“I’m a list fanatic. Write it down on a list, I believe, and there is far less chance that you will ever find yourself beginning a sentence with the pathetic excuse, “Sorry… I forgot to…” The very process of writing a list clarifies and focuses the mind. Write enough of them and you will begin to think in lists, automatically prioritizing.” Anthony Bourdain writing in Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook
Typically, sales funnels opt for opacity over clarity and salespeople forge ahead with gut feelings instead of focus. And it works. For a little while. Then panic sets in, whether prompted by a time of year or the funnel turning into a pencil.
Sales leaders we work with often feel creating lists is a chore. What they discover is most of what will be on the lists is in their head and the heads of their sales team, but because that information isn’t written down it can’t be easily shared, coached to or scaled up with new members of the sales team.
On your journey to full funnel freedom start with these four lists. Add a list if it will support you or your sales team in enhancing your efficacy or efficiency. Don’t create a list just to have another list.
- Ideal prospects – until you and your salespeople lock down who your ideal prospects are anyone who your salespeople trip over or who falls in your lap is an ideal prospect. One of our clients started working with us despite 100% of their opportunities coming to them, but they discovered that they were wasting too much time with tire kickers. A list identifying the characteristics of their ideal prospects allowed their salespeople to respectfully dismiss the tire kickers and focus their time on real opportunities.
- Check boxes to qualify – when you codify your check boxes to qualify a prospect (aka your sales process) you’ll (mostly) eliminate the response of “they asked for one” when you inquire why one of your salespeople is working on a proposal for a prospect. This list also supports your team with their pre-call planning and enables you to better identify growth opportunities in each of your salespeople and coach them on those opportunities.
- How to create long term relationships – “the day you win a client is the day you start to lose them” is cliché because there’s truth in that statement. This list starts when the sale is closed and your new client is transition to the operations/delivery/implementation team and continues with your ongoing client review meetings, which are designed to keep your competition out and create new opportunities to expand into that account for your salespeople.
- Sales leader support check list – whether that’s a weekly check-in/check-out on your team’s leading indicators, 1:1 coaching sessions, your own professional development or field support calls, all of the interactions you have with your salespeople that support them in achieving full funnel freedom without you doing their job for them.
Full funnel freedom is a consistent, replicable, scalable system no matter who is in their chair(s) or your chair. With a list you and your team can focus and focus equals (full funnel) freedom.
Until next time… go lead