossible to make any meaningful progress. 


I’ve found that best approach to avoid getting sore – and missing workouts/ sales prospecting as a result – is to stick with your routine consistently. For me, this means doing the back-squat on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, rather than just once a week – incorporating the move with other compound exercises such as deadlifts, overhead-press and pull-ups. And each time I aim for “small wins” – which I talk about in this article – by adding just 2.5kg of weight per workout.

 

The above practice of adding “small wins” applies to your sales prospecting efforts too. For example, if you were to start today engaging proactively with just 5 prospects; 6 the next day; and 7 the day after. What could you achieve in the month, quarter and year ahead? The answer is quite simple: Your efforts – combined with the experience, skill and confidence you’ll acquire in the process – will compound to produce the results you want in much less time when compared with trying to lift too much at once. 


A Final Thought

To break through the noise with today’s well-informed and savvy enterprise buyer, you must behave differently from those who see their sales pipeline development activities as just a numbers game, or the sole responsibility of others in their team. This calls for a new type of sales professional who is ready to think creatively, work hard and consistently with their colleagues (and customers) to create compelling messages of value. The kind of thoughtful messages that will help you break through the noise with today’s increasingly frazzled business buyer.


But, like the back-squat, be careful not to isolate your sales prospecting routines with just one exercise – or means of outreach – because this can be ineffective. 

Sales Prospecting by Carrier-pigeon

Picture source: https://cuteoverload.com

Use a combination of moves and communication channels to help you gain earlier access to your ideal customer. From referrals, the auld telephone, LinkedIn and social, to pen, paper and carrier-pigeon.


Possibly not by carrier-pigeon, but by adopting a creative mindset that can help you reach your buyers directly.


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