Sales Principle 5: Build a Repeatable System
For some waking up early and working out feels right. For others maybe it is a midday stroll around the neighborhood.
Everyone has a preference. There is no right or wrong answer.
The main point is to have a strong foundation of how your day will be structured. Build a system that works for you and only you.
A repeatable system sets you up for a good day. It helps to reduce the number of decisions we need to make in a day.
For sales, building your own “system” is absolutely critical to be able to manage the daily grind which will take a toll if you don’t get organized. Building a system applies really to any role.
Here are a few tips I have found to be useful, backed by sales science. The goal is to keep a simple system that allows you to hit it hard everyday.
Schedule out time blocks
- Early Morning: I like to be early as most of our team is 3 hours ahead of me anyway. My first 1–2 hours before the kids are up are dedicated to writing, thinking, a little prep, and some light email/messages. I have found this routine to be quite powerful in getting me ready for the day. I’m not diving into any projects or heavy creative work.
- Mornings: Primarily for client and project related work. Following up with clients. Record an episode for the Thoughtful Software Podcast. Make calls. Creative work.
- Afternoons: I feel it is best to have meetings in the afternoons. There happens to be quite a bit of research supporting meetings later in the day. I’ll schedule my 1:1’s, company meetings, project updates, all if possible, in the afternoon. Creating proposals is also good afternoon work.
There are always exceptions to the rule, but I have found a simple daily structure of breaking my day up into time blocks is advantageous.
Breaking up my day is also helpful to tackle the most challenging part of sales: getting prospects to call/email you back.
It is not mentally possible to stay in prospect mode all day long. Time blocks allow me to switch things up throughout the day.
Now that I have my daily routine mostly figured out, time to get into the details. Studies show prospects need multiple touch points to decide to do anything. Most salespeople give up after only 1–2 attempts.
An easy tip to increases sales without spending a dime on any tools is to increase your activity. The challenge is how do you increase activity without losing your mind.
I fall back to a simple system. Email, email, call, email, email, call…
A good CRM should help you manage the activity or using an email sequencing tool is helpful.
Ultimately, stay focused during the morning session and work on prospecting daily.
The most fun part about sales is working with people.
Our mission at Skiplist is to not only help people understand hard technology, but to build it. It is gratifying for everyone at Skiplist to help people be better at what they do.
It is then absolutely critical to make time to meet with clients and partners routinely.
I had a sales manager back in the day who used to tell the sales team, “If I wanted you in the office, I would hire better-looking people.” Haha.
But he had a point. Meet people and see what is happening out on the front lines. There is no substitute for meeting face to face. Even video calls can’t compare.
Use your lunchtime and afternoons for meetings. Coffee meetings are great. Thirty-minute face to face meetings are fantastic. I did have to switch to decaf as I was getting addicted to caffeine.
Whatever you do meet with people routinely, Use the mornings to spend time setting up those meetings systematically.
Systems Produce Results
As James Clear put it in Atomic Habits, “If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system.”
Focusing on implementing a healthy repeatable system rather than specific outcomes leads to a more manageable balance of getting things done and enjoying your work.
If we are ever to achieve our vision of making the world a better place through “Thoughtful Software” and with thoughtful people, it will be built on a foundation of excellent systems.
Figure out the way that works for you and enjoy the rest. If you need help, contact us.