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    Here’s How to Make the Sales Progress You Want to Make This Year

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    Most people suck at prioritizing, and most salespeople really suck at it. That’s why, when we set out to build Membrain, we decided not to focus initially on efficiency but to place effectiveness first.

    Efficiency is great.

    Unless you’re doing the wrong things.

    Then, you’re just doing the wrong things… faster.

    Or you might be doing “right” things, but they’re not the most important right things. You might make a small amount of progress, but you’ll never make significant strides unless you start focusing on the things that really move the needle.

    In order to make genuine progress, you have to know WHAT to do and HOW to do it, before you focus on doing it FASTER.

    We built Membrain to help sales professionals prioritize and organize their work so that they are first focused on what matters, and then on doing it well.

    How to Prioritize in Sales

    I was inspired by this post on LinkedIn by Alex Brogan to think about the various frameworks and matrices that people use to plan and prioritize their lives and work. In the post, he briefly reviews several common frameworks including, among others:

    • The Eisenhower Decision Matrix
    • ICE Scoring
    • ROI Prioritization
    • North Star Metric

    These tools help people think about what’s important to them and/or to their company, and then rank their activities, tools, and decisions accordingly.

    For instance, the famous Eisenhower Decision Matrix plots activities into four quadrants based on whether they are “urgent,” “not urgent,” “important,” or “not important.” This enables the user to focus their attention first on matters that are both urgent and important, and then to make sure they remain focused on matters that are important but not urgent. This prevents the common distraction of spending all your time on tasks that feel urgent but aren’t important, or procrastinating by spending time on tasks that are neither urgent nor important.

    Another prioritization framework is the one we use at Membrain, created by Scaling Up and outlined in Verne Harnish’s book by the same name. It helps companies start with their top level vision and then break it down into smaller chunks and focus on “quarterly rocks”–large initiatives each quarter that have the potential to drive substantial progress within the organization.

    Inside Membrain’s sales platform, we provide a variety of tools that work on similar principles, based on metrics and analytics that matter to you. For instance, our Account Growth grid is the key visual in our Account Growth module. It allows you to view how your accounts plot across two axes:

    • Value
    • Untapped potential

    The grid places those accounts that have purchased a lot from you and also have a lot of room to grow more in a top right quadrant, so you can quickly see which accounts to focus your attention on.

    6 More Tools to Help You Prioritize Your Sales Activities

    In addition to the account growth grid, which looks so much like the Eisenhower Decision Matrix, Membrain contains a huge number of tools to help you and your salespeople spend your time effectively.

    1. Checklists built into the workflow ensure that salespeople don’t skip steps or forget routine tasks that impact sales performance.
    2. Workflow tools show salespeople what to do next based on details about each prospect and where they are in the sales process.
    3. Our prospecting module helps salespeople disqualify unlikely prospects and focus on promising ones.
    4. The active pipeline view provides an overview of where to focus attention at any given time, based on rules set on a process level.
    5. The engagement matrix helps you see how your team is interacting with stakeholders, so you know which stakeholders require more attention and when and by whom.
    6. Analytics tools help sales leaders see where opportunities are falling out of the pipeline, and what skills and training the team needs in order to improve their performance.

    Buyers are Bad at Prioritizing, Too - And Here’s Why That Matters

    It’s not just sales professionals who are bad at prioritizing. It’s almost everyone, and that includes the buyers you’re trying to sell to.

    One of the jobs of the salesperson is to help the buyer understand what matters so they can make a decision.

    When the buyer doesn’t clearly see what matters, they can’t make a decision. And no decision equals no sale.

    And when your sales involves 7-10 stakeholders, then every single one of those stakeholders has to not only understand their priorities, but agree on them.

    This is why it’s critical for salespeople to engage more than just one or two stakeholders. Then, the salespeople must be skilled in helping stakeholders understand their own priorities, align with each other, and make decisions that benefit their organization.

    And that’s why, in Membrain, we provide so many tools for helping you organize and track stakeholders, and easily view the actions and activities of each one in relation to your team. Our tools can help your sales team gather the information and guide the conversations to help the buyer stakeholders clearly understand their own priorities and how you can help them achieve their goals.

    Our partners can help you establish the sales strategy, systems and training to ensure your salespeople are equipped to execute on the right priorities and rev up your sales results for the coming year.

    George Brontén
    Published January 18, 2023
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn