The pace of work is increasing. Our competitors are everywhere. Our customers demand us to be nimble and responsive. Our employers are looking for growth on growth.
All these demands we operate with momentum. Moving forward to our targets – always acting.
In this situation – we often forget that sometimes we need to step back to move forward. Manufacturing is a great example. Mechanisation of processes like car manufacture has seen the ability to produce greater quantities and, arguably, greater quality of vehicles at a better cost. Machinery can operate relentlessly. Yet, manufacturers’ realise that in order to maintain that pace, they need to stop the machines. They schedule periodic maintenance. Not when the machine breaks down, but on a regular basis. They check it is still running optimally. It may be completely fine, but they still stop the machines. They fence the cliff. They realise the machine stopping unexpectedly is far worse than scheduled maintenance.
Sales isn’t any different. We need to sit back and take stock periodically. Not when we have a hole in our pipeline – not when we lose sales – but regularly. Intentionally.
It is important for many reasons we, as sales professionals, ensure we schedule time to work on ourselves and overview our business. These include:
- To recharging our batteries
- To reassess and review our plans and activity with a top down rather than ‘in the game’ perspective
- To assess our own development – Wins/Learns/Changes
- To ensure we are still heading in the right direction
- To find new ideas and better solutions to existing problems
- To engage with those around us in a strategic rather than operational capacity
No one can run at full speed indefinitely. We are like that manufacturing business – we need to stop the machines periodically to make sure they’re running properly. That they are producing what we want them to produce.
This is our maintenance period. This is our chance to check that the processes are working properly. This is our chance to check that the qualities of our outputs are still optimal.
This is our chance to fence the cliff.