My Medical Device Sales Career
How many times have you heard the adage: “work smarter, not harder?” One way to work smarter is to leverage the concept of efficiency.
OK – what is “efficiency” in selling?
Remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? The first porridge one was too hot, the next was too cold and the third was just right? That is the concept of efficiency! There is too much, too little or just right. We want to find “just right.”
How often do you see your key accounts? Are you seeing them efficiently? How do you know? Do you know what the balance is between seeing them too often versus not being there enough?
As you know, the “truth” in sales is contained in the results – the numbers. If you correlate your activities and your results in your key accounts you can begin to ascertain how efficiently you’re working. In other words, let’s say you’re calling on a certain account once per quarter. Every time you see them you’re able to grow your business either by introducing new products or by expanding the market share of current products. In that situation, more frequency is resulting in more business. Increase your frequency until you don’t see the same degree of increase. At that point you have reached your maximum call efficiency.
On the other hand, if you’re working an account frequently yet seeing minimal or no gains, then I suggest decrease your call frequency at that account. The calls you’re investing are not paying you back. Take the extra time to build other accounts.
The same concept can be applied to virtually any aspect of selling. The goal is to find the balance between too much, too little and just right.
Unless you’re thinking about efficiency in what you are doing on a daily basis, I can guarantee you’re not being very efficient. You’re either giving away your time and energy for less return than you should or you’re not reaping the rewards of increasing your time and efforts where they are most needed. Guess who is footing the bill for your inefficiency? That’s right – you are!
The first key to thinking “efficiency” is truly identifying your goals. What is really needed in a given account to accomplish the goals you have for them? Do no more, yet no less, than is necessary to achieve your goals. What are they actually capable of contributing to your overall results? Make sure your time and efforts are given in equal measure.
The second key to efficiency in selling is honesty. Be honest with yourself! It is too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that “more is better.” This can especially be true where we have strong relationships that we enjoy. We like spending time with our favorite customers, but is that time being well spent? Would it be worth it to take two or three calls per year and invest them elsewhere? Deep down, you know the truth. Be honest with yourself so that you can run your business efficiently.
This week, as you go out and fight the good fight, strive to become more efficient. Find the right balance so that you can increase your bank balance. Good hunting!
By Kevin Onarecker