EPISODE 290: Sales Leaders Jason Kimrey and Howard Langsam List Ways to Increase Customer Engagement to Ensure Sales Process Continuity Right Now

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the SALES GAME CHANGERS LIVE Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales and hosted by Fred Diamond on November 11, 2020. It featured sales leader Jason Kimrey from Intel Corporation and Howard Langsam at Granicus.

Register for Wednesday’s SALES GAME CHANGERS LIVE: Learning Crucial Sales Skills Right Now Featuring Darden’s Tom Steenburgh here.

Find Howard on LinkedIn here. Find Jason on LinkedIn here.

EPISODE 290: Sales Leaders Jason Kimrey and Howard Langsam List Ways to Increase Customer Engagement to Ensure Sales Process Continuity Right Now

HOWARD’S TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Work the funnel from the top down. If you don’t get your prospecting over in the morning or set time of the day, you’ll get all the way till the end of the day having worked on proposals all day, it’s 6 o’clock and your prospecting time got crowded out and then you go a quarter later and your pipeline is empty. You really want to work the funnel from the top down to do your best to avoid those feast and famine quarters, it’s way too easy to do the in-front-of-you work of writing proposals and qualifying leads but you’ve really got to force yourself. After you close the deals that are closable that day, go right to the top of the funnel and work from the top down so that you’re not having a famine quarter next quarter.

JASON’S TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “I always encourage my sales team and sellers to focus on the customer first and prioritize those engagements directly with the customer. Look for new ways to engage, don’t let a day go by where you’re not at least texting, calling, maybe setting up a Facetime chat, whatever it is. There is an opportunity to really stay engaged more frequently now than ever before but it’s not going to come in the form of a one hour sit-down followed by an hour long lunch or maybe a golf game. I’m sure some of those things are happening on an ad hoc basis but in general you need to think in shorter spurts and just engaging in meaningful yet quick and effective ways.”

Fred Diamond: Let’s get to it. We’ve got Howard Langsam, he’s with Granicus and we have Jason Kimrey with Intel Corporation. Gentlemen, it’s great to see you here, thank you so much for spending some time with us. Howard, I want to thank you guys, Granicus was a sponsor of the IES Award Event that we had a couple weeks ago and of course Intel has been a gold sponsor of the Institute for Excellence in Sales.

Howard, let’s start with you. How are things going? Tell us a little bit about Granicus, tell us a little bit about your company and tell us about how you’re operating today. Again, it’s November 11th – by the way, it is Veteran’s Day so thank you to all of our veterans who are watching today and who’ve served the country. Tell us a little bit about the company and how you’re operating today 9 months into this new world. Crazy, isn’t it?

Howard Langsam: Absolutely. Thanks, Fred, I appreciate you having me on. I’m the Head of Sales for Granicus, like you mentioned. Granicus is the leader in government SaaS platforms, we digitize the interaction between citizens and government, a 100% of our clients are government customers. We work with all three levels of government in the US, that’s federal, we’re in all 15 executive branch agencies in the federal government. We’re in just shy of all 15 states and about 3,000 or so local governments across the country and then about 300 or so local authorities in the UK and about 50 central government agencies in the UK.

It’s going pretty well for our business, I’d say that in a couple different ways. As you probably expect, the morale of my team is up and down like everybody else, I manage a whole lot of extroverts who are just used to being on the road, being out in front of customers, seeing each other in the office, all the kind of things they do. Morale ebbs and flows mostly good, sometimes a little less good but we hang in there. The other thing that I’d say too is given our business, we just had the two best quarters that we’ve ever had. Like I mentioned, we digitize the interaction between citizens and government and government communications is a big thing that we do, so the ability for government agencies to get information out the door in a trusted way and into the hands of their constituency is more important now than ever. You see so much misinformation on social media and other things, being able to deliver a trusted email direct to a citizen’s inbox is more important than ever. It’s ups and downs in morale but overall business is trending positively. Last two quarters were two of the best that we’ve had.

Fred Diamond: Thank you for your service to the federal customer. We started doing the daily webinars back right when the pandemic kicked in, second week in March. A lot of the entities and a lot of the sales professionals that are members of the Institute or watch our webinars service the federal customer and some of our sales teams were working around the clock. Intel, for that matter, we mentioned Intel has been a gold sponsor of the IES for a number of years, thank you so much. Jason Kimrey, everybody probably knows Intel because of your trip business but obviously you do a lot more than that. Why don’t you give us a little overview on what you do and then same question, how are things going right now? You manage a lot of people as well.

Jason Kimrey: Fred, thanks for having us on the podcast today. Most people do know who Intel is, we are the leading supplier of semiconductors and microprocessors to the computing ecosystem whether that’s the PC manufacturers, the data center OEMs, the cloud service providers like AWS and Azure, it all runs on compute and a lot of that compute is Intel based. I lead our US channel team that helps ensure that those parts and products make their way to the users that need them and we get them there through distribution or solution providers or through the OEMs. There’s a lot of different ways that people get our technology and our goal is to make sure that people get the maximum value out of that compute that they’re buying.

I think Howard nailed the same sentiment we see here in terms of how people are adapting to this new world environment that we’re in, everyone is now an inside seller, some people are really thriving in it, some are challenged with it but everyone is certainly adapting because it’s the world that we’re in and I don’t think we’ll necessarily go back to the old way maybe ever again. I think we’re all having being forced to re-think how we engage our customers, our partners, employees. In some ways there’s a lot of good, it creates a lot of opportunity to stay in closer coordination, people are more accessible now than maybe they were in the past but there’s also a tremendous competition for people’s time. People know now that everyone is sitting in front of their desk and I think people’s schedules now are busier than they’ve ever been. It’s really this balance and I think we’re trying to make sure we’re thinking about the health of our employees and the mental wellbeing of our employees, at the same time trying to make sure we serve our customers in the best way possible.

Fred Diamond: I want to follow up on something you just talked about. I think Howard mentioned the word extroverts, it’s Wednesday and I’ve already had three conversations with sales leaders, peers of yours who said, “I’m ready to start going to events and meeting people and having lunch and those kinds of things” but you can’t. Companies like Intel, obviously there’s tens of thousands of employees, like you’re saying, you’re not going to be going to events like this at least till June of next year. The IES prior to the pandemic, we were doing 50 live events per year and now we’re doing a webinar every single day, we get anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people logging in but it almost seems like right now we’re in November, people are itching to get back out there.

What’s your advice for your sales team? Actually, a question just came on and said, “That’s my question” from Susie in DC. How are you helping your team? Jason, you mentioned mental health, people want to get out there, salespeople want to be social even if they’re introverts, they still like to deal with people. Talk a little bit about how you’re coaching your people right now who are itching – maybe you too are itching – to physically be out there. You can’t be out there but you want to be. Jason, why don’t you go first? And Howard, I’m interested in your thoughts on how you’re dealing with that. It might be June until you physically go back into a room with other human beings in this regard.

Jason Kimrey: I think it will be and I don’t think it’s going to be that the switch is flipped, that everyone is just back going to live events and going into people’s offices. We may start sending employees back to offices maybe in June, July of next year but I think it’ll be a lot longer before we’ll start accepting external people into our offices. I don’t think we’re too dissimilar, I think that’s just the world we’re going to be in at least for a while. My guidance is knowing that we’ve got so many extroverts, what I see happening – and we’re a big company, I don’t know if this happens everywhere – sometimes internal meetings and things can just work and snowball. I always try to encourage my sales team and sellers to focus on the customer first and prioritize those engagements directly with the customer. Look for new ways to engage, don’t let a day go by where you’re not at least texting, calling, maybe setting up a Facetime chat, whatever it is. There is an opportunity to really stay engaged more frequently now than ever before but it’s not going to come in the form of a one hour sit-down followed by an hour long lunch or maybe a golf game. I’m sure some of those things are happening on an ad hoc basis but in general you need to think in shorter spurts and just engaging in meaningful yet quick and effective ways.

Fred Diamond: Howard, how about you? For your people who are anxious to be back out there. Once again, you guys were a sponsor of the IES Award Event, typically we get 500 people there, this year we had about 700 but of course it was all virtual. How are you tempering your people with this type of angst? Again, it’s November, we’re going to start moving into the winter so no one’s going to be sending people in winter. What are some things you’re doing to coach your people along right now with that?

Howard Langsam: We’ve given not just the sales team but the whole company some tips and techniques on self-care. As fairly empathetic people that we are in sales, we’re constantly figuring how to take care of customers and so forth. We actually just bought the corporate membership of Headspace, the mediation app for the entire company, we’ve spent a lot of time on coaching our individuals, like I said, not just the sales team but the entire company on self-care. The other thing that I’ve tried to do with the managers in my teams, teach them to coach the reps not just on being able to listen to customers from a business perspective but treat your customers as a whole person. Just like we probably did today before the webinar started, just to learn a little bit about the person as an individual and not just the problems that they’re trying to solve in business but look around their background, figure out what hobbies they have, what’s interesting to them and be able to just interact with your customers, colleagues, peers, others as whole people and not just businesspeople trying to solve profit and loss problems but whole people in general.

Fred Diamond: We have a question here from Gene, Gene is in the Chicago land area and Gene wants to know, “Is Howard using Headspace?” You can answer that question but a question for you and for Jason, we get this question every week on the Sales Game Changers live, what are you guys doing? We talked about what you’re doing for your team and we’ll talk a little more about how you’re coaching your team but what are you guys doing to stay at the top of your game? You both manage large organizations, Jason, you’ve been with Intel for over 20 years, it’s one of the best companies in the history of the planet. Howard, why don’t you go first? Have you started using Headspace? What are some things that you’re doing to keep yourself at the top of your game? Because you need to be.

Howard Langsam: I use Headspace on and off, I can’t say I’m a dedicated daily user but I do use it on and off. For me, interacting with individual salespeople is cathartic, when I’m in the office, my office is literally next to the reception area on purpose because I want to interact with as many people as possible. One of the main things that I’ve started doing is just three or four times a week, 20 to 30 minute one-on-ones with individual sellers just to try to keep my pulse on what’s going on, understand what’s motivating them, what’s important. For a little while at the beginning we were doing massive town halls and things like that which we still do occasionally but it doesn’t really give you the flow of information coming the other way which is really helpful for me to just stay plugged in.

Also, I think it humanizes me and it humanizes the people to be able to just have those kinds of interactions. That’s been really helpful for me, headspace has been on and off again. I do enjoy it, it does work, I go in spurts, I’m sure everybody else does as well but just that one-on-one interaction with individual sellers has really been helpful for me. When we’re in the office one of the things that we would do is Friday breakfasts in the office every week, everybody would meet in the kitchen and have breakfast together and it gave me those 10 minutes of being plugged into the BDR team, our cold callers, to get a sense for what’s really going on. You can read the spreadsheets, the reports and the pipeline and all these kinds of things but until you’re actually interacting with an individual seller especially at the junior level in the company, it really helps to just stay plugged in. Like I said, interacting with individual salespeople is cathartic for me. I let it go for a couple of months in the beginning but definitely have picked that back up.

Fred Diamond: Jason, what are you doing? How are you staying at the top of your game?

Jason Kimrey: One of the things that I’ve really tried to implement is getting out of my office. I’m sitting in these same four walls for 8-12 hours a day depending on the day and that’ll make anyone crazy. One of the things I implemented are, I call them walking meetings or walking one-on-ones. There are certain calls I take where I’m more in a listen mode or it’s more of a conversational mode and I like to take those while I’m walking around my neighborhood. It’s funny, I actually see some other peers that are in the tech industry doing similar things. I found it to be helpful on several fronts, one, it’s driving more of a healthy lifestyle, it’s just good to get out.

Two, it disconnects me from the distractions of email, texting and phone, I think as a leader if they’re going to take time to meet with me, they deserve to have my undivided attention and it’s very easy to get distracted from the texts and the emails that are always coming in to not giving that individual my full attention. What I found is that if I’m walking, I don’t have the distractions and I find that I get more out of the conversation from them and I know that they get more out of those conversations from me. I think it’s beneficial in a bunch of different ways, I’ve become a really big fan of the walking meeting.

Howard Langsam: I’ll say one other thing which is just try to appreciate some of the small personal wins that I have going along. I’ve been on the road a hundred days a year for 20 years, this year I had dinner with my family every day and this year I attended 100% of my son’s high school baseball games which I had never been able to do in my entire career being on the road that much covering mostly national territory, not federal. For the vast majority of my career a hundred days a year on the road you miss stuff so the ability to appreciate the small things like having dinner with your family every day when you haven’t done that every day in 20 years and also seeing my son play baseball four times a week. I catch the weekend games for the last few years but catching all the weekday games has just been a special thing for me this year.

Jason Kimrey: That’s why I actually think that even if the work and COVID enables us to go back to the way it used to be, I think there will be a lot of employees and leaders like us that maybe don’t want to go back to the hundred, 150, 200 days of travel a year. They value that time at home and I think it really will drive this sense of reprioritization, what are those things that you really need to be at face-to-face versus those things that could be done virtually? We’re entering a new space and it’s going to be impacted not just by the return to normal being COVID free but also people now work differently. It’s going to change people’s expectations and desires moving forward.

Fred Diamond: I have a question to follow up on that and you’re right, everyone’s wondering how we’ll go back, will we go back? What will it look like? We’ve always had remote workers especially in sales prior to the pandemic but every customer was mostly in the office or even if you were remote you would come in once a week or once a month to spend some time to be coached, team meetings, if you will. How are you successfully coaching your people right now? Howard, you talked about having more one-on-ones but if you can get a little more specific, this has been one of the challenges that we’ve heard.

We actually have a comment here from Robert, Robert is actually in the Jersey area. Robert attends all of our webinars and he says, “I feel like I’m not having the same level of coaching that I used to have.” Can you talk about that for a little bit? How would you recommend either people be coached or that sales managers maybe a level or two below you coach the people? It’s nice to have the one-on-ones but you’re only seeing people from here above, the one thing that we can always do is when we’re in the office we can grab somebody, go into a conference room like you said before, Jason, go have an hour long lunch after the meeting, spend a little more quality time. Now even though we know where everybody is, there’s still almost like a fatigue of looking at the screen. I’m just curious, being coached, coaching people maybe who are in their first or second sales jobs, what would be your recommendations for the managers to coach them more effectively and for the people to accept coaching? Howard, why don’t we go with you first and then Jason?

Howard Langsam: First for the organization, one of the things we did this year that was really helpful and we were doing it pandemic or not but it really helped during the pandemic, is we went from a ratio of 10 or 12 sellers to manager to a ratio of 7 or 8 sellers to manager. Just the individual attention that the sellers can now get from their managers has been really helpful. We also set out this year to train our managers more than we train our sellers, that was one of the epiphanies that I had a couple years ago, we never put it in practice until this year. We conduct probably 2 or 3 times as much training on coaching and management and methodology for our managers than we do for our sellers. Talking to managers, the big thing that I would say is there is no blueprint for what’s going on right now and there is no right way or wrong way, there needs to be a lot of brainstorming about, “This didn’t work, have you tried this instead?” and just keep coming up with new ideas.

Never be afraid to try something new because like I said, there’s no blueprint, we’ve never sold remote in a pandemic before, we’re all used to being across the conference table. There really isn’t a roadmap for how to do it right, just continue to have that philosophy and coach the sellers through, “If you tried this and it didn’t work, don’t be afraid to try something different until something sticks and then continue to run with that.”

The other thing I would say is I network a lot with other sales leaders in other companies, just being able to share ideas has been really helpful. Granicus is owned by Vista Equity Partners who owns 60 other software companies so I have a network of dozens of peers who run sales for other Vista owned organizations that I stay in regular touch with to try to figure out tips, techniques and things like that. I had one example where talking to one of my colleagues, one of the things he did was as soon as the pandemic hit, he realized he was going to be remote so he developed a checklist for best practices in remote meetings. I’m sure he didn’t get it right right out of the shoot but he had a fairly large team of a couple hundred sellers that all of a sudden were all conducting remote meetings in a consistent way and the way he wanted to be consistent with their brand and so forth. I think those are some things that have helped me, continuing to try new things until something works.

Fred Diamond: Jason, how about you?

Jason Kimrey: I think a lot of my coaching was always done right after, when you’re getting back in the car after a customer meeting you have that debrief. What went well? What didn’t go well? It’s been crazy that we don’t have that time so the opportunity to coach, at least for me which was one of probably my primary times to do a lot of coaching has gone away. We really have had to rethink the opportunities to do that. From a general performance management within our teams, we did implement a three times a year focused coaching session between the managers and the employees whereas historically it was just once a year performance management which we found was ineffective. You were trying to cram everything in to do a 30 minute discussion and what we’ve really tried to drive more is more conversation between the manager and the employee but make sure it’s focus time. We now do that three times a year, April, July and November, we’re doing that right now. We found that helpful, having that structured time three times a year at minimum.

The other thing is in terms of training, one of the things that I rolled out for my team this year, we internally call it making your point but it’s based on the principles of press training. We retooled the training for our people to learn how to make their point more effectively in a virtual environment and being aware of things that maybe they aren’t typically aware of. Camera angles, camera quality, there’s lots of things that go into a virtual communication that are very different than communicating in a face to face settings. We’ve tried to give our team some tools around that. That’s under this concept of making your point but making your point in a virtual setting which we found helpful as well.

Fred Diamond: That’s brilliant, things like using your hands and expression and if you’re doing PowerPoint, you need to do this. The other thing too is put away your phone, a lot of times you’ll see people on a call with a customer and you see them looking down like this and it’s like, “Look at me.” I’m guilty of this, I have a second screen as we all probably do in sales, I notice myself frequently looking over and I have to remind myself, “Focus on the customer.” I’m just curious, from a positive surprise perspective, Howard, you mentioned spending time with the kids and seeing your son but from a business sales perspective what’s probably been the biggest positive surprise that’s come out? Luckily we’re alive, we’re operating, we work for great companies. Tell us the biggest positive surprise that you see moving forward as a sales leader. Jason, why don’t you go first? Then Howard, and this question came from Abby, Abby is in the DC area, thank you, Abby.

Jason Kimrey: Honestly I think I talk to more customers and partners now than I did before because there was so much time in transit, on the airplane, maybe it’s not the quality time that I would get but I definitely talk to more partners today because of that. I think the frequency of engagement has gone up and I think it has enabled more ongoing engagement conversation across my team. Lose something, because I’m not able to meet face to face, but the frequency has gone up so I think those are two positives.

Fred Diamond: Howard, how about you?

Howard Langsam: That was a big one for me too, a lot more customer meetings than I’ve ever had but one of the big things that we did as an organization was we set aside the need for getting paid immediately on a lot of things right at the beginning of the pandemic and I wasn’t sure we could shift this fast but we shifted to be able to give our tools to customers as quickly as we possibly could without being encumbered by procurement processes and speed of government and things like that. Trying to help our customers in the best way that we could knowing that it would eventually come around, we were the solution that helped the state of New York send emails to 600 thousand healthcare workers when the pandemic first spiked to try to get the staff that they needed to come back and pitch in and help out.

We did it in the space of a day, didn’t worry about getting paid and eventually we signed a contract with them after they had already run that program. Our company’s willingness to just pivot to give tools to our customers betting on the future – we work with 4,000 governments – to be able to get them the tools they need knowing that they can’t purchase from us or anybody else as fast as they need. The tools allow them to solve a particular problem and that has paid off for us in the long run.

Fred Diamond: At the Institute for Excellence in Sales prior to the pandemic we were doing half day seminars which a lot of people know us for, they would come and I see a lot of people watching today’s webinar who religiously came to our programs. Now people are logging into the webinars listening to the Sales Game Changers podcast for advice today. One of the challenges that we’ve seen with the pandemic is since everybody is home, even though you can zoom and do a lot of the things we talked about, someone who’s relatively new in sales even the first or second year is struggling right now. You have to also as sales leaders balance your time between people above you, your customers and people below you, your managers. What would be your recommendation for people who are in their first or second year of sales? What are your expectations for the junior salespeople right now and what do you specifically recommend that they do to ensure that their career continues to grow?

Jason Kimrey: While it certainly is a challenge for the junior sellers, it’s a challenge for all sellers and I think it’s maybe a bigger challenge for the sellers who for 20 years have been doing it face-to-face and doing it one specific way. Their whole way of learning and doing things for years has just completely changed so to some extent, the junior sellers actually have the benefit of learning while a lot of people are being forced to learn at the exact same time. There probably is a little bit of a leveling of the playing field but I think there’s no substitute for customer engagement. I think while it can be harder to get time with a customer if you’re a junior seller, I think that’s where all focus should be. Trying to build relationships, build knowledge, work with not just the customer but the partners that also serve those same customers, build that network because at the end of the day relationships are still going to be key to it. Now we have an opportunity to build relationships in new and different ways, people are more accessible now than they have been in the past. I think whether you’re a junior seller or senior seller, if you focus on the relationships and the customer and get to know them, that will be time well spent that will serve you well.

Fred Diamond: Howard, how about you? What would you tell someone who’s two years out of school working for Granicus right now? What would be your specific one thing they should be doing?

Howard Langsam: This is where I have everybody go back to the basics, we spent a lot of time and energy and money, quite frankly building an effective sales process. You see people who you teach them the sales process and then they pick and choose the pieces they want, they skip steps and it reduces your predictability as you talk to customers and manage a sale cycle. We spend a lot of time on making sure that our junior sellers learn and then follow that sales process. The thing I like to say all the time is that sales is the project before the project, you wouldn’t skip steps in an engineering project or development project or things like that, you shouldn’t skip steps in the sales project either. We spent a lot of our onboarding time, we teach the products, we teach value selling and things like that but more than anything else, we spend an inordinate amount of time teaching the sales process so that our junior sellers, especially who really don’t have that muscle memory built quite yet, are really not skipping steps. You want to make sure you cover off all the buying influences, you have your mobilizer picked out, you understand what the customer’s priority is, things like that. We just spend an inordinate amount of time and energy and dollars on sales process.

I know you asked for one thing but I’ll give you one other too. We look at predictive metrics as well, the biggest ones being activity and type of activity, size of pipeline, things like that. We give our junior sellers a lot of tools to be able to look at their personal forward-looking metrics to know, “Did I make the right number of calls today? That’s going to lead to the right number of meetings, that’s going to lead to the right sized pipeline, that’s going to lead to me making my goals.” We teach them how the math works all the way from the top to the bottom of the funnel, it helps them manage their time a little better so they’re not just hoping that their pipeline grows and they have enough to go meet their numbers. They really spend time on looking all the way from the top, to the middle, to the bottom of the funnel and understand what some of those forward-looking metrics are that allow them to predict their own success but also allow  their managers to coach them through what success looks like.

Fred Diamond: I want to ask you both for your final action step. We have sales professionals listening to the podcast, gentlemen, give us an action item that people should do today, they must do today to take their sales career to the next level and don’t say something like, “Read more.” Give us something specific that they should do today. Let’s start with you, Jason. I want to thank you both for your time and energy and for your service to your customers. One thing we really didn’t talk about is the customer who you serve because we’ve had such great content today but you both have served the government customer over your careers. Obviously today is Veteran’s Day, we owe so much to our federal customer and how they’ve been able to help us get through the last 9 months, that comes up all the time, it’s just unbelievably remarkable. Jason, give us an action step, something that people watching today or listening on the podcast must do to take their sales career to the next level. Then Howard, you’ll bring us home.

Jason Kimrey: For me it’s really about operating with purpose. Whether you’re a seller, a leader or any role it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that we have to do. I talk a lot to my team and there’s a great book called The One Thing that you guys may have read, I try to put that into practice. I go into it every day and every week, what’s the one thing at the end of this day or the end of this week that I want to have accomplished? And really operate with purpose. If I can boil things down into that one, I feel like I have a sense of accomplishment but I also feel like I drive with a little more effectiveness. Just operating with purpose, try to distill responsibilities down to some things that you want to accomplish and really put a plan in place to do it. I think you’ll feel better about yourself as well as the quality of the work that you’re doing right now.

Fred Diamond: That’s a great point, we’ve talked about The One Thing numerous times on the Sales Game Changers podcast and the various webinars, we actually had Shawn Doyle on the show about a month ago – actually, it was probably the end of the summer, it seems like a month ago but it was probably back in August. He spoke for us in the beginning of the year about goal setting and we brought him in to talk about, “What should your goal setting be for 2020?” and he said, “Same goals as you had back in January, just a different way to go about them.” Howard, why don’t you bring us home? Give us an action step that people need to do today to continue with their success.

Howard Langsam: Mine is really tactical and my team will hear me say this all the time which is work the funnel from the top down. You come in every day and yes, you’ve got to go close the deals that are closable that day but what most people tend to do is okay, you’ve done your closing work, now you start to respond to your RFPs and you write proposals and you work the things that are already in the funnel and you have a great quarter. Then the next quarter you wake up and realize your pipeline is empty becuase you weren’t prospecting so after you do your closing work every day, the next thing to do is go to the top of the funnel and feed the top. Make those calls, you will never crowd out your RFP response time.

If you don’t get your prospecting over in the morning or set time of the day, you’ll get all the way till the end of the day having worked on proposals all day, it’s 6 o’clock and your prospecting time got crowded out and then you go a quarter later and your pipeline is empty. You really want to work the funnel from the top down to do your best to avoid those feast and famine quarters, it’s way too easy to do the in-front-of-you work of writing proposals and qualifying leads but you’ve really got to force yourself. After you close the deals that are closable that day, go right to the top of the funnel and work from the top down so that you’re not having a famine quarter next quarter.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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