Why activity-based selling is the answer
IT’s the most powerful, promising and successful way to sell. It puts you in the driver’s seat, gives you visibility into your pipeline, builds your confidence and even makes selling more fun.
For any salesperson, adopting an activity-based approach is a game changer. I know this because it was for me.
I went into this field convinced that I didn’t belong. “I’m not really a salesperson,” I told myself. And at first, I struggled.
Then some successful, experienced people told me about activity-based selling. I changed my mindset and revamped my process. Soon, I started selling.
Now, as a Pipedrive co-founder, I’ve committed my career to helping other salespeople all over the world master their work. This guide can be used by anyone in sales, from the largest multi-national companies to sole proprietorships. This is your path to maximizing your potential — and your closing ratio.
What is Activity-Based Selling?
Let’s start with a quick explainer video to bring you up to speed.
In its most elementary form, selling boils down to this: A gives B something of value in exchange for money.
Of course, there are all sorts of processes that introduce more color and complexity — wholesale operations, office sales, etc. But it still ultimately comes down to this exchange. Without the exchange of money, it would be just a charitable deed.
But here’s a crucial question: When you hear the word “selling,” what do you think of? The exchange of that money? Or the process you go through to ultimately make a sale happen?
‘Selling’ refers to two things
“Selling” refers to both: the actions you take throughout the process and the closing of a deal.
The vast majority of salespeople focus on results rather than their actions. The inclination makes sense. We all need to make money. As salespeople, the pressure to get deals through the pipeline to a close is powerful.
So most people are engaged in results-based selling. Their mindset and focus revolve around making a sale happen.
You need to do the opposite.
Design your strategy around process
In activity-based selling, you keep your focus on your actions. You operate on the knowledge that you’ll get better results by completing key steps with a prospect, and repeating these same steps with all your other prospects, straying only where necessary to customize for the customer. And — this is perhaps the toughest part — you must not worry about results while you’re taking these actions.
Notice I did not say you forget about results. But the centerpiece of activity-based selling lies in resisting the temptation to make them your focus.
Think of it as a marathon. At the start of the race, you know your goal: the time to make it to the finish line. But in an activity-based approach, once you start running you don’t focus on the finish. Instead, you concentrate on what you’re doing. How quickly you’re running. How you’re breathing. How often you swig water.
Your goal is in the back of your mind, and it stays there. The metrics you care about are the ones you’re in control of right then — your process.
This is the core mental shift you need to make. Now let’s dig into why.