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Turning Sales Best Practices Into Habits: Train Like A Marathon Runner


Becoming a successful sales rep requires you to develop discipline and habits that reflect sales best practices. Some of these sales habits are daily, some weekly. Some require endurance and long-term strategy, while others reflect discipline in the moment. Think of building these habits and strengths as personal training for an endurance sport, such as running a marathon. 

Just about anyone can run, jog or walk the 26.2 miles of a marathon — if they put in the time and stick to a program. Many first-timers use the 18-week training program developed by Hal Higdon, with its weekly schedule of three short runs, a long run, cross training and rest. Think of these different elements in terms of developing your sales best practices. 

  1. Short training runs: Running three miles might sound trivial when your goal is 26.2 miles, but showing up three times a week for short runs develops mental discipline and core fitness. Similarly, sales reps need to make sales relationship building a regular activity. While staying in touch with prospects by sending relevant content and information may seem unimportant, these habits are vital to managing your existing sales pipeline. 

  2. The long run: Everyone finds prospecting difficult. It defines your entire sales pipeline, but keeping it up requires you to focus on the long-term goal. The marathon runner’s weekly long run may start out as six very slow miles, increasing a little each week until feeling prepared to run 26.2 miles at their best speed. Likewise, the key to prospecting is consistency over the long term. If you stop prospecting and only focus on working leads already in your pipeline, you may get those sales. But when you run out of leads, your pipeline falls apart. 

  3. Cross training and stretching: There’s more to running a marathon than just running. Many training programs incorporate additional flexibility and strength work, like yoga, cycling, swimming and weights. Sales reps also cross train with activities like social selling and networking, keeping skills fresh by staying up-to-date on the latest sales techniques and industry developments. 

Thinking in terms of running a marathon gives you different ideas for fine-tuning your sales best practices. And just like marathon runners need the right shoes to get the most out of their training, salespeople need the right sales collaboration technology to get the most out of their sales habits and support sales best practices. 

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): Like running a marathon, successfully completing a long, tough sales cycle requires a lot of discipline and ongoing daily training. Don’t stop prospecting once you have several good leads in your pipeline, or you’ll sabotage yourself in the long term. To motivate yourself, incorporate marathon concepts into your own sales training schedule, and post it in your work area. 

To learn more about using technology to support sales best practices, check out the Tellwise Tipsheet.

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