What is in your power to control? As a sales representative, you may be stuck with a crappy territory or you may be waiting for R&D to release the latest product enhancements – neither are things you are able to change. Yet, there are plenty of variables that you can influence in order to make your quota.
Let’s look at how you can positively affect your outcomes by focusing on these three variables:
1) Fill your pipeline
First, you need to ask yourself if you have a solid pipeline. Too many times I see sales reps clinging to weak, unqualified prospects because it will keep them busy. When they are busy, they convince themselves that they are making progress. But in reality, they are fighting an uphill battle by spending time on unqualified opportunities who are unlikely to buy.
Do yourself a favor because your time is valuable. Let those unqualified opportunities go. Release them from your pipeline so that you can spend your precious time on truly qualified prospects. Now, here’s the hard part – more prospecting. Let’s face it, reaching out to people who don’t know you and don’t necessarily need to talk to you, is hard. But, if you spend your time effectively filling your pipeline, your opportunities for success will open up.
2) Optimize your sales process
A process is just a set of steps – if you follow them, you should be able to predict the outcome. I like to use the analogy of a recipe. If I’m baking a chocolate cake and I follow a recipe accurately, I should be able to predict what the outcome will be, right? That’s why we follow recipes.
A sales process is the same thing. If you follow the steps of the ValueSelling Framework® and include all the right ingredients, you should be able to predict if, and when, your prospect will buy. For sales leaders, a common process and a common approach lets you allocate scarce resources to help accelerate deals where you might have leverage. It enables you to grow and scale your business effectively, rather than trying to rein in a bunch of lone wolves.
3) Communicate value
As expected, ValueSelling is all about competing confidently on value – and that can take many forms. Often, a deal stalls when it is not fully qualified, and it’s the value component that’s missing. In some situations, a sales rep may have engaged with a potential buyer and talked about their potential problems, but never discussed the impact or the measurable value to their business. As a result, they are positioned as a “nice to have,” because the buyer can’t justify the purchase.
All buyers are competing for capital in today’s world. Everything must be justified. Your buyer is trying to figure out, “Do I take on this project or that one?” And that’s where value becomes so important. As the salesperson, your goal is to help them compete for capital and get the funding and the budgeting they need to solve the problems your solution delivers. While it may not be a competitive situation, your project must take precedence over another potential project in order to get the funding.
Meeting and exceeding quota is all about selling behaviors. What are you doing to create opportunities, engage potential buyers, qualify them, and communicate value?
In addition, sales leaders want to create strong teams that consistently achieve quota. While the formula for quota attainment will be unique to each team, the three critical steps of filling the pipeline, optimizing the process, and communicating value will always help sales teams to improve.
Relevant topic? Register for our upcoming webinar on January 16th, 2020 at 10 AM Pacific: 7 Best Practices for Maximizing Performance through Sales Coaching.