What can you (SE’s) stop doing in the new year?


If you’ve seen one too many posts on resolutions for the coming year like I have, I’m sure the last thing you want to see is another list of things to add to your growing stack of todo’s. So I wanted to take the opposite frame and list out some things you can safely stop doing to gain some much needed time back to focus on things you want to start doing.

In no particular order:

  • No first discussion calls – Stop attending calls where it’s the first interaction your sales team has had with a prospect. If your rep or inside guy hasn’t spent at least 20 minutes gathering basic qualification information, don’t get on the phone
  • No RFP responses! – UNLESS you helped create it with the prospect in the first place
  • No support calls – Spending time on support calls with existing customers is not the best use of your time
  • No unqualified demos – If the prospect won’t agree to a brief needs analysis call prior, they are sent to your weekly webinar and not a 1:1 demo. Don’t have one? Create it.
  • Stop writing redundant emails – Take the time to create exceptional email templates
  • Stop responding to after-hours emails – Unless a customer’s systems are down, it can wait until morning
  • No agenda, no meeting – If that internal meeting has no detailed agenda which involves you personally, skip it. Some companies like Apple, Google, and Visa have mandated this company-wide
  • No defined budget, no POC – Unless there is a specific budget amount the prospect has assigned to your project and you know what it is, do not proceed with a POC
  • No buying criteria, no POC – If the prospect won’t work with you to define their buying criteria, do not proceed with a POC
  • Forget the roadmap – Stop worrying about where your product is going outside of some high level objectives. Instead, use roadmap questions as an opportunity to bring product managers in to qualified opportunities

While there are exceptions to any rule, the benefit of this type of review is to see how far you can push these principles in your own situation to free up time for more productive activities.

As an aside, this will be one of the last posts on The Sales Engineer. There are many developments afoot, so look forward to an announcement next month on newer and bigger things. I wish everyone a very happy and prosperous FY17!