Every salesperson has a different strategy to help them hit their target each month. However, a lot of factors can influence how well you perform each month. Sometimes you might just be unlucky, but other times factors such as stress/pressure, a lack of understanding or inefficient pipeline management may be hindering your efforts to hit your target.
Sometimes you have to think about the bigger picture, it’s not just about how many calls you make that contributes to hitting your sales target. You can be a busy fool and still miss targets. Slow down to speed up! Think about what you are doing and figure out how to hit your target successfully month after month.
Audit your pipeline.
Some salespeople say that every opportunity is worth pursuing, but that’s just not true. Pursuing opportunities that won’t close just wastes time. If you aren’t hitting your sales targets, then it’s time to go back and audit your pipeline. If your pipeline looks full and promising then you need to take a good look at it and think cleverly about which opportunities have a high probability of converting. Identify the ones that don’t look so promising, cut them out or leave them on the backburner for a bit. Make sure the opportunities you do choose to pursue are qualified and have realistic timescales.
If you had to halve your pipeline and give away half of your opportunities – you know which ones you would keep, don’t you! So don’t kid yourself that you might just have a chance of winning. Don’t waste your time chasing deals you won’t win, instead spend your time on the ones you could win and make sure you do win them. Also, be wise and don’t ignore the obstacles that may block you from closing a sale and ultimately hitting your sales target. Remember it is quality not quantity that counts in a pipeline.
Focus on what you have to do to hit your target, not the outcome.
Something that holds salespeople back is the fear of not hitting their target, or in not having a big enough pipeline. In many industries, lots of sales are closed towards the end of the month. Interesting eh? Customers and prospects are aware that salespeople may better their offers to get business closed towards the end of the month because they need to hit their target. Salespeople often ‘timebomb’ (lower the cost to make customers buy before the end of the month) when their target is creeping closer.
Hitting your target is the end goal, but don’t rely on price dropping or month end to get you there. It simply reduces margin and perpetuates discussions about price rather than value. Customers generally buy on value, not price alone. So spend your time demonstrating value to your customers, demonstrate your differentiation and compel them to buy from you.
Follow up, follow up, follow up.
Following up with your customers is so important when it comes to hitting your target. If you don’t maintain regular contact, the sale may become less of a priority to them – out of sight, out of mind. However, it’s also important to not be too pushy or clingy. This can be just as bad as not following up at all. So how do you find the perfect middle ground?
You don’t want to annoy the key decision makers, so find the right time to make contact. At the end of the day is promising as people begin winding-down and freeing up time. Remember, people are busy with their own work problems during the day and sometimes just need a little reminder that they have business to close with you. Most importantly, if you want to know when is the best time to contact a customer, ask them. Always make sure you are adding value to the conversation when you follow up with them.
Share with them interesting or important information to keep them in the loop, and always leave the conversation with a defined path and have a reason to follow-up with them in the future.
Making sure you are on track to hit your target may be stressful, but remember you aren’t the only one who feels this way. Salespeople have high pressure roles, but success does have its rewards! Follow these steps to keep winning more sales and you will reap the rewards.