We spend a lot of time talking about Activity Based Selling because it’s an important transition that’s happening in the world of sales.
But what we really love to see is other sales influencers talking about it, as well.
Pipedrive President and Co-Founder Timo Rein recently published The Ultimate Guide to Activity Based Selling: What, Why and How, which provides a great view of how and why the sales industry is shifting toward this new methodology.
Here are some highlights from his piece:
5 Activity Based Selling Lessons For Your Sales Reps:
“Selling” is both the actions and the outcome of sales.
The concept of a sale is often thought of as one person providing something of value to another in exchange for money. But Timo explains that the close of a sale is just the end of the entire process, and selling also refers to all the steps that lead up to that point.
According to Timo: “The vast majority of salespeople focus on results rather than their actions. The inclination makes sense. We all need to make money. As salespeople, the pressure to get deals through the pipeline to a close is powerful. So most people are engaged in results-based selling. Their mindset and focus revolve around making a sale happen.”
Timo says you need to help your reps do the opposite of most salespeople.
Treat selling like a marathon, not a sprint.
Only focusing on the goal of quota attainment can make selling seem like an overwhelming and sometimes insurmountable task for salespeople. Activity Based Selling, as Timo describes it, focuses on the actions that get your team to quota. He says that during the selling process, salespeople must remember their goal, but not worry about it while performing the activities that get them there.
“Think of it as a marathon. At the start of the race, you know your goal: the time to make it to the finish line. But in an activity-based approach, once you start running you don’t focus on the finish. Instead, you concentrate on what you’re doing. How quickly you’re running. How you’re breathing. How often you swig water. Your goal is in the back of your mind, and it stays there. The metrics you care about are the ones you’re in control of right then — your process,” Timo says.
Timo goes on to say that this is key to the paradigm shift that must take place in your team’s approach to selling.
Activity Based Selling puts you in control of your sales process.
Research tells us that almost 40% of sales reps don’t hit quota, and due to the nature of sales, Timo says, it often seems like that number is out of a rep’s control (i.e. you can’t control whether someone decides to become your customer).
But with Activity Based Selling, the sales rep becomes just like any other professional — such as an athlete or chef — where constantly focusing on the activities that matter to hone your craft gets the results you seek.
“In Activity Based Selling, you take a stand. You say that for a set period, perhaps a month, you’re going to follow a system you’ve established and focus on your own actions. Then you’ll assess it to see how well things are working and how they can be tweaked,” Timo says.
He adds that great achievers focus on what they can control, as well as being systematic about it.
Results-based selling is fueled by anxiety.
A salesperson who only focuses on quota is constantly causing themselves unneeded stress. They’re more focused on where they want to be, instead of how they will get there. The action of trying to sell without a strategic plan causes anxiety, which prospects can sense immediately.
“Activity Based Selling is the quickest way for you to feel less anxious and more confident. You take genuine pride in achieving the marks you set out for yourself — how many calls you make on a certain day, how many meetings you hold, how many prospects you move from one stage to the next within your pipeline. This confidence fuels you. It keeps you consistently doing the things that work for you. And it puts customers at ease. They respond positively to your confidence,” Timo says.
Activity Based Selling creates hyper-focused reps.
With relying on Activity Based Selling, your reps are focusing on the 3-4 most important activities for your sales process. This makes them work smarter because they know which activities are most important to refine their sales skills.
“As you adopt and refine your activity-based sales approach, you’ll find improvement in all of these KPIs. You’ll develop the skills to get more deals into the pipeline. Your confidence will help you increase the value of your deals. You’ll close more. And your process will become so organized and fluid that you’re able to keep deals moving through at a faster pace,” Timo says. “I’ve seen dramatic transformations from individual salespeople and entire teams when they’ve adopted an activity-based approach.”
He emphasized that this is why it’s so critical to make the change to this new way of selling. He also provides eight steps to build your own activity-based plan. Read the whole piece here.
Timo isn’t the only sales influencer talking about this methodology. Click here to read a recent piece from Openview, and keep an eye on our blog for more education around Activity Based Selling.