Sales is a sportspersons dream - it can quickly be distilled down to numbers and stats. How many clients visited? Conversion Rates? Call Cycles?
Of course, there is no denying the volume of work undertaken is important - there is a correlation between outputs and number of inputs. It's easy to fall in to the 'numbers trap' - doing things to show the appropriate volumes of activity without worrying about content.
However, to be truly effective and maximise your time - it is important to consider two questions:
Am I doing the right things?
Am I doing them right?
The first of these will ensure you don't spin your wheels doing things that won't add value to you and your clients. Right means they are the appropriate behaviours to generate success.
The second will ensure, when doing the right things, you're focused on doing them right.
There is an important distinction here - just because the behaviour is the right thing to do - it doesn't mean it will always work. Therefore you need to focus on doing it properly. For example - cold calls...every sales person knows that they can be the right thing to do, but not everyone does them right. This accentuates the myth that they don't work.
Another example, a 'care' call to a client. These are important and therefore the right thing when managing a client relationship. Doing it right is more particular though. Are you just ringing and making a cursory effort or are you doing some research and adding value to the call.
Here we go:
Right thing ==> 'Hi X, how are things going'
Doing it Right ==> 'Hi X, I saw an article in the X industry saying things were picking up, what have you been seeing?'
A subtle difference, but a very different experience for your client.
Sales requires a lot of effort, its therefore crucial to ask 'am I doing things right' not just 'am I doing the right things'. one gives you stats, the other gives you results.
I'd rather see someone make 5 calls properly, than 15 calls for the sake of making them as they are the right thing to do.
Doing things right means better results from less inputs...therefore you can actually do more of the right things if you do them right everytime.