So often sales people find themselves working hard but not accomplishing much. In my view, there’s a lot of activity but not much productivity. Having sold and coached salespeople for many years, I’ve identified some reasons why this is happening as well as solutions.

1. No clear target
When you believe that everyone is a potential client you dilute the pool and your process. Everyone is not a potential client because many people don’t need or want what you have to sell. Still others aren’t in a position to buy what you have to sell. Moreover, when you try to sell to everyone, your message gets lost and no one hears it.
Lastly, it is impossible to identify what is working and what isn’t in regards to your marketing efforts.

Solution: pick a target market and focus on the messaging to them. What do they need? How do they receive information?

2. No clear process
Here’s what happens. You start to prospect and make appointments. You are going on those appointments and preparing proposals. You either get so busy with this that you drop your prospecting, or you think you should stop prospecting. After all, if you win these sales you won’t be able to handle more; better not prospect until you’ve gotten these sales under your belt. The problem? Until you have something, you don’t have it! Banking on the potential won’t put money in your account. Also, when you drop your prospecting you create gaps in your potential and a lot more work in the long run.

Solution: develop a clearly defined and specific process for prospecting and selling. Everything from cold calling to following up should be included. When you have a consistent process you don’t have to think about it. You can just do it!

3. No clear measurement
You go, you do, you move along and you never stop to take a look at how it’s really going. This is really typical and unfortunate. We end up spending a lot of time doing things that are unproductive without realizing it.

Solution: Make sure your process includes goal setting and reviewing. How many sales and how much revenue do you want to achieve? As you work your process keep an eye on how well you are reaching those goals. Make changes where you need to.

These proactive, clear solutions will help you ensure productivity instead of mere activity. You will seize many more sales this way.

Author's Bio: 

Diane Helbig is an internationally recognized business and leadership development coach, author, speaker, and radio show host. As a certified, professional coach, president of Seize This Day Coaching, Diane helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably. Diane is the author of Lemonade Stand Selling, and the host of Accelerate Your Business Growth Radio show. She is also a Service Provider for Constant Contact.