Little Things that Make a Big Difference in Sales and Marketing Success
Most people have heard about the Pareto Principle: that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Pareto developed the principle when he noticed that 20% of the pea pods in his garden produced 80% of the peas. You hear about the 80/20 rule in a lot of contexts and I talked about how the Pareto Principle applies to sales and marketing in a 2010 blog post titled: The Four Pillars of B2B Marketing Success.
This 80/20 formula sounds very exciting but consider that there are things you can do where your effort is multiplied way more than the 80/20 formula. For example:
- Initiating contact with a strategic alliance partner that can bring in 50 times the revenue of the typical sale.
- Making that one extra phone call that resurrects a stalled major deal.
- Spending an extra hour to hone your value proposition in a way that is crystal clear to the target audience.
- Investing 30 minutes to create new headlines to conduct A/B tests against your existing online or pay per click ads – this can lead to big gains in response rates.
- Conducting a time-study analysis to identify areas where you get a large return on your time investment versus those areas with a small payoff.
- Sending an email to a former boss, colleague or customer to heal a riff (this can have a huge payoff in both financial and psychological terms).
Note that all these items refer to actions, not thoughts. You have to do something to get the results. And while your sales and marketing results may vary on each of these actions, there are undoubtedly a few things you can do with small slices of time that have the potential for a big payoff for you and/or your company. Often, these activities aren’t pleasant but they are quick. As the doctor or your mom told you when they ripped off the Band-Aid, “this will only hurt for a second.” So get the quick hurt out of the way quickly and reap the benefits.