Follow. The. Money.

Good salespeople are busy. They’re making cold calls, following up with inbound leads, reaching out to referrals, and conducting sales meetings. I see a lot of salespeople struggle with taking their sales game to the next level. One of the culprits is usually knowing what tasks to attack first, and how to prioritize everything that is demanding attention.

My advice? Follow. The. Money.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. You should never, ever, ever put making the sale before ethics or the needs of the customer. You should always focus on the customer’s needs — forever and always.

Here’s what I do mean: Prioritize your best money making opportunities for the first part of your day, week, and month. When you get into the office, don’t respond to every new email and new voicemail. Though tempting, don’t go chit-chat with your co-workers about how the weekend went because this is a major productivity killer and before you know it half the day is gone.

Keep the tasks key to getting you to your sales quota (and beyond) for the first items you do. Seize the moment while your mind is fresh and you are most motivated.

Here’s how I prioritize a typical day:

Unclosed opportunities

Start from your largest opportunities to your smallest. Anyone who has said they are ready to buy, get laser-focused on these opportunities because they are the ones with the highest likelihood of closing. Opportunities are the least path of resistants.

Interested leads

These are people who have expressed interest in learning more about your product but you have not had the opportunity to assess their needs and/or have not received a firm confirmation that they are interested in buying.

Cancelled meetings

Cancelled meetings are usually golden too because you already have an initial commitment from someone but something came up. What you should determine as soon as possible is if they are still serious about your product. Canceled meetings could be at any point in the sales cycle. Regardless, if you sense there is a minimum level of interest, follow up with them.

Top prospects

Prospects are different from opportunities and leads because you have yet to make contact with them to ask them for a meeting. Prospects are people or companies that fit within your ideal vertical and you have an interest in doing business with them.

Non-essential tasks

These are things that are non-urgent and have no direct impact on your sales quota. Punt these items as far back as you can. They don’t matter like making money does.

In summary, follow the money. Prioritize the things that lead to you and your company making. Everything else is secondary.

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