“Do not be upset with the results you did not get from the work you did not do” – Eric Thomas
Ah, yes…the ol' "start with a motivational quote to grab your attention" move. Did it work? The truth is this quote is now the background on my phone and laptop. So far, it has been the number one motivator for me as I kick-off 2022. Being in sales, one of my ongoing goals is seeing how high I can raise my game. I had a great 2021, but that quote continuously has me thinking, “what else could I have achieved last year?” With the goal to get better, I started with becoming aware of the latest sales trends research found in 2021 and how I can use it to my advantage. I found three areas of opportunity for sales reps in 2022:
1. Rejection Immunity™
60% of customers say “no” four times before saying “yes”, whereas 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow up attempt*
This was the first statistic to jump out at me. I was astonished by a) how many times a customer may say "no" before saying "yes" and b) how many sales reps move on from the initial response. Make it a goal for this year to build what we call at Butler Street, rejection immunity™. Embrace the "no" or "not interested." Change your mindset so when you hear "No" it will mean "Not right now" and create a follow-up plan. Acknowledge the past objections they have given, share value or insight that you know is impacting their business, and see if timing makes more sense now. Knowing that most of your competition will move on, stand out.
2. Touch Plans
It takes from 14 to 18 calls to connect with a buyer*
Woof! This stat made me question why I was in sales for a minute. 18 calls?! But after digesting it, I thought about the opportunity to outperform my competition by simply having a touch plan in place. But I realized just having the touch plan in place was not enough. It requires staying disciplined every week and making ensuring that every form of communication has value. My advice is to elevate your game this year with a touch plan. Google the industry of the individual. Research current trends and challenges and build your messaging specific to how you can help. And when you do not get a response, remember it may take 18 attempts.! A lot of people will not make it to that number…will you?
3. Pick Up the Phone
Only 24% of sales emails are opened*
The last stat that caught my attention was this. This screamed, "STOP HIDING BEHIND YOUR COMPUTER". Last year, as a team, Butler Street trained over 2200 hours virtually. Adjusting for holiday weeks and the week of our strategic retreat, we averaged over 46 hours of virtual training a week in 2021. Why is this important? Because during these sessions we are working with sales professionals, recruiting professionals and their leaders. And the number of times we hear "Oh well, I just send emails because…." is probably close to that total number of training hours I referenced before.
For 2022, make it a priority to pick up the phone. Circling back to the first two statistics, you will build rejection immunity faster as you work towards the 18 calls. I am not saying to get rid of emails entirely. What I am saying is when more than 75% of your current effort is not even being opened, think of what you could accomplish by calling.
As I mentioned, last year was a great year for me and Butler Street. But I would be lying to you if I said I did not leave opportunities on the table. I would be lying if I said I gave 100% effort every day, every week. Let's revisit that quote. "Do not be upset with the results you did not get from the work you did not do.” This year, I want to raise my game and I hope whoever is reading this feels the same. If Butler Street can help you achieve that, feel free to reach out. Cheers to your success in 2022!
Sources: Gartner, Sales Development Technology: The Stack Emerges