“Priority” entered the English language in the 14th century. It comes from a Latin. “A priori” means “first”. In the hustle and bustle of the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution, the drive to do more and multitask encouraged its pluralisation from priority, to priorities.
Consider for a moment, is it possible to have many “first”?
The bastardisation of the word can explain why we are often busy going nowhere with our sales.
We exist the enable our clients to focus on their highest contribution so they can do less but better and get paid more. Isn’t this exactly what distinguishes the greatest salespeople from the average?
I coached a client last year who was tracking at 23% of target. He was afraid he was going to lose his job and had a quarter to turn things around. He funded the coaching himself and over 6 months he went from a pipeline for the year of £600,000 to hitting just shy of £4,000,000. He ended the year at £9,000,000 on a £3m target. He went from the lowest performing salesperson in his region to the highest. His margin was the highest in the company. He got so busy he gave away 81% of his accounts to other salespeople because his pipeline is already 300% over what he needs to achieve quota in 2017.
We focused on the highest contribution behaviour of filling the pipeline with 3-5x the number and value of prospects he needed to hit his number. This required he plan how he would approach his territory around his Keep, Attain, Recapture and a Expand accounts. He built account plans, touch plans, pursuit plans to make hitting his target a predictable certainty instead of a wish.
He focused on disqualifying the non-prospects early so he could focus all his time on those who can and will buy, rather than being distracted by those who might but won’t.
Each day he focused on his highest contribution behaviour. In each account he focused only on advancing the opportunity or the relationship, be that moving ahead to a next step or developing a referral or another sponsor.
He works less than any of his peers. He works better than his peers. His pipeline has 21 times more value than the next highest performing salesperson in his region. I don’t suppose less but better for more is the kind of outcome you dream of in your business, is it?