When sales associates and business developers are unable to generate enough leads to achieve their monthly targets, leaders’ normal response is to ask them to call more customers. The question is, does this really help?
I have met several startups, and mentored many sessions, to see leaders reacting this way almost every time. On the first level of business, which is the most crucial for a company, it is important to push the sales team to go that extra mile.
A leader’s emotion, and primitive response trying to settle a broken quarter or month is genuine but the reality of it is not what we think it should be.
Being an investor and a business professional, I have learned that it is the prospects who control when and how they make a purchase. They hold the purse strings, and there is no real way to artificially accelerate a conversion.
Trying to force your timeline on the prospects would create undue friction, which is not appreciated. On the other hand, clients who may make a purchase based on a fire sale won’t be as committed, and will likely churn at a high rate. Understanding these tactics for separate clientele is what helps make a salesperson good at his or her job, and increase the monthly conversion rate.
The breakeven point of sales
What do you do when you or your team is not killing it? OR, What do you do when you have a timeline and you have trouble perceiving how you'll get from one point to the other?
Managing Sales Targets: First thing is to eliminate the stress of high sales target by breaking down the annual goal into quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. A target of $2,000 sounds less stressful than a goal of $100,000, so concentrate on achieving weekly or monthly sales target. Test yourself and your team to meet the weekly goal by writing down your progress on a board in the common room, and reward top performers with small weekly prizes.
Analyse Potential Prospects: Break up the prospect list into two categories, ones who are genuine leads, and others who are qualified leads, but not ready to buy. That way, you can put your energies towards prospects who are easy to close as are clear with what they need, and won’t make you wait for long. Create a nurture campaign for the second list, and discover the ones that are active in the market. You can build your monthly pipeline as these prospects may not be ready to make a purchase just yet but may in the near future.
Prioritise: It is best to decide which goals are most important for you to achieve. Date your goals in the areas that will reap you the largest return on your investment of time and exertion. Ask yourself which task is moving you towards your goals faster, or keeping you away from reaching the zenith of your sales potential.
Be open and flexible to changes around you. Due to unanticipated circumstances, you may need to adjust the due date of your goals, or re-evaluate and cancel it altogether. Goals that receive the most attention are likely to be the ones that will change every now and then.
The golden trifecta
The golden trifecta of sales is when a handful of sellers understand the What (Product), When (Approval and Budget Cycle) and Why (Outcome). Focusing on the Why (outcomes) is the key to create a funnel that acts as a rationale to the speed at which you're making an impact.
As you craft your goals, you should also keep in mind the big picture by aligning yourself with short-term goals, including what you need to do this year, this quarter, this month, this week and today. In the words of Barbara Corcoran, “If you can’t communicate well, you’re never going to make a sale. And you’re never going to build a business if you can’t make sales.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)