Salespeople evolve and go through different levels of growth. When you are just starting out, you are learning the ropes. Constantly going through a battle to hit your sales quota every month or quarter, if at all. Then you hone your skills and find the right methods that work best for you and your clients, and you start to hit your targets each month. This is where most sales reps stop. But the best sales reps make it one step further. They are hitting their sales quota before months end, and they keep raising the bar. This is where you want to land, but it can be difficult to reach this level, let alone maintain this level.
Now, before we go into how you can elevate your game to reach this elite status and crush your sales quota, we have to say one thing. The world around you changes, the economy changes, and unforeseen things happen. When these kinds of roadblocks appear, it can be difficult or even impossible to avoid them. But short of these instances happening, these tips will help you reach your sales quota every month, and then some.
Before We Set Out
No matter what stage you are currently in or what level of success you are currently seeing, always improve and prepare for the next challenge. There are tools out there that will assist you in your day to day sales efforts, and these can be game-changing. But it comes down to what you do, how you use those tools and the strategies you put in place. As amazing as a tool is, it, unfortunately, can’t make the sale for you from start to finish. But maybe that’s a good thing; without you, your clients wouldn’t have someone to talk to. And without that, you wouldn’t have the job. Now that we have all decided that we need you, tools are amazing for filling in the gaps. Tools are great at helping you, but you need to have strategies in place, let’s begin.
Always Be Prospecting
Think about what you are typically doing at the end of the month. Are you prospecting and looking for new opportunities? No? Well, you should be. You should be prospecting at the end of the month just as heavily as you do at the beginning of the month. The most successful salespeople that have hit their monthly sales quota by the end of the month are using that as an opportunity to blitz on prospecting for the future. Spend 50% (or more) of the final day of the month for prospecting. Looking on LinkedIn for new opportunities, seeing if any old prospects should be followed up with yet etc. This way, you have a head start on the next month, and then you continue the cycle.
Unfortunately, we have taught our prospects that if they wait until the end of the month, there is a higher likelihood of a better deal. Can you blame them for waiting? It’s the reason I waited until the end of the month to go buy a new car. If you aren’t in absolute desperate need of it, why not wait a few days to save some money.
This mentality we have created for our prospects makes it hard for us as salespeople to hit our sales quota on or before the deadline for the month. One key workaround is to find out when they have to have the product up and running. It is not when they plan to make the purchase but when they have to have it implemented, then work backwards. If you know the date they need to have it up and running, you can work out a rough timeline for them. Then based on trials, implementation, and support you will have a better idea of the timeline. This will give them a sense of urgency to ensure everything is set up and working correctly by this date. And also give you an idea of when this deal will close.
Now, what should you do if you get the sense that your prospect is holding out for that late buy to get the best discount possible? In this case, you should re-evaluate their expectations surrounding discounts. In these cases, you can approach your prospect in such a way where you express your ability to offer discounts but outline the terms of these discounts. If you have more flexibility when you agree upon date, if you have move flexibility earlier in the month, or whatever the case is. Do not hesitate to be upfront with these expectations, and you can continue the conversation about the deal.
With this approach, there is a very important note. Do not lie to your prospect. If they were to find out that what you told them about discounts was untrue through another channel, needless to say, they would not be happy. Would you? This comes back to be upfront about your ability to offer discounts and continue the conversation.
With this strategy, you don’t have a ton of time for prospects that are still in the awareness stage of their journey. When you are managing your time you need to prioritize the prospects that are closest to purchasing. This does not mean that you should ignore them or that these prospects do not matter. If you have a prospect contacting you or coming across them and are still in the researching phase, you should direct them to the correct resources. But ensure you make them aware that you are the correct person to contact when they are ready to make a decision or have a conversation.
You can also offer to periodically drop them an email to check in on their progress. Or offer to drop them information that could be important to them and their use case. This will help keep your top of mind and in the position to be in the conversation to make the sale.
Tools Of The Trade
We live in a digital fast-moving world, and if you can’t keep up you will be left behind. In order to stay up to speed sales tools are needed. Not because we don’t think you can’t do the job, but in order to do your job to the best of your ability, you need some of the tedious tasks streamlined. Tools like a CRM platform can help you store and gather all the information you need on every prospect. A CRM is like the cheat sheet that you are expected to use. Typically you have your lead generation tools, website personalization tools, marketing tools, and more funnelling into your CRM. Then you can take all of this information and make a decision on who is where in their buyer’s journey and follow up with them.
Along with a data centralization tool such as a CRM or other platform similar, you will need tools that are always helping you generate leads. Without leads, we are reduced to knocking on doors without vacuum cleaners or cold calling workplaces selling ink toner. Tools like Visitor Queue will identify the companies that have shown interest in your company by visiting your site. Then provide their visit details, company info, and contacts at that company. Or tools such as Optimizely that help you customize your website depending on your visitor’s behaviour and other metrics. This helps increase the engagement on your site and increases the chance they will convert.
There are seemingly endless sales tools that can assist you and your sales teams, the key is to understand what you are looking for. This way you can get the right tools that target these problems and have a solution for them.
Now some final thoughts on these strategies. One tip I need to mention, but it isn’t exactly a tip to expand on. If you are to hit your sales quota by the middle of the month, your mindset might be to take your foot off the throttle. This would be an incorrect mindset. You may want to try and postpone deals until the next month, but time kills deals. If you have any deals on the hot plate, you should close them as soon as you can; any postponing can completely kill a deal and won’t help you this month or next. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes if you were dealing with a salesperson, and then they slowed the process down or put on the breaks. There would be a high likelihood that you would become frustrated. And if this went on long enough, there is a good chance you would find another salesperson, look for other solutions, or walk out on the deal completely.
Now with these strategies, you will be able to hit your sales quota month in and month out and even reach your sales quota sooner. You may find strategies along the way that help you as well in your specific use-case. Or tools you can create new strategies with, but it is important to keep the essentials in mind. The basics, or framework, is there for a reason. It structures your ability for the future and gives you the foundation to build on.