How did you do versus quota in January? How did your sales team do? What about February (we’re halfway through the month)? Are you going to hit it or miss it? Hitting sales goals month over month is one of the toughest challenges facing companies today.
Some of the challenges rest with the prospects. Today, prospects are more educated, more distracted and more cautious about any large purchase. That means your sales process has to be tuned into this new set of conditions.
After working with hundreds of companies, we’ve uncovered six ways to help your sales team hit their goals this month.
These are upgrades you can make this week and they’ll start paying off immediately. If you want to hit your revenue goals, see these strategies your sales team can make to exceed quota.
1. Upgrade The Final Sales Presentation
Get a copy of the sales presentation your team gives at the very end of your sales process when the prospect says, “Let’s see what you recommend.” At that point, it’s down to you and one or two other firms, and your big presentation will make or break the sale.
First, most of these decks are largely all about you — your history, your people, your experience. Your prospects don’t care about that, and if they do, they already know it all because it's on your website and it's probably why you’re in this meeting. Skip it entirely, or if you want, put it at the end of the presentation as an addendum or appendix for them to review if they'd like.
Instead, focus the entire presentation on what you are going to do for them and how you're going to help them. With everything you are recommending, connect it to a business outcome that they’ve deemed critical or important. Try to illustrate those exact business outcomes they can expect if they go with you. More sales, more profits, more efficiencies and faster delivery — however a potential client benefits, it should be the focus of this presentation.
Finally, try to get the client to articulate what their life will look like, what their business will look like, how they will feel when you deliver on more sales, more profits, more efficiencies and faster delivery. That emotional connection is important for people to say YES!
2. Ask Better Questions During The Final Meeting
When it comes to this final meeting, most of the time, it’s the prospect asking questions. This is fine, but I’m going to encourage you to come to that meeting with some of your own questions. Here’s a list of questions I like to use.
Did you get everything you needed from this presentation? It’s a bit of a softball question in my mind, but it warms the room up for the next two questions, both of which are a bit bolder. This question is more about preparation and feedback for future presentations. The answer should never be, “No, you didn’t cover this area.”
Your team should be very clear on what clients want to see and what’s important to them before you even walk in the door. You should have confirmed almost every part of this presentation with your main point of contact days before, including the pricing. No one should be surprised to see what’s shown at this meeting. If that’s not how you roll, consider adding a step in your sales process to make sure they are bought in before you show up.
This next question is a tougher one to ask but you have to ask it.
Is there anything that you think might prevent you from moving forward with us and our recommendations? Do you have any concerns that you haven’t yet expressed about anything we’re proposing? If the answer is "no", then they should be hiring and selecting you. If the answer is "yes", get them out on the table and try to answer them so they go away.
The last question frames what happens next.
How are you planning to make your final decision? Do they have to take your recommendations to a board? Do they discuss your recommendations right now after you leave? Is there a meeting next week to review their options? You should know what happens next and if you can do anything to continue to be involved.
For example, when it comes to those pesky board meetings, ask to participate. While they will probably say no, they might say yes or ask for help getting ready for that meeting. These are all good signs. This question also helps with timing. Are they going to decide today, tomorrow, next week or next month? You should know.
All three of these questions have the potential to help you stand out and to shorten the sales cycle by limiting back and forth at the end of your sales process. This can have positive outcomes when you’re trying to hit a revenue goal every month.
3. Deliver More Educational Content During The Sales Process
This next one is easy to deliver because I’m betting you already have plenty of educational material. Some or all of it might be nicely tucked away in the resources section of your website or maybe in an electronic folder somewhere inside your company.
Regardless, get it out. Get all your educational information, materials, videos, whitepapers, eBooks, tip guides, checklists, podcasts, blog articles, etc. out there.
Now start looking at where, in your sales process, these materials can be shared with prospects.
Giving prospects educational content in context to your conversations is a fast track to getting them to know, like and trust you. This makes them feel safe, and feeling safe is how you get them to pick you over your competition.
Actually, occasionally, it's even more important than everything else. The more educational content you can provide to help them feel smart, the shorter your sales cycle and the higher your close rate.
4. Leverage Experts During The Sales Process
This is one of the easiest ways to help the sales team hit their quota this month. Using experts during the sales process applies valuable insights, knowledge and immediate credibility to the sales process and the sales team.
In addition to helping the salespeople better understand the needs of potential customers, they can help tailor potential solutions and make the recommendations come alive with stories of similar customers and similar solutions.
Unlike dealing with salespeople, these technical experts aren’t salespeople. They don’t talk like salespeople, nor do they act like salespeople. This provides a balance in any sales meeting with a client that takes the sales pressure off and gets prospects to open up, share challenges and talk “shop” with your technical resource.
This is often called the three-legged sales call. One leg for the sales rep, one leg for the technical expert and one leg for the prospects.
Want to really scale this idea? Consider getting your technical team to make videos around very specific issues or challenges across your customer base. Then salespeople can share these videos during the sales process, allowing prospects to get that technical perspective but in a more on-demand format.
These videos will also help the prospect feel better and safer about your company without taxing your technical team's time.
Either way you use them, adding experts to the sales process provides a significant advantage to your sales process and helps you shorten the sales cycle and increase the close rate.
5. Consider Spreading Your Existing Leads Across Your Best Sales Reps
Every sales organization has reps who are top performers, mid-range performers and underperformers. Look at the quota attainment rankings and you probably see the same people at the top of the charts every single month.
If you want to ensure you hit your goals in February, then consider giving more leads to your best reps.
This might fly in the face of your current lead distribution program but let’s face it, good reps should earn more leads. Reps that aren’t getting leads should work to improve their own performance so they earn more access to company-generated leads.
You don’t have to do this forever, but if you’re in a rut or struggling to hit your quotas, this could be a temporary change that may or may not stay in place long term. That’s up to you and how well your team is performing.
6. Use A Lead Score To Focus On Your Best Prospects
Finally, you could get a basic lead scoring model put in place today or tomorrow and immediately start adding a lead score to all your leads.
Lead scoring adds a score to every lead based on the potential opportunity for your business. Lead scoring models can include a wide variety of factors like the size of the company, areas of interest, intent activity like what pages they visited on your website and more.
You can get a simple lead-scoring model with just a small handful of indicators or a much more complex model with 20 potential variables. Bigger models don’t always work better. Start small, start simple, get data on the performance of the model and then adjust it over time.
In the short term, reps will know which leads have better potential and focus their time on the best leads, and over time their feedback can help you expand and improve your lead scoring model.
Here’s a more detailed article on lead scoring and here’s an on-demand webinar on lead scoring to help jump-start your lead-scoring efforts.
These six lightning-fast upgrades will help you improve your chances of hitting your revenue goals and sales targets in February and for the rest of the first quarter. From there, you can continue to add additional upgrades to ensure you hit your goals month over month for the entire year.
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