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Simplify Inside Sales

“Simplify, then add lightness” is a quote by Colin Chapman who founded Lotus back in the 50s

While I was racing (I drove a Formula Vee, not a Lotus), there was never enough money to get brand new everything to go faster. Instead, we looked for ways to simplify the design and take away unwanted weight.

Which, believe it or not, works in sales as well…


For years I’ve been saying:

“Just because the idea is simple, doesn’t make it easy to implement.”


Because sales takes a lot of effort – let’s not make it difficult, too.

Most sales concepts can be broken down into small pieces that are simple to understand.

Here are seven of my favorites:

  1. The more times I dial the phone, the more likely I am to have a good conversation.
  2. Ask a question – put your phone on mute – then you can’t interrupt.
  3. The things that are easy for you = VALUABLE. So get the “JUST” out of there!
  4. To be responsive, you have to ask the customer what their expectation is.
  5. Listen to their answer, NOT for what you want to hear.
  6. Know EXACTLY what your ideal customer looks like. Otherwise, how will you know when you’ve met them?
  7. If you’re listening to the voices inside your head, you can’t be listening to your customer.

Add Lightness

I love the idea of adding lightness to sales.

Many days, sales feels H E A V Y – the goals are big, the obstacles tall, the weight of the world pressing down.

YECH – how can we get excited or enthusiastic about what we do, if it feels like that.

That is why I believe there’s room in sales for “gamification” (which according to Merriam-Webster online is “the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation”).

Let’s take Jill Konrath’s advice from Agile Selling (page 197).

“What can you turn into a game today?”

Here are my top seven gamification inside sales tricks:

  1. Frustration Bingo
  2. 10 before __________ (challenge yourself to make 10 more calls before you do something you REALLY want to do, such as pour another cup of coffee, put a proposal together, whatever)
  3. Power Hour(s)
  4. Accountability IM Partnership
  5. Beer o’Clock Challenge (OK, I’m a beer girl, but you could pick something else – race to the end of the day with someone you WANT to have a beer with…and whoever loses, buys!)
  6. Success Bingo
  7. Full Blown Sales Organization Contest

Notice the 7th item is the only one requiring more than ONE other person to organize. Really, the most important ways to add lightness only requires ourselves…and maybe a partner who is willing to play along (hey, it’s more fun that way).

Don’t forget to CELEBRATE every time you achieve one of your gamification successes… oh wait EVERY success!

Sales doesn’t have to be a slog. Fire up your game, compete against yourself and others, and if we’re talking about racing – get in there, go fast and take some chances!

P.S. I can help you organize and run the types of events I’ve listed above. Sure, you can do it yourself, but as we know, salespeople are often more receptive to an outside expert who can bring out the best in everyone on the team. Sound interesting? Click reply and let’s talk.

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