Is Work Smarter, Not Harder Good Advice for Selling?

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Is Work Smarter, Not Harder Good Advice for Selling?

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Is Work Smarter Not Harder Good Advice?

Work smarter…not harder.

Most of you have likely heard this statement before. So what does it mean and how does it affect you?

First, it’s hard to disagree with this statement, but I’m doing just that. At least as it applies to sales.

One of my favorite hobbies is woodworking. As I think about working smarter in woodworking, it makes a lot of sense. This is especially true If I’m going to make several of the same items.

If I can reduce my number of cuts, I’ll save time. If I can plan my project so that I set up a piece of equipment to use it for all the items I’m making, I also save time. If my shop is laid out correctly, I can take less steps as I move through the shop.

Of course, working smarter may also reduce the risk of getting hurt in the shop. To date, I still have all my fingers. So for my woodworking hobby, working smarter is very important.

Another hobby of mine is fishing. When it comes to fishing, I think fishing harder is just as important as working smarter. It defiantly is a balance.

If I’m fishing in the wrong spot or with the wrong bait or at the wrong depth, it really doesn’t matter how hard I fish, I’m likely not going to have much luck. At the same time if I’m in the right spot and using the right bait but am not really working hard, I’ll also likely not have much luck. The fish just won’t jump in the boat because I’m smarter than they are.

If you look at manufacturing, working smarter is very important and can make the difference between being profitable and not being profitable. Manufacturing companies spend lots of time and money on trying to figure out how to make each employee more efficient. Less physical steps, less process steps, and less time are major drivers in manufacturing. Working smarter is the key to success.

I’ve been in sales, sales management, and sales training for more than 25 years. During those 25 years, I’ve been through countless sales training programs and have delivered my fair share of sales training classes.

Most sales training classes are about working smarter. They’re designed to improve your sales skills so that you can work smarter, more efficiently, and be more effective. CRM tools are all about making sales people more efficient and effective. All this is great and necessary, but I would like to argue that it isn’t enough.

I’ve worked with many sales people as a sales support engineer, as a fellow sales person, as a sales manager, and as a sales trainer. The one common trait that I’ve found in successful sales people is that they work very hard.

They work hard to improve their sales skill set. They work hard at making sure their company is on board with supporting their sale efforts and supporting their customers. They work hard at knowing their products and services and how they compare to their competitors. They work hard at making sure that their customers understand the value their company provides.

My core personal beliefs about my ability to succeed are more about working harder than they are about working smarter. I’m not the smartest person in the world, or the best looking, or the most athletic. I do not naturally have an outgoing personality. I’m not good at making small talk or telling jokes. I’m not naturally good at remembering names nor do I’ve a great memory.

Yet with all these short comings (and this is just the short list), I’ve been very successful at sales. Why?

Well, I work harder at improving the things I’m not good at. I always try to work harder than my competition in a sales situation. It isn’t a 100 percent foolproof way of winning business. But it has worked for me and most of the successful sales people I know.

So what’s the bottom line?

You need to work smarter and use all the tools that help you do this. Take advantage of your company’s sales training. Go beyond what your company provides for sales training. Take classes online, join local sales groups, and practice the skills that need improvement. Never stop learning. Take advantage of sales tools like Continuum CRM to help you become more effective in your sales efforts.

Spend extra hours working with your sales opportunities. Outwork your competition.

Work smarter AND harder.

And if you want a tool that can help you work smarter and work harder, schedule a demo and let us show you how Continuum CRM can help.


Scott Farmer

Scott is one of the co-founders of Continuum CRM. In addition to being a US Navy Veteran, Scott is a seasoned sales professional who has more than 35 years of sales, sales management, and operations experience working at Westinghouse Electric, ABB, Invensys, Formation Systems and SFA Strategies.