Tips You Can Use Today
So you have been handed your sales quota by your manager, and it is 45% more than you think you can do. You are worried. How will you achieve these numbers? Well, you have some options. You can go back to your sales manager and complain. For most of us that won’t work. Do you think he/she will change the numbers for you? Nope! Another option is you can quit. Alternatively, you can stiffen your spine, gain some courage and meet (and exceed) your quota. How? Here are six tips that will help:
- Have a Selling System: whether you are selling commodities, working transactionally, using traditional sales skills like cold calls or employing an inbound sales strategy; you need selling skills and a system that works. Whatever the sales context, are you meeting your prospects in their buyer’s journey where they are? Are they just gathering information, comparing vendors or are they ready to buy right now? Knowing where they will enable you to qualify more quickly and provide targeted advice. How about your selling cycle? Is it short so you have to provide the information and counseling quickly to close the transaction? Is the sales cycle is long? They take the time to understand where the prospect is in their journey, their challenges so you can provide education and solutions to their problem. Hopefully, you have the best one. The longer the cycle, the more exchange, the more education and the greater differentiation you will be required to provide. Today buyers do their comparative research well before they talk to you. So be prepared. Get a system that works for you.
- Develop a Prospecting Plan: What are your three best prospecting activities for finding new clients? Prioritize them based on the best return for your efforts. Are they referrals from current customers? Did you get them from networking? How about the association meeting your company makes you attend? Remember prospects degrade over time. To reach a higher sales quota, you have to secure new sales from your existing customers and new prospects. That means to put together and re-working your prospecting mix.
- Find your formula: If you have not started, measure your pipeline and track closing percentages? Why? If you do not know where you then how, do you know where you are going? Begin by having at least two meaningful conversations with qualified prospects every day. Then measure which prospecting activity works best (see #2 above). If it takes you five networking events to have three face to face client meeting that results in one sale, then your formula is 5-3-1. Calculate other formulas in your prospecting mix: cold calling, association meeting, and referrals. Know your formulas. Track how many sales you need to close each week and each month to hit and exceed quota. You will quickly see which activities you will need to do every day, every week and every month to exceed your sales quota.
- Spend more time with Prospects who qualify and less with those that do not. No more wasting time. Do you have a prospect with whom you have been leaving messages every week and never hear back? Stop. Find out if that opportunity is worth the pursuit or close the file. Do you put together proposals that don’t close? Stop. Get a Yes or a No and move on.
- Take care of yourself: physically, have you noticed if you are putting on more weight? It is Salespeople have a tendency to be inactive and then schedule meetings around food and drink. Moreover, you are in an industry that is highly competitive and filled with stress which is not good for your health. Mentally, it is imperative to listen to what your inner voice is telling you. Are they messages from a helpful friend or a harsh critic? I mentioned this in an earlier blog on Four Time Management Tips. Monitor, what’s going on between your ears? Do you carry around self-limiting beliefs? Remember to exercise, eat well, take the time to reflect and, most importantly, be active.
- Consider taking a class, get a coach or find a mentor: Why wait until you are struggling to find help? Take time now to reflect and invest in YOU. These opportunities serve as the foundation to improve your sales skills and sales strategies, to do better to reach further. Look for help within your company. If that is not an option, find a sales trainer or sales coach. Discuss where you are now and where you want to be. Whenever you invest in yourself and challenge your comfort zone, the success you aspire to and the goals you want to achieve are just around the corner.
How about YOU?
Do you have a proven sales system?
What selling process do you use to meet or exceed quota?
How did you prospect your biggest client?