Prospecting is certainly a key ingredient to successful sales results, but it is not a great ingredient in the perfect sales day for most sales professionals. While some love this aspect of the sales cycle, most abhore it. Why? Because it takes discipline in prioritizing prospecting activities, a lot of dedicated time, impeccable follow up skills, and a set of contact management tools that most quota carrying sales people don’t have.
First, lets start with priorities. All things being equal, sales professionals will prioritize their efforts in pursuing active deals that have already been well qualified. These opportunities represent the shortest path to new revenue.
Next, lets talk about time. Getting put on hold, being shut down by gatekeepers, and being transferred to voicemail jail is a tremendously time consuming effort.
Most sales professionals are not wired mentally to deal with what appears at face value to be time wasting activities. So, they simply rationalize in their mind that “they don’t have time for these sorts of efforts.”
Finally, lets lump the last two issues together; follow up and contact management tools. Prospecting requires a level of follow up and detail against a volume of contacts that most sales people have trouble managing. This is where purpose-built prospecting tools come into play. Certainly most CRM systems allow for this type of follow up, but like any system – garbage in gets you garbage out. Most sales professionals I know have a hard enough time doing the data entry required for their active opportunities. Trying to then also manage all the details about the many prospect records is too much.
So there you have it, prospecting puts a damper on the perfect sales day!