10 explanations of activity-based selling (from experts)

Buzzwords are the worst.

I promise that’s not what activity-based selling is about. It’s a modern sales methodology that solves an age-old issue: Salespeople aren’t always sure where to spend their time and often get lost in day-to-day noise instead of the activities that are truly meaningful to the sales process.

definitions of activity-based sellingActivity-based selling changed this. Managing teams around the activities that lead to sales empowers sales leaders to course-correct performance.

Winning a deal doesn’t just happen. Sales is a cascading chain of controllable behaviors that lead to a defined outcome. With this inputs-drives-outputs approach, sales leaders influence outcomes by directing the specific activities of their team.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s how ten modern sales experts explain the significance of activity-based selling, as well as its most vital components.

10 experts describe activity-based selling

1. “One of the things you have to start doing [as a sales coach] is you have to start managing what people are doing with their day.”  – Lesley Young, SVP of Commercial Sales & Operations, Box [Source]

2 take a look at the site here. “Sure, most reps have their own personal approaches on how to engage prospects, but without metrics on proven successes and failures, their activities can at times amount to uninformed guesses. … It seems clear that results for even the most capable reps can be enhanced—if not made more intentional and consistent—if they’re provided with data-backed, activity-based coaching.” – Ann Lambert, Product Marketing Manager, Brainshark [Source]

3. “Dig deep and figure out what your top sellers are doing to create their success. When you understand their results producing behavior, you can encourage more of it from your entire team! If certain things are working and proven to be effective, don’t keep it a secret!” – Colleen Francis, Owner, Engage Selling Solutions [Source]

4. “From our experience we know that the activities we perform are very important to achieve our results. This is the principle behind the so-called activity-based selling, a current of thought that states that salesmen must optimize their daily activities, tracking them and identifying which actions are most effective. This way, planning goals of activities on a daily and monthly basis simplifies the way people work by reducing uncertainty; it motivates agents to carry out more activities and promotes productivity.” – Sellf [Source]

5. “Activity-based selling helps you make the best use of your time. And it makes you work smarter. When you follow this approach, you’re forced to determine how you work best. You can take lessons and gather ideas from other successful salespeople, but in the end you’re going to build the process that’s optimal for your skill set.” Timo Rein, co-founder and CEO, Pipedrive [Source]

6. “Business results and sales objectives today are the result of sales activities last quarter. If a sales force makes more sales calls (a sales activity), then it will probably acquire more new customers (a sales objective). If more customers are acquired, more sales will likely follow (a business result).” Jason Jordan, Partner, Vantage Point Performance [Source]

7. “Activity-based selling guides reps on how much time they should be devoting to the key activities that lead to winning more business. When a sales organization is fully aligned and engaged around a common set of sales operating metrics, the teams achieve high revenue per seller, robust data to develop sales forecasts based on current activity levels, insight into the sales capacity of reps and an outcome-focused team of data-driven sales experts. Not to mention a team of front-line sales managers who can coach and develop their people objectively versus just asking what’s closing this month.” – Bob Marsh, CEO, LevelEleven [Source]

8. “Do ditch the Excel spreadsheet. It’s vital to have an understanding between reps and the company about what the goals are and how they’ll be measured. That’s hard to do with a spreadsheet.” – Christopher Cabrera, founder and CEO, Xactly [Source]

9. “Results ultimately stem from the right activities. So working backwards from the end goal like revenue to the front end of the sales process will actually help the salesperson understand the necessary activity to achieve their goal.” Justin Hiatt, Senior Director of Business Development, InsideSales.com [Source]

10. “Monitoring activity goals will help managers address problems as they happen, rather than at the end of the quarter — or year. You want to be able to help your reps through problems as they’re happening, not when you review your team’s numbers.” Urmas Purde, co-founder, Pipedrive [Source]

Activity-based selling isn’t a silver bullet, but it’s also not a fad. With this methodology, sales leaders provide their reps with strategic roadmaps that lead to success. And there’s plenty of ROI to prove it.

Ready to bring activity-based selling to your team? Start by mastering sales metrics with a KPI guide catered to your type of team.

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