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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

How Much Money Will Ineffective Sales Prospecting Cost You This Year?

Stephen Covey says that highly effective people put the “big rocks in first” because if you don’t do the important things first, they get crowded out by the smaller things.

The biggest rock for any sales professional is prospecting. It’s the #1 driver of success and the #1 thing that gets pushed to the bottom of the priority pile. Jeb Blount, the author of Fanatical Prospecting, famously said, "The #1 reason for an empty pipe is the failure to prospect!"

What’s The Annual Financial Impact?

What’s the annual impact of inconsistent prospecting? I think this is a worthy question for every sales professional, sales team leader, and company owner to consider.

To calculate the impact, let’s begin with some assumptions.

Consistent Execution: The Secret To Revenue Growth

“Execution is the single greatest market differentiator. Great companies and successful individuals execute better than the competition.”
- Brian P. Moran, The 12 Week Year

If you want to be successful in growing a company as a business owner, or growing a territory as a sales rep, you need to execute consistently. You can have a great vision, amazing products, and all kinds of great intentions. But the marketplace only rewards ideas that get implemented.

Execution needs to happen in the three core areas of your business that touch your clients and prospects. Let’s consider each of these in turn.

Flipping MIF Is Easy. Net-New Is Hard.

In the office technology industry I serve, we talk about Machines-in-Field (MIF). Every 3-5 years the leases on these machines expire or the machine wears out. Sales reps “flip the MIF” when they upgrade customers to new equipment.

MIF-flipping plays a critical role. After all, we need to maintain our customer base. However, we also work in a mature market. That means that average selling prices are dropping faster than cost of goods. Each year the delta between sales price and cost gets squeezed a little tighter.

What does that mean?

Companies and sales reps that have historically depended on MIF-flipping will suffer a slow and painful decline.

Some businesses are counteracting the revenue decline by purchasing more MIF to flip. The top line revenue of these businesses look good, but ultimately, these businesses will also feel the pain.