As a sales person - you only need to answer 4 simple questions (and act on them of course)...
1. Am I interacting with the right people?
2. Am I approaching them in the right way?
3. Am I conveying the right message?
These are important - very important. Then, once right, ask:
4. Am I undertaking the right volume of the above?
Sales is simple - it boils down to telling enough of the right people the right things to demonstrate your value to them.
Too many sales people spend time on people who either won't 'buy' from them or have little current and future value. This isn't saying that they are bad clients - just not right for you. You also need to approach people in the right manner. This isn't just the method of approaching them (phone, email, face to face) but how you do this. People do business with people - you need to connect with the person no matter what medium you use to reach out with them. It is about people - it is about them as a person and as a representative of their organisation.
Similarly, it is important to ensure your message is right - that is 'of value to your client/prospect'. This is important, the message changes based on the person(s) you're meeting with and, even worse, based on their particular requirements at any given point of time (eg - your message needs to change as their business/personal needs do).
Finally, you need to ensure you're doing enough of the above to maintain a continual pipeline of business. You will (read:should) have people at differing stages of the sales process - therefore it is important to ensure you have enough activity underway at any given point in time.
So - next time you're thinking sales, planning or heading in to a meeting ask yourself:
Is the person(s) I'm meeting the right person? (can they/should they use me? Can I solve a problem for them or realise an opportunity? Can they and will they make a decision?)
Am I approaching them in the right way? (am I connecting with them? how do I do this? can I be introduced to them by someone who trusts them and is an advocate of me?)
Am I showing this person the right message? (what is the benefit for them? Why use me?)
Do I have right volume of people/prospects in this process? (work this down from your outcomes)
This can be used to strategically plan your work by asking the same questions at a higher level.
It is important not just to focus on the quantity - but the quality of your activity otherwise you risk wasting motion. We often leave a meeting thinking 'that was a waste of time'. If we're thinking that, what was the client thinking? This is because you got one or both of the first two points wrong