Have you read Jeb Blount’s Fanatical Prospecting?
It’s one of the most actionable sales books for our modern society.
If you haven’t yet, do yourself a great favor and get it. In this book, he shared an insight into what he calls the 30-Day Rule.
The 30-Day Rule states that “the prospecting you do in this 30-day period will pay off for the next 90 days”.
Sales as a Cause and Effect
When I have conversations with founders and sales leaders, I get one impression: they are in a rush.
They want our team to produce some magic for their current quarter’s revenue.
They want a quick fix.
They want meetings now.
Sorry, we cannot help you.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t cheer them on.
The reason your pipeline is drying out can be attributed to the prospecting cycle in the last quarter.
Think about it this way:
The sales quota you set for the next quarter is more dependent on your sales activities today than on the sales activities in that quarter.
It’s a cycle of cause and effect, governed by time.
What we sow, we reap – all in due time.
Activity is King in B2B Appointment Setting
It’s important to understand this rule because it governs our sales activities.
The emails we send.
The calls we make.
The social touches we make.
And so on.
And remember that in sales, the sales activities are the metrics that can actually be managed.
This rule gives more power to you than we can truly give it credit. But sometimes, we lose sight of this.
We become fixated on the present deals and forget that we are not taking action consistent action to deliver the pipe of tomorrow.
I’ve found this rule to be particularly true for a lot of companies.
If you’re looking to fill your sales funnel with more meetings this quarter, you should be doing consistent outreach the quarter before.
Why is this important?
Because just like any form of sales outreach, outbound emails may deliver a qualified lead who is not ready to buy right now.
Or she’s not even ready to have a conversation at this point. And that’s fine.
Since your goal is the next quarter, you can continue to add value.
And nurture the lead.
And not be desperate.
Here are three reasons why the 30-Day Rule is important for B2B sales appointment setting:
1. The Rule Means that You Should Set Medium to Long-term Goals
What do all the growth hack “experts” fail to tell you?
How about all the unicorn news you read in Techcrunch?
One thing: nothing good comes easy.
What all these folks fail to highlight about all these “growth hack” techniques and news is that it requires time to build something meaningful.
Sadly, slow and steady is not newsworthy today.
Take for example your inbound marketing strategy.
It takes time to build authority backlinks which will help you to show up when it matters.
In the same way, outbound sales development takes time and discipline.
Business owners and salespeople must set medium to long-term goals with the 30-Day Rule in mind when starting out.
It might be helpful to think of your goals in a 120 day period.
This is the period of execution and assessing (only) early results.
The point is: do not get pumped up by all the hacking stuff you read and fall into the trap of making it happen now.
You’ll be sorely disappointed.
If you can’t be in for the long-term, heck even the medium, it might be worth not getting in at all.
2. The 30-Day Rule Means that You Should Hire for the Long-term
A startup founder wanted to hire a salesperson who will convert inbound free trial users into paying customers.
Until that point, he had made no touches with the leads.
Up to about 12 months for some. Yet he wanted the salesperson to close these leads in a month.
What an illusion!
The 30 Day Rule exposes the downfall in hiring B2B sales-people (without prior pipeline) and expecting impactful results within a month.
It is defeating to think that if the salesperson is as good as she says, she should be able to close in a month. They need ramp time
It’s the time from when you hire that salesperson to when she becomes productive (achieving some sales activity goals).
The irony is that best-established companies (with all the robust in-house training) acknowledge the ramp time and “enable” it.
They have proper systems of training and engagement to support the salesperson.
However, startup founders tend to feel they can ramp up new hires in less than a month.
If you’re a salesperson being hired, always ask about the expectation of the founder or business owner.
If their expectation is for a quick fix, run.
Any quick fix philosophy will only take you so far.
They do not understand that the most rewarding pipelines are based on a time continuum.
Slow, consistent and steady wins the race
3. The Rule Means: Always be Prospecting
Business owners and sales leaders are always prospecting. Unless they plan to get out of business soon.
When you have a good quarter with a lot of good leads, do not lose sight of the next quarter.
Enjoy your current success, but stay consistent with your outbound outreach and follow-ups through emails and calls.
Stay professional. Do the work and repeat it to bring results.
One way we try to implement this in our team is to block our calendars for sending emails and doing follow-up calls.
I like Anthony Iannarino’s series of video training on planning your sales week in 8 Steps to Building a Model Sales Week.
The first thing he mentioned is Block Time for Prospecting.
“If you are going to get your prospecting done…schedule it first. There are too many distractions, too many demands, too many interruptions in a salesperson’s day to leave this to chance.
Before you schedule anything else, block time for the most important activity a salesperson can take: opening relationships that open opportunities.”
Jeb puts it this way:
Miss a day of prospecting and it will tend to bite you sometime in the next 90 days.
Miss a week and you will feel it in your commission check.
Miss an entire month and you will tank your pipeline, fall into a slump, and wake up 90 days later, feeling like a loser, with no clue how you ended up there.”
TLDR: “Do something today that you’ll be proud of tomorrow.”
Latest posts by Kwesi Sakyi-Gyinae (see all)
- The ONE Strategy For Outsmarting Competition | Danny Setiawan - November 7, 2018
- The $0 Video Marketing Strategy | Chris Vaglio - October 17, 2018
- Sales Lessons from Knocking on 5000 Doors | Travis Chappell - October 10, 2018
The 70 Word Follow Up Email That Can Help You Get More Clients
Free ebook that includes word-for-word email script for b2b cold prospecting