By Kasia Kowalska, Growbots – Sales Platform
For sales representatives, success and failure can often be measured with one metric: the sales quota.
With warmer months fast approaching, now is the time to set yourself up to fight the dreaded summer slump before a bunch of “Out of Office” messages get you down. When it’s time to make the quarterly number, you’ll be glad that you put the work in now to ensure that you’ll knock it out of the park.
Here are our top eight suggestions to ensure you can make the quarterly number without breaking a sweat.
At the end of the day, the reality is that sales people can’t make anyone buy your product or service. What is within your control is the number of opportunities you create for yourself so that someone else can say ‘yes!’ For example, the conversion rate for cold calls hangs right around 2%. Which means that if you call 100 leads, you will likely snag two sales. The more calls you make, the more emails you send, the more meetings you schedule, the greater the likelihood that you make the quarterly number.
2. Get serious about who’s serious.
Oftentimes, if you’re not constantly vigilant, it can be easy to end up spending a lot of time with prospects that are never going to buy. If you aren’t sure you are going to make the quarterly number, it’s time to do a pipeline clean up. Look through your contact list and say goodbye to prospects that aren’t going to pull the trigger. This can often result in renewed interest that can lead to a sale. And if it doesn’t, you will have freed up time to focus on warm, qualified leads instead.
3. Get organized.
Whatever it might mean to you, it’s time to get organized. Whether you need to clean up your Google Calendar, clear off your desk, or start writing comprehensive notes during cold calls to refer to later, it’s time to get your ducks in a row. An organized sales rep is an effective sales rep. It is so much easier to offer value, delight prospects, and demonstrate why your product and your brand is the right choice when you’re not scrambling to remember names, conversations, or showing up late to meetings.
4. Follow up on your follow-ups.
One of the rules of sales that is important to keep in mind is that people buy when they’re ready to buy (not when you’re ready to sell). A prospect that wasn’t ready three or six months ago might be ready now. The only way you can know is to follow up with them. The Rule of 7 comes into play here too. On average, it takes seven interactions with a brand before a customer is ready to hand over their hard-earned money. Be tenacious and follow up with your prospects. Remind them of your company and why your product will make their lives easier.
Not everyone communicates the best in a specific medium. You might feel most comfortable calling prospects, but some prospects might prefer email where they can think over the information in their own time. If you’re not getting the results you want, try contacting your prospect another way. And if you’re not a fan of email because you think it takes too much time, it doesn’t! The most effective emails are between 50 and 125 words (about the length of this paragraph)
Creating different avenues for communication with a prospect also offers you additional opportunities to restate your message. You might know the features of your product like the back of your hand, but your prospect doesn’t – yet. Each contact offers you another opportunity to explain why your product is so wonderful.
6. Create time to become a better salesperson.
No one knows all the secrets of sales. Human psychology is deep and vast and plays deeply into how and why we spend our money. Each salesperson will develop their own selling styles that work best for them, but there is always room for improvement. Set aside time each day or each week to consciously develop your skills. That can take the form of a more experienced mentor, seminars or conferences, webinars, curated reading lists, or whatever else inspires you.
7. Use active listening to get an extra boost.
The classic image of a superstar sales rep is a smooth talker with the right answer in her back pocket. But in actuality, active listening is an equally important skill for sales reps to hone. Active listening is not simply giving your prospects the space to talk, but also learning how to ask the right questions. Productive conversations with prospects aren’t one sided.
You should be aiming not just to sell your product, but to get information. These pieces of knowledge will reveal your prospects true pain points. Your prospects might not always come right out and say what they’re looking for (or they might not know yet!), but a few key questions can help you understand their needs. Which means that you can talk about the benefits of your product or service in a way that speaks to your prospect’s needs.
This might seem counterproductive, but if you can feel your monthly quota slipping through your fingers, it’s easy to fall into the realm of desperation. When your main priority switches from, “How can I help this prospect?” to, “How can I sell to this prospect?” it’s going to be infinitely harder to close a deal. Your enthusiasm for your product or service (and not your need to make a sale) is what is going to excite your prospects and convince them to buy.
Coming to the end of a quarter doesn’t have to be stressful when you set yourself up for success. Creating opportunities, using your time wisely, and focusing on what your customers need are good guidelines that will help you in making your sales quotas.
What are your best tips for setting yourself up for success? Let us know in the comments how you plan to make the quarterly number?
About the Author: Kasia Kowalska
Kasia is the Content Manager at Growbots, an all-in one outbound sales platform that helps you get new customers faster. By automating prospecting and prospect outreach Growbots allows salespeople to spend more time on closing deals.