|     4 min read

3 Things That Matter in Sales, and 3 That Don’t

Kyle Boyd

Mar 13, 2023

In most jobs, we know what we should focus on. Tasks are assigned that need to be completed, preferably within a certain time frame. In sales, however, deciding what to focus on can be quite complicated, since there are often so many competing demands, many of which seem like they’re equally important.

It’s for this reason that many reps find themselves feeling paralyzed, unsure of what to do, and ultimately choosing to focus their time on things that don’t move the needle and don’t close deals. Add to this the fact that there are so many different ways to actually sell, and sales starts seeming a whole lot more complicated than it actually is — information overload that leads to analysis paralysis.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Sales is simple (it’s simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy), and once you understand what matters and what doesn’t, you can spend your time doing things that will help you close deals, while minimizing time spent doing things that won’t. We want to help, so we’ve put together the following short list of things that matter in sales and things that don’t. Here are the three most important:

Things that don’t matter

1. The number of calls you make

To be sure, prospecting is incredibly important, and is the lifeblood of pipeline which is one of the most critical aspects of sales success. That being said, volume does not directly equate to results, especially  in today’s world, where cold-calling itself has come into question. The reality is that prospecting smarter and more effectively is what all sales reps should strive for. Two-hour cold-calling sprints mean nothing if at the end, you didn’t source a single qualified lead. Instead, take a step back, find the right prospects, then reach out to them intelligently, with a personalized message they can’t ignore.

2. How much time you spent doing data entry

Looking busy and being busy are two different things, and while Salesforce hygiene is important, too much emphasis has been placed on data entry in recent years, and sales reps are now expected to spend hours a day on manual tasks that do nothing to drive deals forward. The solution here is to de-emphasize non-mission-critical data entry work, refocusing reps’ attention on needle-moving activity instead. Oh, and if you’re a Salesforce user, then Dooly can solve all of these problems and more, eliminating low-value work and accelerating high-value efforts instead.

3. Building a personal brand on social media

We might get some pushback for this one, but building a personal brand on LinkedIn is wildly overrated when it comes to moving the needle on deals closed. To be clear, building a brand on social media can help you land a better job, and it can help you sell courses, or potentially launch a media company. But most people aren’t posting about their company and their products, they’re posting about their role (sales rep) which does little to drive the attention of their target buyer. So if you’re posting about the industry you’re selling in, sure, it might move the needle a bit. But most people’s brands simply don’t drive the type of traffic that converts to deals closed. So if you’re not strategic about it, you’re probably not moving the needle.

Things that matter

1. Being prepared

Think of all the time we spend scrolling LinkedIn or mindlessly clicking through our CRM, hoping to make sense of things. Rather than waste our time this way, the best way to spend your non-meeting time is to do research on potential prospects. This will allow you to reach out to the right people, to be prepared for your meetings, to present your products in a smart and effective way, and to understand the drivers of your prospect’s behavior. Preparation will trump all in today’s business climate, and reps who are disciplined enough to prepare rather than waste their time on mindless tasks will have an edge over those who don’t.

2. Building pipeline

In sales, pipeline cures all. If your pipeline is constantly full of new prospects, then not only do you have a constant stream of activity to focus on, but you also have a hedge against the prospects who will inevitably back out, cancel, or qualify out during the sales process. This is why building pipeline should be the focus of most of your time. Prospecting should be happening constantly, and the more consistent you are about building pipeline, the more your efforts will compound. It takes discipline, and isn’t always easy, but if there’s one thing to prioritize in your day, it’s building pipeline.

3. Consistent follow-up

Next to building pipeline and being prepared, follow-up is key in sales. Your job is to not only be responsive but to constantly stay top-of-mind for the prospects you’re speaking with. Follow-up doesn’t just mean sending an email after a meeting either. It means checking back regularly whether or not you get a response. If you don’t believe in being persistent, then sales just might not be for you, because it’s those people who regularly put in the effort to follow-up who will win the deal, while those who remain meek and timid get left behind.

So be prepared, build pipeline at all times, and follow-up regularly until you get an answer. These are the keys to a successful career in sales, and they’re unlikely to change anytime soon.

Finally, a sales process that gives you the freedom to sell.

Use Dooly to keep your deals on track, and your manager off your back.

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Kyle Boyd

Kyle is a snow-chasing, beer-seeking, disc-golfing copywriter & marketer born and raised in Colorado Springs. Kyle began his journey writing and producing car commercials before going full SaaS. He'll get physically uneasy if he sees you use “your” and “you’re” incorrectly. When he's not getting creative with marketing strategy and content, you'll find Kyle sampling the newest IPA, floating on some fresh pow, or enjoying downtime with his wife, 2 children, and labradoodle Pickle.

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